4-H Fall Programming Think Tank Update

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Jennifer Richards, Assistant Professor

We have been hard at work over the last three weeks researching delivery platforms, creating tools and resources, and anticipating emerging needs as we all grapple with how our 4-H programming will look this fall. We know that schools are still developing their plans and those plans will vary significantly from school system to school system. The Think Tank is currently working as three subcommittees: Participation and Engagement, Developing Prototypes, and Communications.

The Participation and Engagement sub-committee is working on resources for virtually hosting events that are typically conducted during 4-H club meetings in the school classroom. This will include the mechanics of how each event may be virtually hosted as well as presentations and videos designed to recruit youth to participate and to educate youth on best practices for each event.

In the next week and a half, the Prototype sub-committee will be involved in three activities. All of these activities will result in the conversion of resource materials that 4-H’ers complete at home via interactive, Power Point videos that 4-H agents can “plug and play” into their virtual club meetings. These activities include the following: (1) continuing to research additional, easy-to-do-from-home, resources; (2) securing contest outlines from the Participation and Engagement subcommittee to and (3) begin storyboarding (including scripting) those lesson plans already identified.

The communications sub-committee has been working on the following: needs assessment surveys for 4-H Agents and for teachers and communication and marketing pieces for 4-H members and program sponsors. The group is also reaching out to the evaluation specialist to create some standard evaluation tools for 4-H programs. Please be on the lookout for an email later this week with a needs assessment survey. Your feedback on this survey will be critical to ensuring we are meeting your needs.

At our next meeting, we will convene a fourth subcommittee to identify the training needs for 4-H agents who need to move their programming to a fully online platform. As a reminder, below are the names and email addresses of the Think Tank members. Please reach out to any of them with questions, suggestions, or concerns.