Dwight Loveday, Interim Director and Statewide 4-H Program Leader
I have always said that it is the people that make Extension successful. And, it is the 4-H people that makes 4-H a great program. Preplanning and rescheduling take a toll on programing. 4-H agents and specialists have shown their resiliency in developing innovative and creative learning opportunities.
I salute the outstanding work the Tennessee 4-H team has produced to keep 4-Hers engaged during the summer months. Educational experts worry that students will return to classes this fall behind in their grade level. They cite research that “missed school is missed learning”. They are saying 20-30 minutes per day will help students stay on track for the fall school start. 4-H summer activities and learning activities will help in the summer learning loss experienced by most students. The leaning activities that you have developed will lessen the impact of the “summer educational drain” that students encounter. Classroom on the Couch has had 64 posts that have reached 139, 574! You are making a difference in youth education.
This pandemic has taught us that we can adapt. Virtual skills gained will have a lasting impact on 4-H programing. Virtual learning experiences will be used enhance face to face learning opportunities. For years, the coaches for the state 4-H Livestock Skillathon Team have been using zoom trainings to prepare 4-Hers for the national contest. This teaching technique has been successful preparing, especially for the identification aspects of the contest.
During the last few months, I have appreciated the cooperation, sharing and assisting in program delivery. COVID-19 has helped us to develop a greater sense of 4-H community. I have said many times – “4-H is a team sport!”.
No doubt, 4-H programming will have a new look in the future!