FDOC Working For You: Youth Served In Today’s Lesson Plan

FDOC Working For You: Youth Served In Today's Lesson Plan

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This year’s lesson plans for second graders includes reading, writing, and Florida citrus. Building on the success of last year’s pilot school marketing program, the Florida Department of Citrus will expand “The Adventures of Captain Citrus” statewide to all second grade teachers and students during the 2011-2012 school year, budget permitting.

The foundation of the school program will be a series of educational materials including lesson plans highlighting the health and wellness benefits of citrus and the important role of the Florida citrus industry in our state. The program extends beyond the classroom with newsletters for parents and online activities for kids. A dedicated website (www.CaptainCitrus.com) makes electronic information accessible to interested parties beyond the second grade audience.
Last year, 97 schools participated in the pilot program launched in Polk, Highlands, and Hardee county elementary schools. FDOC reached more than 50,000 students with information about Florida citrus.

Planting The Seeds

FDOC brought the program to life through school visits where citrus growers spoke with students about their personal experiences. The visit was highlighted by the arrival of Captain Citrus, the program mascot, and students eagerly sampled orange and grapefruit juices and fresh oranges, tangerines and grapefruit. Thanks to Larry Black, Sheila Hart, Tom Davidson, Ron Oakley, Steve Johnson, Jim Snively, Ellis Hunt, John Arnold, Sam Jones, and Vic Story for volunteering their time to educate our future generation.
FDOC successfully engaged students through the Creative Juices Challenge. Participants expressed how they celebrate Florida orange juice through photos, artwork, and creative writing for the opportunity to win American Express gift cards for themselves and their teachers. The contest winner and three finalists appeared on Daytime, a syndicated TV program reaching 74 markets nationwide. The TV segment is posted at www.FloridaJuice.com for you to view.
The schools with the greatest participation in the contest also will receive an orange tree planting by a local grower this fall.

Knowledge Is Power

In addition to direct interaction with elementary teachers and students, FDOC conducts outreach efforts to ensure that key influencers have the most up-to-date information about Florida citrus.
Our marketing team attended the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference and the National Parent Teacher Association Conference this summer to provide teachers, agriculture industry educators, and parent leaders with details about “The Adventures of Captain Citrus” program, as well as other FDOC resources.
FDOC drove increased awareness about the health benefits of orange juice among more than 200,000 school foodservice decision makers via a six-month online and print advertising campaign. FDOC staff disseminated additional information directly at the Florida School Nutrition Association Annual Conference as well as the National School Nutrition Association Annual Conference.
As competition from other beverages continues to increase, FDOC school marketing efforts are designed to ensure Florida citrus and 100% orange juice remain a daily choice for today’s students who will become tomorrow’s customers. We look forward to expanding our outreach statewide as the new school year begins.