I recently read your article regarding the surprisingly large rural area of Temecula. Coming from Idaho, an area like Temecula was perfect to my parents when they decided to move. It has, as you said, the perfect blend of urban and rural, with plenty of diversity in between. There is just one thing I find lacking, unlike in Idaho, schools don’t seem to interact much with these rural areas. In fact, they practically ignore them. In Idaho, we took field trips to dairy farms and we went pumpkin picking. We rode the hay rides and we helped grow produce. In my opinion, these trips were highly educational and helped build character.
I have been wondering for some time why the schools here aren’t more involved with the local farms. Why don’t I hear about kids picking blueberries, or learning how to brush a horse? One parent suggested that many parents would pitch a fit to hear their child was in such a “dangerous, unsanitary place.” I spent my childhood on farms with eighty plus cousins and we never had an issue. Going to farms and learning to work with animals would be extremely helpful to kids interested in an agriculture-related career or kids desiring to become veterinarians. Even the ones interested in economics could learn something from how farms are run. Instead, the district has decided to put the focus on “traditionally” educational trips, museums, city hall, even the district office. While I love a field trip anywhere, I think many students would be delighted to go somewhere new- say, a winery vineyard or the local alpaca farm. We here in the Valley have such a unique opportunity. Why aren’t we using it to our advantage?