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,
Below is a blog from a 4-H youth coordinator with Iowa Extension. As we gear up for fair season this seemed timely to share.
County fair season is here! Fair time for me means a weeklong celebration of the fruits of your year-long labor in taking care of animals and doing projects. I am a fifth-generation 4-H'er who has a passion for agriculture and educating others. My family has been in the same 4-H club since 4-H started in Floyd County, Iowa, just over 100 years ago. Leadership is a part of who I am, and I couldn't have been more proud to carry that passion over into a career with 4-H as a County Youth Coordinator who oversees an entire county’s 4-H program. For the time that I was a 4-H Coordinator after graduating from college, I learned so much about the program and the work that goes on behind the scenes. Three quarters of my job throughout the year was spent preparing families and children for the fair in hopes to uplift and educate youth so they will be successful.
There are many, many things that go on throughout the year in support of the fair that most people - even families in 4-H - do not see. It is prime event problem solving, tactical work, flawless communication, and exceptional organization. It takes a myriad of people to pull everything off smoothly. The volunteers that strive for the same vision you have in pulling off a successful fair are being pulled a million different other ways. As most of you already know, managing volunteers and people during the fair can be a challenging task.
4-H is NOT about the fair. (Father, Son, Holy-Spirit . . . forgive me.) I just said it. I’ll say it again, 4-H is NOT about the fair. In the many years I have been involved with this wonderful program, I have learned not to place my happiness in the hands of the judge but rather in the hands of myself, knowing that I was honest and did all I could to earn the ribbon I received. Yes, the judging can be skewed at times, but what are we teaching our youth by not having patience for the judge, and not being content in knowing we worked hard? You now might be asking yourself why you dished out many dollars for show stock. Yes, it's fun winning, but in the end, it's a gamble, and money almost never buys happiness. Again, are we teaching our youth they can successfully run a livestock operation with millions of dollars of show stock?
4-H is about the journey to get to the fair, it's about enjoying the ride and learning from your mistakes. When I interviewed high school youth for positions on the State of Iowa 4-H Council, I never favored those who had perfect journeys and experiences through 4-H. I favored those who made mistakes and LEARNED from themselves. I favored those who had a beautiful story of ups and downs and how they overcame adversity. Every time one of my projects made it to state fair I, as a 4-H'er, expressed what I had learned by the challenges I had in that project. I realized that failure was good as long as I picked myself up and learned from it.
As a past 4-H county youth coordinator, I found that the greatest glory is not in the ribbon earned, it's in the journey that got you there. The ribbon is the reward for the life skill that your child learned along the way (hopefully by him/herself). Fair is a fun and stressful time for many families. This year I challenge you as parents and exhibitors to have FUN and let go of the mistakes you or someone else made that altered your outcome. 4-H and fair is about raising our future youth to become respectful leaders, critical thinkers, and exceptional problem solvers. We can't teach them this when we are being sore losers ourselves. To all the families, enjoy your fair season!
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
At the Oklahoma State Fair, there are several opportunities for youth to do both food and non-food interactive demonstrations. The food demonstrations will be in the kitchen area of the Creative Arts Building on Sunday, September 20, from 10 am to noon and Wednesday, September 23, from 6 to 8 pm. Demonstrations will be 30 minutes each, including setup and cleanup.
The non-food demonstrations will be in the 4-H area of the Creative Arts Building on September 19, 20, 26 and 27. Demonstrations will be assigned in two-hour time slots.
Forms and guidelines are available at http://4h.okstate.edu/events-and-activities/oklahoma-state-fairs. If you need additional information, please call me at (405) 744-8891. The deadline for being considered is August 28, 2015.
The State 4-H Judging Contest (non-livestock) is adopting a new format for 2015. The contest will no longer be held in conjunction with the Oklahoma City State Fair but will now offer an educational component along with each judging contest. By moving to this format, we will be able to discuss the placings and rationale of each class which is critical to one's learning experience.
The reason for moving from the state fair is based on the fact that the meeting space is no longer available. The Oklahoma County Extension Office has moved to their new facility. The state fair is not able to accommodate meeting space needs to conduct contests of this nature. Therefore, the decision was made jointly with the Oklahoma City State Fair and the State 4-H faculty to conduct these events in this manner.
The event will be held Saturday, September 26th, on the campus of Oklahoma State University. There will be a $5 participant fee to cover the cost of awards, insurance, and other supplies. Medallions will be awarded to the top three teams and top three individuals in each contest. A minimum of 12 pre-registration participants is required for each contest to make.
9:30 Judging 101 for all participants 10:00 - 12:00 Track 1: Entomology Track 2: Horticulture 12:00 - 1:30 Lunch on your own 1:00 - 1:30 Judging 101 (repeated session for those not attending at 9:30 a.m.) 1:45 - 3:45 Track 3: Consumer Decision Making Track 4: Crops Approximately 4:30 Awards Ceremony
Participants will have the opportunity to participate in either Track 1 or 2 during the morning and either Track 3 or 4 during the afternoon. Youth will not be able to compete in all four contests. Counties are encouraged to recruit additional youth judges if they want representation in each contest.
REGISTRATION: Registration must be postmarked on or before September 18th, 2015, and mailed to the State 4-H Office. Checks are to be made payable to 4-H Conferences.
Registration forms for each contest were emailed to county offices July 27th.
- Horticulture - Shelley Mitchell
- Entomology - Rick Grantham
- Crops - Mark Gregory, Plant and Soil Sciences faculty member
- Consumer - Cathy Allen
Juniors (9-13 years before January 1 of current year)
Seniors (14 and over before January 1 of current year)
* If a child turns 9 between Jan 1 and the day of the event they are considered to be 9 years of age.
The next destination has been set for the 2017 Oklahoma 4-H International Trip! We will be going to Ireland, Wales and England July 3-12, 2017! Information is posted on the website at http://4h.okstate.edu/events-and-activities/international-events/international-trip-ireland-wales-england. 4-H members must be 15 by July 3, 2017, meet all other criteria and complete the application process. An educator must also complete the educator feedback form on the applicant to certify they are in good standing in the 4-H program. Once approved, the 4-H member will be sent information via e-mail on completing their registration online. Registration will be open until June 1, 2016 or until the 24 slots are filled. If all spaces are not filled, parents of participants may be allowed to register. For all the details, please refer to the Information & Registration Packet on the website. For more information, please contact Cheryl Newberry @ Cheryl.firstname.lastname@example.org .
I have received several questions about the Lego Robotics and materials that are available. The first item I always recommend is the Junkdrawer Robotics Curriculum. It is available through the 4-H Mall or your normal curriculum order.
A video overview is available at: http://www.4-h.org/resource-library/curriculum/4-h-robotics/
Additional resources for facilitators at: http://www.4-h.org/resource-library/curriculum/4-h-robotics/junk-drawer-robotics/
4-H Robotics Training Modules: http://www.4-h.org/resource-library/curriculum/4-h-robotics/facilitator-resources/professional-development/#Expand1
I also have found some non-4-H training resources that are worth exploring. I haven't been through each and every video, but they look very helpful and promising. If you choose to use these, please let me know what you think.
Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy
Lego NXT Course for Absolute Beginners (Designed for Teachers)
Fun with Beginner LEGO MindStorms EV3 Robotics (Free Online Video Course)
A few things to consider about the lego robotics. The Mindstorms NXT kits are a little easier and probably better for school enrichment and short term programs. The Mindstorms EV3 kits are best suited for competitions.
There are NXT kits available for check out from the State 4-H office.
Please let me know what you need or want in the area of robotics, as we are in the process of planning in-service training.
National Youth Science Day is just around the corner - October 7, 2015. We have two in-services planned.
September 24, Stephens County Fairgrounds
September 30, Hoover Building Enid OK
You can enroll through the in-service website or contact me directly. I will be providing NYSD kits to educators who attend the NYSD in-service trainings.
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.
The two-part experiment will test young people's knowledge of science, speed and safety by:
- Constructing a simulated runway to analyze the speed, momentum and kinetic energy of a car in motion and will explore the science behind the car's collisions.
- Leading an experiment that uses the same physics principles to demonstrate the consequences of distracted driving.
The national website has additional resources, media kits, opportunities to register your event and the potential to be featured on 4-H Social Media #4HNYSD.
We go live in less than a month!
UPDATE SESSION - August 24th a morning and afternoon Update will be held via Adobe Connect. Choose the time most convenient for your schedule. Content will be the same. Sessions will be recorded.
10-11:30 am http://dasnr.adobeconnect.com/fourhonline/
The session will include changes and things learned since the district training sessions. There will be time for Q & A.
INSTRUCTION SHEETS have been updated and posted at http://4h.okstate.edu/for-educators/4honline-enrollment-and-event-registration.
PRACTICE - If you haven't practiced lately, please download the Session 1 lesson plan and work through the examples. There have been some changes to the on-line screens since district trainings were held.
As you go through the practice activities please communicate questions or concerns so they can be addressed on August 24th.
TRAINING - We are in the process of recording online demonstrations of instruction sheet content as another means of communicating information. Check the site regularly for new postings.
The first session is intended for you to share with families. It will be a demonstration of the Family Enrollment process.
ENROLLMENT - We are monitoring the system for those trying to enroll before September 1. Any enrollment in the system prior to midnight September 1, including 11:59 pm, August 31, will be considered invalid and removed. The system literally begins enrollment for 2015-16 at midnight. Anyone in the system before that time will receive a message telling them they have to re-enroll the following day.
Many will be surprised with the limit on project enrollment, data which was not protected in previous systems. Below is an excerpt from 4HOnline, it may be of assistance in explaining the limit to those who will not have access to the explanation through online enrollment.
The 4-H project is the gateway to the 4-H member. Through project work, members "Learn by Doing." The 4-H project is a tool for helping boys and girls develop into more capable adults by teaching them how to set goals, make decisions, follow through with commitments, do evaluations and report their work.
One of the biggest jobs of a parent/4-H volunteer is helping members choose a project that meets the family situation and lifestyle. Youth/families are encouraged to learn something about a project before enrolling so as to increase the child’s personal growth.
New/younger 4-H members should limit their project work to one or two subjects. This will help them begin good practices of "learn-to-learn" through independent study and/or project meetings. It also encourages participation in workshops, tours, seminars, and camps which allow members to learn more about the total 4-H experience.
Youth must enroll in at least one project and are limited to five projects. Limited project enrollment provides focus, encourages greater learning and mastery of skills and a greater quality experience.
Enroll in five primary projects or those projects the member will concentrate in study - plan and carry out project work. Limited enrollment does not mean you will be limited to participating in other projects and activities. However it is the member's/family's responsibility to know if participation in an activity/event requires enrollment in a specific project. If that is true, be sure to mark that project as one of the five projects.
CLOVERBUD ENROLLMENT - Youth who turn 5 between January 1 and August 31 each year cannot be entered in 4HOnline because of system parameters. These individuals will have to enroll using the paper enrollment packet. The individual's enrollment cannot be entered in 4HOnline until the start of a new program year when the system recognizes the individual as 5 years old.
4-H Member - Youth turning 9 between January 1 and August 31 can be entered in 4HOnline but they will not show on any report as a "member." The system will recognize the individual as a Cloverbud. This will not change our position on enrolling youth as a member when they reach their 9th birthday. Their enrollment will be recognized because it will be logged in 4HOnline and a report can be generated to document enrollment. Enrollment examples:
Youth (third and/or fourth graders) enrolling for the first time who turn 9 between January 1 and August 31 during the current program year will be considered 9 for the entire year. Their enrollment will be entered in 4HOnline by the family or county office.
Enrolled Cloverbuds turning 9 between January 1 and August 31 during the current program year will be considered 9 for the entire year. No action will be required by the county office.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATORS - Staff will begin receiving emails from 4HOnline informing you that an account has been set-up and providing a temporary password. Please go in and set your password. Do not change any other data with the account. All accounts are temporarily assigned to the training county. The week before we go live accounts will be transferred to your county.
November 13-15, 2015 a multi-state conference will be held at the State 4-H Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. Please consider 1) sending a team of volunteers and/or staff, 2) sending a volunteer as a form of recognition or 3) 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 personnel. Go to http://4h.okstate.edu/parents-volunteers for a conference flyer and links to other materials.
Registration cost is as low as $175 and includes meals, housing and programming. Registration and payment are due on or before October 26, 2015. All registration will be done online by the individual. Go to http://forms.uaex.edu/MultiState . Transportation will be the responsibility of the participant. We encourage carpooling/shared travel to and from the conference and will assist in connecting people/counties.
We all have a story to tell! Join this year's Volunteer Conference of Southern States for 4-H: Sharing Our Stories and be part of the leading conference for 4-H youth volunteers and staff in the region. Ideal for volunteers (and staff) looking to expand skills, network and participate in hands on learning to further your work with youth and adults this year's conference is sure to please. With input from past participants, an advisory council of volunteers, the planning team has designed a conference for all volunteers working with youth. You don't want to miss your opportunity to be part of the 2015 conference and Share Your Story.
The Volunteer Conference of Southern States will be held October 1-4 at Rock Eagle 4-H Center near Eatonton, Georgia. Registration is now open! Full conference information, including on-line registration and the complete schedule, is available at the website at www.vcoss.weebly.com or http://4h.okstate.edu/parents-volunteers.
Registration is $295, which includes all meals, breaks and lodging!
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.