4-H program undergoes changes in 2017


For the Sidney Daily News



Dietrich

Dietrich


4-H member Cole Albers cleans up from a meal at Culver’s as part of the JFB restaurant fundraiser.


4-H members Owen Michael, Claire Spicer and Cole Albers wait to be hit with water balloons, which youth could purchase for $1/2 balloons at the Family Movie and Game Night.


4-H members Michael York, Audrey Barhorst and Claire Spicer greet diners outside Hot Head.


JFB and 4-H Advisory Board run concessions at the Family Movie and Game Night.


SIDNEY — Out with the old and in with the new seems to be the current trend for the local 4-H program. Since the arrival of 4-H educator Cassie Dietrich in March, the program has initiated several changes and new programs, with more on the horizon. The changes and programs focus around the four pillars of 4-H: Head, Heart, Hands and Health.

Head

4-H in the Classroom, a school-based version of traditional 4-H that can help enrich curriculums, kicked off in January. Hardin-Houston, Fairlawn, Anna, Jackson Center, and Sidney schools have already committed time to the program. Under the umbrella of 4-H in the Classroom is the innovative 4-H FUNdamentals program, designed to teach youth in grades K-6 about how the products they consume every day are made with the same technologies being used by local industries.

Traditional 4-H clubs are also using their heads to study for the return of the Junior Fair skillathon in July. Skillathon exams measure the knowledge and growth of livestock exhibitors through a written test and oral interview. Dietrich hopes to use these metrics to gauge how she can better administrate the 4-H program so that youth are getting the most out of their involvement.

Heart

Community engagement has been a focus in the last year. In June, 4-H’ers participated in the Junior Fair Board’s first-ever Celebrate Junior Fair Week. They also helped with the Junior Fair Board’s first annual rummage sale fundraiser in August. In September, 4-H’ers helped serve at the 4-H Foundation’s 25th Annual Breakfast at the Elks. Most recently, 10 4-H clubs partnered with Dr. Alvetro’s office to make and deliver more than 1,800 Valentine’s to local assisted living residents. The program plans to continue their service emphasis by participating in the United Way’s Day of Action this summer.

Hands

With nearly 1,000 youth and 120 volunteers enrolled, 4-H has quite a few hands to work with. Last year, the program reinstated the county 4-H Advisory Board, a group of volunteers who function as stakeholders and serve as a sounding board for Dietrich. The Board was instrumental in planning and supporting club involvement in the aforementioned fundraising and service projects. They are also planning a silent auction to be held during the 2018 fair.

The 4-H Junior Leaders kept their hands busy doing several service projects, including making blankets for a domestic violence shelter, working at the recycling center, and constructing care packages for the military. The group is looking forward to hosting an Easter egg hunt at Fairhaven in March.

Finally, 14 new 4-H teens joined the Junior Fair Board in August and 10 new camp counselors started their training in December. “New faces means diversity in ideas and experiences, which contributes greatly to the growth and development of a team,” said Dietrich.

Health

Of the four pillars, health has been the least emphasized in the last year. Dietrich plans to change that. Workshops at 4-H Camp this year will focus on physical activity, from wet-n-wild whiffle ball to extreme line dancing. A healthy snack will also be offered each day of camp and on kid’s day at the 2018 fair. The 4-H program was also granted a set of 10 4-HBioBAND Fitness Trackers, devices that teach youth about the technology used in popular trackers like the FitBit. Dietrich plans to use these during 4-H in the Classroom.

Several clubs are participating in the Ohio 4th H for Health Challenge. 4-H is also partnering with a local Eagle Scout and FFA chapters to set up recycling stations at the 2018 fair. “Part of health includes environmental quality and understanding that how we live impacts where we live,” said Dietrich.

Dietrich
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/02/web1_web1_cassie.jpgDietrich

4-H member Cole Albers cleans up from a meal at Culver’s as part of the JFB restaurant fundraiser.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/02/web1_IMG_4912-copy.jpg4-H member Cole Albers cleans up from a meal at Culver’s as part of the JFB restaurant fundraiser.

4-H members Owen Michael, Claire Spicer and Cole Albers wait to be hit with water balloons, which youth could purchase for $1/2 balloons at the Family Movie and Game Night.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/02/web1_IMG_4997-copy.jpg4-H members Owen Michael, Claire Spicer and Cole Albers wait to be hit with water balloons, which youth could purchase for $1/2 balloons at the Family Movie and Game Night.

4-H members Michael York, Audrey Barhorst and Claire Spicer greet diners outside Hot Head.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/02/web1_IMG_4939-copy.jpg4-H members Michael York, Audrey Barhorst and Claire Spicer greet diners outside Hot Head.

JFB and 4-H Advisory Board run concessions at the Family Movie and Game Night.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/02/web1_IMG_4999-copy.jpgJFB and 4-H Advisory Board run concessions at the Family Movie and Game Night.

For the Sidney Daily News