National FFA week is celebrated across the country within 8,739 student chapters. Throughout the week, FFA chapters promote who they are and what they do.
As members of FFA, students learn organization skills, build leadership experience, and explore career options and success. Kara Poynter, agriculture teacher and head of the department, describes the SHS FFA Chapter as a student council made up of agriculture students. Students participate in community service and greenhouse plant sales in the spring. Plus, FFA is a way for students to integrate what they do in the classroom into real-world situations.
"Students who may feel out of place entering high school leave high school with a family when they join our FFA chapter,” Poynter said. Students do not need to come from a farming background; however, they learn skills they can take with them on the job.
Any student who attends Sycamore High School can join the club, although it is most common that students join while taking an agriculture class.
Over the years, the SHS FFA Chapter has grown — just as the number of classes offered in the agriculture department has grown as well. What started as a one-teacher program has been expanded to three teachers. And the chapter boasts a membership of 80 students, with 50 actively attending meetings.
"This year especially, students are looking for things to do; we are still doing contests, community service, and trying to keep kids active,” Poynter said. At meetings, students have participated in Ag. Olympics, community service, and creating tie-dye T-shirts!
During National FFA Week this year, the SHS Chapter has held themed dress-up days, hosted a teacher appreciation lunch, shared video facts about the Chapter, and in April will have an outdoor petting zoo for elementary students.