The 4-H program is designed as a youth development program, but there are definitely some benefits for adults as well. One program that Vance 4-H agent Wykia Macon said is a win-win for club members and older adults alike is called Tech Changemakers, which pairs those young, savvy tech users with others who need a little help understanding how it all works.
Macon spoke with Paul McKenzie on a recent lawn and garden segment of The Local Skinny! and said 4-H still has traditional programming like gardening but has evolved to include other areas like food and nutrition and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.
In 4-H, club members have the opportunity to develop public speaking and leadership skills. Participants in district and state competitions vie for ribbons and cash awards.
Macon said some of the programs are short, lasting six weeks. Find new listings on their Facebook page or on the cooperative extension’s webpage. One food and nutrition program modeled after the popular Food Network show “Chopped” included competing for top cooking honors. There also are financial management classes for teens.
The Tech Changemakers program has teens teaching adults a variety of digital literacy skills to be able to create PowerPoint presentations, learn how to use the Zoom platform, and how to use Google Calendar.
The “Just Grow It” program is a self-paced project that supplies youth with all the materials necessary to grow microgreens and create container gardens. “They get a chance to see things grow,” Macon said, and also “gives them an idea of where their food comes from.”
There is always a need for adult volunteers to help with 4-H, Macon said. The more adults that offer their time, the more children in the community 4-H can reach, she added.
To learn more, contact Macon at email@example.com or 252.438.8188.