JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s STORY (Science, Technology Opportunities for Rural Youth) Program, in partnership with local libraries, is excited to announce new programming opportunities. Chautauqua County has been providing programming throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the past several months, programming has included in-person Exploration Mars classes, and an in-person vermicomposting class. 4-H youth educator Molly Brown was able to deliver an 8-week, in person STEM PROGRAM AT Samuel G. Love Elementary School.
During the months of March and April, 19 Chautauqua county schools and approximately 2500 students participated in NYS Agricultural Literacy Week. Two of the schools participating held an in-person reading of this year’s book, Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish (Tales of the Dairy Godmother), written by Viola Butler. The other seventeen schools that did not have in-person reading were able to participate in a virtual reading from the NYS Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Richard Ball, with virtual farm tours and videos to connect Chautauqua county youth to the dairy industry.
Summer programming is in full effect; 4-H and the local public libraries are teaming up to provide a summer reading program called, “Tails and Tales.” Programming for the libraries will include vermicomposting and bat boxes. Youth will learn and see hands-on all about worm farming and how to have a worm farm at home. Youth will also learn about conservation, habits, benefits, and importance of worms and bats in ecosystem and how they affect our food system. Each program will offer research-based education and take-home opportunities. So far, the participating libraries include Prendergast, Clymer, and Lakewood Memorial Library.
STEM education has been shown to improve creativity, boost curiosity and improve cognitive skills. The 4-H youth development program continues to offer research-based education that helps develop communication skills, critical thinking, and career exploration through hands-on, interactive lessons. To become involved in the new Tails and Tales program, please contact your local library.
The STORY program has been providing programming for Chautauqua County throughout the Covid 19 pandemic. Both virtual and in-person programming has introduced youth to “out of this world” topics, including an Exploration Mars class and an in-person vermicomposting class. 4-H youth Educator Molly Brown was able to deliver an 8-week, in-person STEM program at Samuel G. Love Elementary School, teaching youth about agriculture, conservation, and color theory. Additional STEM programming this summer will include partnerships with JCC Kids College, The Chautauqua Institution, Clymer Central School’s summer program, and the 4-H Leaf Jr program.
To learn more about the 4-H youth development programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County, visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/Chautauqua or call 716-664-9502, extension 214.
–Molly R. Brown, Cornell Cooperative Extension