Free literacy program for preK-5 students in Colorado

Colorado teachers are encouraged to sign up for the Colorado Literacy Project, a free program for prekindergarten through fifth grade students from the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture.

The Colorado Literacy Project is a way to bring agriculture into the classroom, while reinforcing reading comprehension and other academic standards. From mid-February through May, farmers and ranchers across Colorado visit classrooms and read a book to the students. They answer questions and talk about their connection to agriculture.

A different book is selected each year for this program. The book for 2022 is a new book, published specifically for this year’s program and features a unique, true-life story centered around kindness and Colorado peaches. Set in the orchards of western Colorado, The Sweetest Treat is based on the story of Mrs. Maxine Lundgren Clark Allen. It was written by Rachel Gabel and illustrated by Liz Banman-Munsterteiger. In addition to receiving a free copy of The Sweetest Treat, the first 400 Colorado classes to sign up will also be given 100% Colorado Peach Juice to sample with their students.

Teachers may sign up their class, their grade level, or their whole elementary school. Visits will take place either in-person or virtually. Educators, day cares, and others may also sign up to participate in special virtual reading sessions of The Sweetest Treat during the week of March 21 to 25, 2022, as part of CFA’s National Ag Day celebration. Visit for more information and to sign up. Or visit the direct link to the registration form at

Maxine Lundgren Clark Allen lives in Palisade, Colorado, not far from the orchard her son has built into a thriving produce and agritourism venue. Allen’s recipe tin is filled to the brim with history, stories, wisdom, and a reminder that kindness never goes out of style. As a young girl, Allen lived in Granada, Colorado, and recalls seeing German prisoners of war and Japanese Americans, interned at nearby Amache, helping local sugarbeet farmers harvest crops. Allen learned the peach business by living it and was a strong and eloquent voice for farm labor and agriculture. Of all of the agricultural products grown, peaches are one of the sweetest treats.

For more information about the Colorado Literacy Project or any of CFA’s Agriculture in the Classroom programs, please visit or contact Jennifer Scharpe, CFA executive director at [email protected] or by phone at 970-818-3308.