Grants to 4-H professionals from the Ohio 4-H Foundation support a variety of programs that positively impact youth. Here are two stories about programs funded in 2022:
4-H Youth Bridge the Cultural Gap
In November, 4-H members from Butler and Warren counties came together for an exchange experience at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati. The Teamwork and Cultural Literacy for Teens (TCLT) program is a new 4-H initiative that challenges teens to meet and get to know teens from different cultures.
At the Islamic Center, teens enjoyed Middle Eastern food, participated in team building and leadership activities, and toured the mosque. These opportunities helped youth get out of their comfort zone and discover new aspects of their community.
After sharing a traditional Muslim meal, icebreakers and mixer games helped youth get to know one another better. This was followed by an informal session to learn about the Islamic faith and practices. Samina Sohail, co-leader of the project, led an informational session and fielded questions by 4-H members.
Teens from the Islamic Center also shared what it is like to grow up and interact with non-Muslim students at their high school. One 4-H youth from Warren County said the group interaction and experience felt real and honest. "I learned a lot and it definitely got me out of my comfort zone. Our conversations challenged some of my stereotypes of Islam and what Muslim people believe."
Butler and Warren County educators and youth are looking forward to continuing the partnership with the Islamic Center in 2023. Additional events and activities are being planned for later this year to continue on this cultural journey.
Cloverbuds Accept the Challenge
The Cloverbot Challenge gives young children across Ohio the opportunity to create, engineer, and problem solve using STEM skills. In 2022, the Cloverbot Challenge added three sites, making the program more accessible as in-person programming returned, and 119 Cloverbuds from 22 clubs accepted the challenge.
This year’s theme was Wonderful Water and participants were asked to identify an impact factor that affects water quality and create a solution. Cloverbud teams explored their understanding of water quality by asking questions like:
- What are the properties of water?
- What affects water quality?
- What are local examples of water quality issues?
- What are ways that we use water?
Teams created a poster and models out of LEGO-type bricks, before participating in project showcases where they shared solutions to their chosen impact factor. During the showcases Cloverbud teams met with adults to talk about their project and share their ideas. Teams were awarded a certificate and 4-H swag as a reward for their hard work. Following the showcase, Cloverbuds took part in interactive STEM activities related to the challenge’s water theme.
The program will expand this year and become the Cloverbud Engineering Challenge. For details, visit their website.