4-H youth thrive
A new 4-H year kicked off with exciting opportunities for youth. No matter the topic or delivery mode, 4-H youth have explored their sparks, learned by doing and developed relationships.
Science and engineering programs have challenged youth to develop problem-solving skills. Youth leaders have been trained to lead 4-H activities at the club, county and state level. Our youngest 4-H’ers have explored animal science projects with career experts.
In Minnesota 4-H, youth thrive.
4-H youth thrive
4-H youth and volunteers step into roles that have them leading, tinkering, caring and sparking new interests.
Training new leaders
Minnesota 4-H relies on youth leaders to convene 800 chartered 4-H clubs throughout the state of Minnesota. To get ready for their leadership, youth annually take part in leadership training to serve as presidents, vice presidents, secretaries and more in their 4-H club. Hundreds of youth have participated in virtual and in-person trainings around the state.
Another local leadership opportunity is our 4-H Ambassador program. In 2021, over 800 youth in 56 counties participated in local Ambassador programs. They designed learning experiences for peers, led service projects addressing community needs and held fun social events to build and maintain connections among young people.
“As an Ambassador, we encounter a wide diversity of youth and its important we understand our similarities and differences. I want to make experiences more inclusive for Everybody.” ~4-H Ambassador
Launching the next top scientists
In our 4-H Engineering in Motion series, 80 middle-school-age youth completed at-home-based learning activities and gathered online to meet and share their learning with University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering graduate students and professors. Youth learned about science and engineering solutions to transportation issues and about higher education opportunities and careers.
96% of participants built a greater understanding of engineering, and 93% learned new problem-solving skills.
“My child wants to be an engineer now. As a family, we’ve been exploring further engineering projects and creating more things together.” ~4-H Parent
Growing the next animal experts
Our third crop of kindergarten to third-grade youth have learned more about animals in the hugely popular Down on the Farm program. Over 73 youth learned more about care, nutrition and housing for 7 animal species from goats to horses to rabbits.
“The kids liked learning about the animals. They enjoyed the interactive experience when they were able to answer questions about the material.” ~4-H Parent
The Wild about Wildlife — Life Below Freezing program engaged 46 participants to learn about winter weather, natural disasters and wildlife. Youth also learned from experts in the field of wildlife. 100% of participants learned more about wildlife, like “Snowshoe hares can run fast.” ~4-H youth
Creating volunteer spark champions
High-quality 4-H programs provide youth a place to belong, matter and explore their personal spark. The 4-H annual volunteer training equipped volunteers with skills to build youth sparks. Sparks can shine brightly or dimly, depending on whether they have spark champions — individuals who support and encourage them to discover and pursue their spark.
Nearly 700 volunteers have participated in training. Virtual statewide training options have been a huge hit this year with over 300 volunteers participating in the three virtual offerings. As school closures related to COVID-19 moved teaching and learning online, volunteers expressed a need for training and development around online program delivery.
Did you know?
Youth can explore 67 project areas in 4-H. Virtual and in-person programs allow youth to explore their sparks.