MONROE CO., N.Y. — The Monroe County 4-H Program is excited to embark upon a new partnership with Nazareth College’s Community Youth Development (CYD) program. The CYD interdisciplinary program focuses on beliefs, principles, and practices of youth development. This community-focused approach blends theory with extensive opportunities to spend time with youth to learn about the dynamics of risk and protection within their families, neighborhoods, and communities.
4-H Educators launched a pilot project with CYD interns at Cameron Community Ministries this spring to present a “Sampler Day,” in order to help the interns begin teaching 4-H afterschool programming. Cameron youth participated in three different activities so the staff could see which topics interested them the most.
The youth first started with a science experiment called, “It’s a Gas!” In this experiment, vinegar mixes with baking soda inside a bottle to create a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide gas. This gas then blows up a balloon attached to the top of the bottle.
The youth then participated in a music activity called “Can You Feel the Rhythm?” After feeling their pulse and understanding that rhythm is like a heartbeat, the youth practiced adjusting clapping speeds to understand different musical tempos and their implications.
Finally, the youth participated in a citizenship activity by writing and coloring thank-you cards. They started by identifying some people in their community who help them and make the community a better place to live. Many chose their local crossing guard, teachers, and parents. After participating in all three activities, the youth took a survey to decide which two activities they liked the most.
In subsequent weeks, the interns took over teaching the topics that the youth enjoyed most. Along with expressive arts, citizenship, and science curricula, the 4-H Team provided the interns with additional 4-H curricula pertaining to earth science, plants and animals, in case the youth decide that later they would like to explore more topics. The 4-H team is hopeful that Nazareth College and the CYD interns may continue to model this pilot partnership with other afterschool programs in the community.
What makes 4-H Afterschool Different?
The choices for afterschool programming are vast, but several qualities set 4-H Afterschool apart from other programs. 4-H staff can help communities find the right setting for a program; recruit and train staff and volunteers; involve parents and other community members; plan interesting activities and market afterschool programs to youth.
4-H Afterschool Benefits Everyone!
For youth… 4-H Afterschool provides opportunities to participate in fun, exciting programs while developing valuable skills with lifelong benefits.
For parents and family members… 4-H Afterschool creates safe, healthy, enriching environments that enhance young people’s social, emotional, physical, and academic success.
For volunteers… 4-H Afterschool offers training so that volunteers can anticipate the needs of youth, understand their learning styles and speak their language as they share special skills with young people.
For more information regarding 4-H afterschool programs, please contact Susan Coyle, 4-H Program Leader, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County
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