For more than 100 years, 4-H clubs have been (and still are) the backbone of our youth development program. But did you know that 4-H also provides opportunities for youth to participate in programs during and after school? Not all youth have access to transportation to and from club meetings. 4-H school programs are a great way for those youth to glean the benefits of 4-H and to learn about other opportunities to be involved longer term.
Some examples of 4-H School programs offered in the 4-H Panhandle include:
- National Youth Science Day
- On My Own Financial Literacy Program (contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office for more info)
- 4-H Tropicana Public Speaking Contest (4th-6th grades)
- 4-H Ag Awareness or Ag Adventures
- Ag Literacy Week
- 4-H Embryology in the Classroom
- 4-H School Gardens (often coordinated by UF IFAS Master Gardeners)
- 4-H Wildlife Ecology Field Days
- 4-H Get to Know Your Government Days
- In-school clubs (clubs that meet at school during a specified class time)
- Afterschool clubs (clubs that meet at school during out of school time)
Sometimes school programs such as 4-H Embryology or 4-H Tropicana Public Speaking are taught by teachers, using 4-H curriculum and resources with support from the 4-H Extension Agent. Other programs are coordinated with a team of volunteers and 4-H staff (such as 4-H Ag Awareness or Ag Literacy Week). County Extension offices offer training, curriculum, and equipment for teachers and volunteers interested in leading 4-H programs at local schools. In addition, these programs receive support from extension agents and UF IFAS specialists with subject matter expertise, so you can be sure that youth are receiving the most up to date, non-biased information available.
If you have skills that you would like to share with the next generation, consider partnering with your local school and 4-H program. To find out which opportunities are available in your area, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org/volunteers.