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November is National Inspirational Role Model Month!

November is National Inspirational Role Model Month!

November is National Inspirational Role Models Month

Before the medals and the ribbons and the physical manifestations of success, there is a club, a meeting, and adult, a friend that changes the life of a youth. Someone that gives youth the confidence to believe in themselves.  Someone that they can look to as an example to follow. The Oxford dictionary defines a role model as “a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.” In the midst of the social media culture where people have the potential to drastically influence a person’s life without ever holding a conversation, it is essential that youth have positive role models who will guide them in an ever changing society.

Organizations like 4-H, where programming is highly reliant on the dedication of volunteers, there are innumerable individuals who function as role models. Though there are many individuals, I have often found that most great role models function in similar manners and styles. Each style is as unique as each person, more important is the fact that each individual has an impact on the youth around them, consciously or not. Some individuals strive to have a significant impact on youth such as Angela Tinker.  As the leader of the county wide Leadership Club, Angela Tinker is a positive role model and a consistent presence in the lives of the youth she works with.  She is a shining example of just one of the many 4-H volunteers who serve to inspire youth as positive role models.

The Shepherd: Angela Tinker

Pictured is Angela Tinker with her husband, Bill Tinker.

Pictured is Angela Tinker with her husband, Bill Tinker. Angela has served as an Escambia County 4-H Volunteer since 2008.

The role of the shepherd is to look after the safety and welfare of their flock. As youth grow older and near the completion of their 4-H careers, youth not only want to demonstrate their independence, but they need a safe environment in which to do it. They also need individuals who will lead them, and more importantly who will lead them by example.

Angela Tinker exemplifies a shepherd. She has worked as an Escambia County 4-H volunteer for eleven years.  Over the course of her tenure, she has worked with younger youth as well as teenagers. She continues to lead the Leadership Club where she works with teenagers. When asked why she continues to serve as a volunteer, even though both of her daughters have graduated and moved on from the program, Angela responded, “seeing the little successes, which turn into big successes.” It is her passion to cultivate an environment in which the little successes of everyday emerge as life altering successes that enables her to be the role model these youth see when working with her.

Our Future

Angela is a role model that leads by quietly tending to the youth she works with, and by ensuring that they have the best opportunities to grow and build their skills. As budding adults, the youth Angela works with are in some of the most formative years of their lives. Everything and everyone that these youth encounter shapes them in one way or another. It is the positive role models in the 4-H organization like Angela who ensure that our youth have the best chance to develop into the best person possible.  Angela is an example of the 4-H way of “Making the Best, Better” every day.

Who Do You Inspire?  Become a Role Model – Become a 4-H Volunteer

If you have knowledge or skills that you can share with youth in your community, consider becoming a 4-H volunteer!  4-H is always in need of caring, positive adult role models to serve in the role of 4-H volunteers.  From leading a club to judging public speaking or teaching a craft project, contact your local UF/IFAS County Extension Office or visit our website to learn how you can serve as a positive adult role model today to make a difference in the lives of our youth tomorrow.

 

Special thanks to Aly Schortinghouse, UF/IFAS Escambia County 4-H Agent, for providing this article and picture.

 

It’s The LAW (Leadership Adventure Weekend)

It’s The LAW (Leadership Adventure Weekend)

Social media flyer regarding Leadership Adventure Weekend information

In a world of acronyms, 4-H has a lot of them.  Many of our 4-H youth are getting very excited about LAW.  Leadership Adventure Weekend, or more commonly referred to as LAW, is a Florida 4-H state event that allows youth ages 13-18 to learn excellent leadership and communication skills through hands-on activities and experiences.  

Each year, 4-H youth from around the state plan the weekend full of exciting workshops and funshops designed to teach youth the skills they need to excel in today’s world of leaders.  This year’s theme is  “Leadership through the Arts and Communication.”  Teens will be exposed to in-depth activities to develop their leadership in club, county, & district officer responsibilities as well as further life skills development in the areas of teamwork, decision making, responsibility, and communication.  Workshop activities will center around painting, music, dramatic arts and theater, and team building games.

4-H members that have previously experienced LAW said that they learned how to improve interview skills and even how to write a resume.  Take note that it’s not all work and no play.  Youth leaders that have created the event and designed the schedule have made sure to include lots of fun!   For those not experienced with this 4-H program, LAW weekend is an excellent introduction to many of the benefits that 4-H has to offer.  Many of our 4-H youth bring a friend to help introduce them to 4-H.  

This year, LAW will be held in the Florida Panhandle at 4-H Camp Timpoochee in Niceville, Florida, from December 6th though the 8th.  Registration cost is $115, and youth can register from October 21st to November 15th. Late registration will NOT be accepted.  

Not a 4-H member yet?  Not to worry!  Join the 4-H family today.  The process to become a 4-H member or 4-H Volunteer is relatively simple:  visit http://florida4h.org to apply online or stop in to your local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet with your 4-H Extension Agent for assistance. 

Special thank you to Prudence Caskey, UF/IFAS Santa Rosa Extension 4-H Agent, for providing this article.

The Fourth “H” is for HEALTH

The Fourth “H” is for HEALTH

In continuing this week’s theme and celebration of National 4‑H Week, we want to highlight our last “H” in 4-H, Health.  As the 4-H pledge states, I pledge my…health to better living.”  Just living a healthy lifestyle in general is a huge endeavor for anyone to accomplish and it takes a lot of awareness of self to accomplish it well.  As a 4-Her, not only are we committing to make healthy choices for our own mind, body, and spirit but we are also striving to make healthy choices and conduct ourselves in a manner that is healthy for our club, community, country, and world.

Our agents and volunteers do an amazing job in guiding and inspiring our 4-H youth to learn just how to be aware of and make decisions that lead to such healthy living.  Through hands-on learning activities and the experiential learning model, these positive adult role models engage youth to challenge themselves and apply critical thinking skills in order to gain additional essential life skills that aid in balanced physical, mental and emotional health.  From healthy living clubs to competitive events such as the Consumer Choices Contest to enrichment programs such as Health Rocks, 4-H brings real life situations and choices to the forefront and teaches youth to be empowered in their healthy decision making.

 

HEALTH FOR YOU, HEALTH FOR ME

 

Are you looking for certain areas to help inspire your children or neighborhood youth to make healthy decisions?  Is there a particular area in the healthy living realm that you feel your children need some hands-on learning?  The Northwest 4-H District have shared some wonderful publications over the recent years, highlighting varying aspects of 4-H Healthy Living.  From inspiring youth and volunteers to helpful tips and resources, the articles below are short reads that give great overviews of the 4-H healthy living lifestyle.

National 4-H Week's theme is Inspire Kids to Do.

The Application of Healthy Living

Healthy Living Tips & Helpful Hints

Inspiring Healthy Reads

Would you like to become a volunteer that inspires youth to invest in their future?  Visit your  local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet your 4-H Extension Agent for additional information on how to become a 4-H Volunteer today to inspire youth to make healthy decisions and conduct themselves in a manner that is healthy for their club, community, country, and world!

RESOURCES

 

Welcome, National 4-H Week!

Welcome, National 4-H Week!

National 4-H Week's theme is Inspire Kids to Do.

National 4-H Week’s theme is Inspire Kids to Do.

National 4‑H Week is October 6 – 12. Take advantage of this important week to highlight the remarkable 4‑H youth in your communities.  The Northwest 4-H District recognizes the incredible experiences that 4-H offers young people and the remarkable 4-H youth in our community who work each day to make a positive impact on those around them.

The theme of this year’s National 4-H Week is Inspire Kids to Do, which highlights how 4-H encourages kids to take part in hands-on learning experiences in areas such as health, science, agriculture and civic engagement. The positive environment provided by 4-H volunteers ensures that kids in every county, from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities, are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles and are empowered with the skills to lead in life and career.

WHAT IS 4-H EXACTLY?

 

4-H is the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization which cultivates youth to become confident individuals that can tackle difficult issues in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six million young people through the 110 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Currently, Florida serves over 230,000 4-H members in the state.  Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young people in more than 50 countries. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Florida 4-H is the youth development program of Florida Cooperative Extension, a part of the University of Florida IFAS.


4-H STANDS BY THE CLOVER

A volunteer is helping a child with a hammering craft project.

A teen volunteer helps a Cloverbud member during a summer workshop

 

4-H is known best by its emblem, the four leaf clover, one of the most recognized logos in America.  Our emblem represents a standard of quality in youth development which is experiential in nature, meaning that young people learn all kinds of things through 4-H in a hands-on way.  The four leafs depict four Hs, representing the following:  “Head, Heart, Hands, and Health.”  For a better overview of the meaning of the four H’s and our iconic clover, be sure to review a great article from the past, What Do The Four H’s Mean Anyway? written by Heather Kent (http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/4hn/2017/06/30/what-do-the-four-hs-mean-anyway/).  This week, we will be touching more on our iconic emblem as we spotlight each H of our four leaf clover to inspire kids (and families) to do!  Be sure to check back daily for more during National 4-H Week!

 

So Happy #National4HWeek! The Northwest 4-H District is proud to #InspireKidstoDo, and we invite you to celebrate with us all week by showing your @4-H spirit on social media and in your community!  Visit your  local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet your 4-H Extension Agent for additional information on a variety of 4-H topics and activities that can benefit you and your family.

 

Not a member?  Join the 4-H family today.  The process to become a 4-H member or 4-H Volunteer is relatively simple:  visit http://florida4h.org to apply online or stop in to your local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet with your 4-H Extension Agent for assistance.  There is no better time to join us then during National 4-H Week!

Remaining Calm as the Waters Churn

Remaining Calm as the Waters Churn

Rough ocean waves during a hurricane.With the first real major storm of the 2019 hurricane season pressing down upon the entire state of Florida and the recent state of emergency declared on all 67 Florida counties by Governor DeSantis, it stands to reason that a lot of anxiety is spinning in the atmosphere along with Hurricane Dorian.

Many of us have experienced firsthand how a hurricane can disrupt our lives beyond something we could ever imagine.  Some are still living in the disruption, trying desperately to find normalcy again.  So, with the threat of Hurricane Dorian looming just a few days away, it is only natural for overwhelming feelings of anxiety, nervousness, and fear to kick in.  You may begin to see these feelings develop among your family members, especially your children.  It is important to recognize these emotions immediately and take action to help not only yourself but your children as well.

PREPARATION

Preparation is one of the most important ways you can regain control  in your situation.  In this case, preparation before Hurricane Dorian (or any future storms) will help reduce anxiety, eliminate any confusion among family members, and create clear communication for all.  Here are some helpful tips for your family on how you can be prepared and reduce anxiety in the hurricane season:

  • Have a family plan – Make it clear, keep it current, and know it well.evacuation route sign
  • Talk openly and honestly with your children about the weather situation – Make it a fun science experiment to explain hurricane patterns. Help them to understand how to track the path of the storm.  Show them where to get accurate weather information like NOAA’s website.
  • Give everyone a role and responsibility – Keep every person involved in the tasks and let them have ownership in getting the family prepared.
  • Create your hurricane preparedness kits – Be sure to check out our information on building a disaster preparedness bucket here. Remember to include your pet’s needs.
  • Share – Allow children to share feelings, concerns, stories of past experiences. Validate real concerns and allow children to come up with possible solutions or positive actions to alleviate those concerns.

We know that natural disasters can change our lives with little to no notice.  Fortunately, Hurricane Dorian is giving you a little extra time to prepare if you have not already done so. Be proactive – take action now and reduce the anxiety level in your household as Dorian approaches.  For the latest resources to help prepare and then deal with natural disasters such as Hurricane Dorian, the UF/IFAS Disaster Preparation & Recovery website offers some important information such as updated contacts, useful tips, and videos for you and your family.

We wish you and your loved ones safety this hurricane season.  Be smart, be prepared, and be confident that you are prepared this season and beyond.

Visit your  local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet your 4-H Extension Agent for additional information on a variety of topics that can benefit you and your family.  From 4-H educational activities to ways to keep your family safe, Extension and 4-H is always available to assist you and your family.

HELPFUL RESOURCES DURING A DISASTER