USA Rice Inspires Young Minds to 'Think Rice'

Jan 27, 2015
ARLINGTON, VA -- This week, teachers at more than 2,800 elementary schools in rice producing counties across the six states will receive the new Think Rice educational lesson plan.  Developed with the award-winning curriculum experts at Young Minds Inspired (YMI), this education kit is all about U.S.-grown rice and meets national standards for 3rd - 6th grade students in social studies, science, and nutrition.
"From the focus groups, we learned that many people assume rice comes from Asia and they're unaware of the connection between rice growing and conservation," said Byron Holmes, an Arkansas rice farmer and USA Rice Federation Nutrition Subcommittee chairman.  "The lesson plans address these areas and also reinforce how U.S. rice can help families meet MyPlate healthy eating guidelines."
The Think Rice kit contains three student activities, a classroom poster, and a teacher's guide.  Students will learn how rice growing has contributed to American history since colonial times, and how today's U.S. rice farmers not only help sustain wetland habitats, but also help reduce carbon emissions by providing a close-to-home source of good nutrition.  There is also a recipe-building activity to demonstrate the versatility of U.S. rice and its role in a balanced diet.
"The education programs we do across the rice states are great events with encouraging results, and we will continue to invest in them," said Holmes.  "This program amplifies our reach to thousands of students who will in turn go home and teach their families about U.S.-grown rice."
Teachers are encouraged to use the Think Rice education kit during March National Nutrition Month and complete a survey to measure use, effectiveness, and appeal of the program.  The materials will be available indefinitely on YMI's website ( so teachers from all around the country can download and use the activities.
These new rice resources and the U.S. Rice in the Classroom
pamphlet are available for USA Rice members to use in their own student outreach as well. 
Contact:  Katie Maher (703) 236-1453