4-H Engages Children for Summer Learning

— Written By

Electric Congress Club Award winner4-H Engages Children for Summer Learning – 4-H Summers are typically filled with trips to overnight camp, Summer Spark workshops at the Extension office, and the traditional state conferences for teens like NC 4-H Congress and Citizenship Focus. While COVID-19 is impacting what 4-H can offer in-person for this summer, lots of summer learning opportunities are still on schedule.

Locally, we are offering the following workshops that are led by the N.C. Cooperative Extension o fCatawba County staff members:

  • Reading Buddies – Children in 1st-4th grade can read along with a trained teen volunteer and enjoy a fun book-related activity twice a week. Reading Buddies is offered on Tuesday and Thursday morning from 10:30–11:30 a.m. from June 23-July 7 and again from July 21- August 6, 2020. Participating families can pick-up the featured set of books and children can follow along in the book for the virtual reading session. Some of the books included are: Toughest Cowboy, Marvelous Mattie, Scrambled States, and others.
  • College Roadmap – High School students will learn helpful information to plan the journey from high school to college and career success. There will be four online sessions on Thursday, June 11 and 25 and July 2 and 9, 2020, from 2–3 p.m. Topics will include connecting your interest to college majors and careers, exploring types of higher education options, navigating college websites to compare and explore options, and applying for scholarships and financial aid.
  • Kickin Nutrition – Kickin’ Nutrition TV is an innovative video-based health, wellness, and nutrition program that will educate and empower children in 4th – 7th grade. The program includes smart comedy episodes, peer-taught nutrition instruction, and cooking demonstrations with real-time discussions led by local 4-H agents from the region. The 6-week program will be on Wednesdays from 4–5 p.m., starting June 25, 2020.
  • Healthy Habits: Introduction to Martial Arts – Four-week program on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. From June 10–July 1, 2020, for ages 9-17. Youth will learn basic moves, stances, and strikes and how martial arts are part of healthy living and aid in concentration, energy levels, and stress management.

Eventbrite is used for registration for 4-H Summer Workshops with registration links posted on the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Catawba County website and the Catawba County 4-H Facebook page. For assistance with registration contact the Extension office at 828-465-8240. Children who participate in at least five 4-H summer activities will qualify to receive a 4–H t-shirt. It is not necessary to be a 4-H member to participate in summer programs, but children are asked to enroll if they are signing up for summer activities.

Healthy Habits: Walk Catawba is another summer program which started on June 1, with late registration accepted for a few more weeks. Photography and Cooking 101 will be offered later in the summer.

NC 4-H agents from across the state have teamed up to offer NC 4-H Virtual 4-H Summer Fun by offering online learning opportunities for children ages 5-17, based on the different 4-H curriculum areas. The virtual offerings include Coffee and Culture for teens, Down on the Farm, Healthy Habits Family, Back to the Basics, Plant Geeks Unite, Log onto Leadership, Explore Outdoors, and STEM options for children of different ages. Complete details and a link to the Eventbrite registration can be found on the NC 4-H website. It is not necessary to be in 4-H to enroll in these programs. There is no charge to participate in most of these programs, but internet access is needed with the programs offered through Zoom conferencing and google sites. Many of the programs are set-up as online modules that can be completed at your own pace through the summer.

The NC 4-H Summer CAMP OUT! is a free virtual camping experience that will feature favorite 4-H camping traditions like a dance party, slide show, trivia night, arts & crafts, and a virtual campfire. Families will have access to an a la carte menu of organized camp activities to choose from so they can invest as much or as little screen time as you wish. The week’s activities will culminate in a Friday-night backyard (or living room) CAMP OUT complete with some of your favorite camp songs, skits, and s’mores. Registration for the virtual camp-out will be accepted through June 12. Registration and more information is posted on the NC 4-H website.

Thanks to technology, favorite traditional 4-H summer activities and conferences will be offered online this summer. Catawba County teens will be taking part in NC 4-H Citizenship Focus and Juntos Academy in June. Electric project winners from across the state are registered for virtual Electric Congress in July. Registration is now open for teens to sign-up for NC 4-H Congress, which is planned for July 20-23, 2020, with election of new state officers, workshops, and inspiring speakers on the agenda. Children are continuing to build valuable skills in public speaking by giving 4-H presentations through Zoom, as they prepare for the District and State presentation contest, with video presentation submission this summer.

4-H is a volunteer-led youth development program offered through Cooperative Extension for ages 5-17. Children may participate in clubs, short-term special interest programs, or programs offered in cooperation with schools and other community partners. To learn more about joining or starting a 4-H club, contact Donna Mull, Catawba County 4-H Agent, at 828-465-8240 or donna_mull@ncsu.edu.

Picture: NC 4-H Electric Congress – Catawba County 4-H Electric Club was awarded the NC 4-H Electric Group award in 2019 at NC 4-H Electric Congress, which is an annual 4-H summer event. This year, many NC 4-H’ers will participate in Electric Congress and other traditional summer opportunities in a virtual format. Pictured (left to right): Catawba County 4-H’ers accept the group award during Electric Congress. Kat Stulpin, Teen Leader for It’s Electric 4-H Club and 2019 state officer, Grant Ellington, Cooperative Extension Bio and Ag Engineering Specialist, Josiah Florez, and Luke Kanupp, Catawba County 4-H members.