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Ohio 4-H Highlights : May 2019
Tenth Anniversary 4-H Legacy Awards
Ohio was fortunate to have two 4-H alumni attend the National 4-H Legacy Awards. Noor Alshafie and Emma Newell, members of the National 4-H Youth Advisory Council, represented Ohio. Emma shares her experience:
In March, National 4-H celebrated the 10th Annual Legacy Awards in Washington D.C. This is a fundraising event that recognizes Youth In Action winners, alumni luminaries, sponsors and donors. Some of the individuals honored this year included Jennifer Nettles, Carla Hall, Honorable Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Bob Baffert, Ericka Flanigan and Charlie Kimball. With help of many individuals, partners, and sponsors, over $1.1 million was raised to support positive youth development.
I have had the opportunity to attend this event for the past two years due to my involvement on the National 4-H Youth Advisory Committee. This is a group comprised of 11 young alumni between the ages of 18-23 from around the country. We work to support National 4-H Council and advise the board of trustees by supporting the 4-H mission, acting as ambassadors, and providing a young person’s perspective in decision-making.
The experience on this committee has shaped my future, created connections, and allowed me to further implement what I am learning at The Ohio State University into practice. Because of 4-H, I have found a career that I want to pursue, an industry that I am passionate about, and a family to support me. To think, that all of this started due to one school assembly and one decision to join Ohio 4-H! These choices have changed my life forever and put me on a path to success.
More information on 4-H Legacy Awards can be found at https://4-h.org/4-h-legacy-awards/#!overview
Sensational Science Sunday
Preble County 4-H program hosted Sensational Science Sunday this past March. The event was designed to engage participants in hands-on science activities and promote 4-H. According to Christy Millhouse, 4-H educator, both members and advisors were present to answer questions about the 4-H program and conduct the activities. “It was planned by a committee of 4-H youth as a way to promote 4-H while providing something that would appeal to families in the community,” said Millhouse. The event was a great opportunity for youth and families to see the tremendous benefits that come with joining the Ohio 4-H Youth Development program.
According to Click2Science, young people exposed to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities develop and improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These young people become the “next generation of innovators” which leads to new products and discoveries. Participating in STEM activities can help youth see how science, technology, engineering and math are part of their everyday lives.
STEM, runs deep in the roots of 4-H. Early 4-H leaders wanted to bring the innovations happening at universities to people in communities across the nation. At that time, it was agricultural-related technology, but today STEM is part of many 4-H projects. Members can take projects that include rocketry, food science, electricity, radio-controlled vehicles, robotics, and more.
Yoga for Kids
Cat, Cow, Gorilla, Dolphin – we’re not at a farm or the zoo. It’s Yoga for Kids instructor training! Last month 22 Extension professionals, adult volunteers, and teens spent a day learning how to teach yoga to youth audiences. The session was led by Lauren Thornton from the University of Arkansas, which developed Yoga for Kids. Four Ohio 4-H professionals served as co-facilitators. A grant from the Ohio 4-H Foundation supported the training.
Participants learned both standing and floor poses (43 in all), as well as yoga games, breathing exercises, and guided relaxation techniques. After reviewing program guidelines and learning the techniques, the participants worked together in small groups to create a sample routine. This activity prepared them to go back to their respective counties and integrate yoga into camps, after-school programs, classrooms, and other settings.
Why Yoga for Kids? Yoga has many health benefits, including improved fitness and decreased stress. Many children do not get the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity, so yoga is one way to help them reach this goal. Other physical benefits include flexibility, strength, and balance. The practice of yoga addresses mental, social, and emotional health by offering youth a way to focus their attention, relax, and cope with stress.
The Ohio 4-H Healthy Living Design Team organized this year’s Yoga for Kids instructor training based on the positive response from those who attended when the training was held in 2016. Rachael Fraley, 4-H Educator in Lawrence County and one of this year’s co-facilitators, used Yoga for Kids in a 12-week after-school program last year. “I had a group of sixth grade girls and they were very hesitant at first, because they had never done yoga before,” Fraley said. “As they gained confidence, several girls began to help me lead the sessions,” she added. They thought it was a fun way to exercise, and all showed the yoga poses to their family and friends.
Cassie Anderson, 4-H Educator in Hancock County, reported that her teens were already seeing the value of participating in Yoga for Kids. “Participating in the training empowered and engaged the teens’ ownership of the program,” she said. “The very next day, the teens led 40+ camp counselors and adult staff in a yoga practice. They pushed to build yoga more fully into our camp schedule, as an early bird activity and during a session time each day.” Anderson also plans to include yoga as part of physical activity sessions at a summer lunch site. Stay tuned for more from Yoga for Kids!
Faces of Ohio 4-H
Each month we will highlight an alum from Ohio 4-H. They have amazing stories to share, from their personal experience in 4-H to how they have given back to the program. Check out this story from ReBecca Thomas, volunteer for 4-H in Hamilton County.
I have been involved in 4-H since I was ten years old, but around the program my whole life, because my mom was an advisor. It is a program I feel passionate about, because it helped me grow to be the person I am today. I truly got my start in 4-H! Through taking photography projects, I discovered my love of taking photos and decided to make it my career. I have my bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with a focus on photography and today, I am venturing out to start my own business taking family photos. I also had my work on display in a gallery in Bisbee Arizona. Besides helping me find my passion and career in life, 4-H helped shape me into someone who feels confident with public speaking and who is not afraid to strike up a conversation with anyone. My experiences in 4-H helped me learn lifelong skills and gave me a better understanding of the world around me. I am currently a volunteer and advisor for our county's Junior Leader program and love being able to give back to a program that gave so much to me.
Calendar of Events
May 18 Simply Nature for Families (Wooster) – Children will be led through several outdoor activities and receive a take-home kit to connect the park experience with backyard nature. Activities are free, but call to register. More details can be found here.
May 28 Cloverbud Creativity Workshop (Hillsboro) – Open to 4-H advisors looking for Cloverbud resources for their club. Held at the Highland County Extension Office. Contact Danielle Combs at 937-393-1918 or email@example.com for more information. Flyer can be found here.
May 29 Spring Garden Walk (Columbus) – Join this informational garden walk at Franklinton Farms to discuss common vegetable problems. Free and open to the public. More details at this website.
June 13 Whiz Bang Science Show (Wooster) – Held at John Streeter Garden Amphitheater at Secrest Arboretum from 7-8 p.m. Contact Gwen Zimmerly at 330-263-3761 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
June 17 4-H Night with the Cincinnati Reds (Cincinnati) – Help support 4-H and come watch the Cincinnati Reds take on the Houston Astros at Great American Ball Park. Game begins at 7:10. Visit the website for more details.