Focus on Youth
News for OCES staff working with youth.
4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.
Dear Educators and Volunteers,
The following was shared with me as I began my Extension career 20 years ago, back when I thought I knew it all and could do it all! Each year I take time to read this again so that I never forget how valuable 4-H Volunteers are to the success of our program!
Somewhere between the sternness of a parent and the comradeship of a pal is that mysterious creature we call a 4-H Volunteer. These volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, and may be male or female. But they all have one thing in common - a glorious twinkle in their eyes!
4-H Volunteers are found everywhere - at judging contests, fairs, square dances, and talent shows. They always are preparing for, sitting through, participating in, or recuperating from a meeting of some kind.
They are tireless consumers of muffins, expert at taking knots out of thread, peerless coaches, and spend hours on the telephone.
A 4-H Volunteer is many things - an artist making a float for the Fourth of July, a doctor prescribing for an underfed calf, a counselor at camp, a lawyer filling out reports, and a shoulder to cry on when that dress just won't fit. Nobody else is so early to rise and so late to get home at night. Nobody else has so much fun with so many boys and girls.
We sometimes forget them, but we can't do without them. They receive no salary, but we can never repay them.
They are angels in aprons, saints in straw hats. Their only reward is the love of the kids and the respect of the community. But when they look around them at the skills they've taught, and the youth they've built, there's an inner voice from somewhere that says, "Well done."
To every educator, volunteer, parent, support staff professional and 4-H member, we say "Thank You" for your commitment and dedication to Oklahoma 4-H!
State 4-H Program Leader & Assistant Director, OCES
Buckle your seatbelts. Motion Commotion is here! Introducing the 2015 National Youth Science Day Experiment: Motion Commotion. Developed by Oregon State University Cooperative Extension, this exciting activity will combine a speeding car collision and a distracted driving demonstration in a simulated activity that investigates the physical and human factors of motion.
The 2015 National Youth Science Day Experiment, Motion Commotion, empowers youth to explore the physics of motion and distracted driving. Developed by Oregon State University Cooperative Extension, this exciting activity will combine a speeding car collision and a distracted driving demonstration in a simulated activity that investigates the physical and human factors of motion. http://www.4-h.org/4-h-national-youth-science-day/
If you are interested in participating and you would like a 2015 NYSD kit, please enroll in one of the following in-services.
2015 National Youth Science Day In-Service offerings:
NE District 8/20/2015 https://apps.dasnr.okstate.edu/inservice/2015/inservice/show/54903
SE District 9/10/2015 https://apps.dasnr.okstate.edu/inservice/2015/inservice/show/54892
SW District 9/24/2015 https://apps.dasnr.okstate.edu/inservice/2015/inservice/show/54894
NW District 9/30/2015 https://apps.dasnr.okstate.edu/inservice/2015/inservice/show/54896
I hope to see you there!
The annual Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom State Conference, Farmland: Farming Ground, Farming Minds, will be held July 27 at the Moore-Norman Career Tech South Penn Campus. The program includes workshops by classroom teachers and a screening of the movie Farmland, with panel discussions. Extension educators are welcome. Register on the OAITC website.
Destroy any blank enrollment forms currently in your office. This includes youth and adult forms.
All enrollments for 2015-16 must be completed on the form being released in June. The new packet has
- Liability Waiver now required by the university.
- Data required in the new enrollment system.
- All university authorizations and the signature required of the parent/guardian.
Because of numerous required authorizations on the enrollment form it is FRAUD for anyone besides the parent or guardian to sign a paper form or enter an electronic signature in the new enrollment system.
Signatures are more important than ever with the Liability Waiver and other permissions required by the University.
New Youth and Adult Enrollment forms posted at http://4h.okstate.edu/literature-links/lit-online/others/4henrollment.
New Adult Volunteer Application form posted at http://4h.okstate.edu/literature-links/lit-online/others/4henrollment.
4HOnline is a fully-integrated management system that brings together all levels of the 4-H experience. Whether it's a member logging in to manage his/her record, a club leader printing mailing labels or a county agent approving a member's enrollment, 4HOnline brings the 4-H community together and keeps everyone involved.
The new system will go live in September when the new 4-H year begins. All 4-H members and certified 4-H volunteers must be enrolled in the new system. No enrollment is being rolled over from the old system. Each year at midnight on September 1 all enrollment goes inactive and all youth and adult members must re-enroll.
The new system provides many record-keeping and management advantages. Beginning this fall many required records will begin to be managed electronically and uploaded into the system - health form, authorization forms, club management records, etc. Simply save the documentation as a PDF file and upload it when instructed in the system.
The new system provides families the opportunity to enroll on-line and to use electronic signatures to the questions contained on the paper enrollment form. Whether your county chooses to do family enrollment, paper enrollment or a combination of both, it is extremely important that families, parents, guardians, club leaders, volunteers, school officials and university employees understand that it is FRAUD for anyone besides the parent or guardian to sign a paper form or enter an electronic signature in the new enrollment system, per OSU legal counsel.
In February of this year a system email was distributed announcing 4-H Volunteer Core Competency Unit 1. This 4-H self-study was posted on eXtension.
The material is for volunteer continuing education credit. The course is separated into six sections/lessons. Each unit includes a handout, a narrated PowerPoint slide and review questions.
These sessions contain the same core material educators are presenting in their 2015 plan of work. The significant difference in this manner of training is it is not blended with subject matter. This decreases the opportunity to make a connection with the county program.
To receive credit for each session, the volunteer MUST turn in a printed copy of the completed quiz/review questions to the county office.
Instructions for becoming an eXtension Campus student:
- Go to http://campus.extension.org
- Click on "4H & Youth"
- Click on "<enter your course name here>" (Oklahoma 4-H: Volunteer Continuing Education) or (Oklahoma 4-H: Risk Management)
- Create a new account or sign in to your existing account and start the course!
As a reminder - a minimum of three (3) 4-H Parent-Volunteer Self Study lessons must be completed to count as one of the four necessary continuing education credits/trainings, and no more than two of the required four CE credits can be received through self-study. A minimum of two continuing education sessions must be at the county level with the county educator.
As a state we are committed to assisting volunteers in obtaining the information necessary to provide leadership, quality education and safe environments for the youth enrolled in Oklahoma 4-H.
November 13-15, 2015 a multi-state conference will be held at the State 4-H Center in Little Rock AR. The conference is currently seeking workshop proposals. Proposals are due July 1. Please consider sending a team, a volunteer as a form of recognition, or participating for professional development/continuing education.
This event is for 4-H volunteers, parents and Extension educators wanting to learn fun, creative, innovative and effective best practices in working with today's youth and families. It is also a great event to network with adults interested in growing youth, volunteers and the 4-H program. Sessions will be taught by experienced volunteers and Extension staff. Approximate cost $185 includes meals, housing and programming.
As a public institution, the University must ensure compliance with federal statutes of the Department of Labor governing employment and volunteerism.
In February 2015, the Assistant Chief Human Resources Officer met with Sue Bonner and 4-H regarding a new university policy being implemented campus-wide with anyone volunteering for the university in any capacity.
As a result of the meeting the content of form 5 and 6 "Adult Volunteer Risk and Release of claims/Publicity Release" has been included as part of the enrollment and application packets for certified volunteers, and we are strengthening our efforts to impress the good practice of using position descriptions with episodic and certified volunteers. Revised position descriptions for club leader, Cloverbud leader, project leader, activity leader, general volunteer and teen leader have been updated and posted at http://4h.okstate.edu/for-educators/volunteer-management-system/volunteer-position-descriptions-2015-revisions. These documents coincide with the volunteer positions in the new 4HOnline enrollment system. As volunteer enrollment packets are distributed this fall please be sure the appropriate position description is attached to the enrollment/application.
Since 1998 Oklahoma 4-H has been attentive in the certification of a significant number of volunteers necessary to conduct programming. We have continually communicated the need to use position description with any volunteer - certified or episodic.
Please revisit the newest version of the VMS manual, 2014 edition, pages 12-15, 84 and 85 regarding a position description. The manual references the use of a letter/email/orientation which fulfill the requirement of providing a volunteer position/job description.
All due dates listed in this publication are the dates that county staff are to have items in the state 4-H office or other designated location. Each county will establish due dates prior to the dates posted here. These dates are set to accommodate things like screening of applications, processing payments, and adequate mailing time. All forms should be submitted through your county Extension office unless otherwise indicated. Forms that require an Extension Educator's signature may not be processed if mailed directly.