Extension Review by Virginia Delvaux With school out, families are searching for activities to keep youth of all ages busy. The South Dakota 4-H Youth program has 70 different projects that youth ages 8-19 can be involved with. The 4-H Cooperative Curriculum System has developed 40 different educational curriculums to go along with the 4-H projects.
Each project area has three to four different project manuals that are filled with age appropriate projects and learning experiments. Youth can work on the project book activities by themselves or with assistance from an older youth or adults. At the end of each activity the youth explains what they learned and enjoyed about doing the activity.
Depending on the project area, a member would complete four to seven activities and then submit the project book as an exhibit at Achievement Days/County Fair.
Since many families are into the gardening mode I pulled the Horticulture Project literature to see what types of projects youth ages 8-10 would do. The first project book introduces the child to planning the garden, the differences between cool and warm season vegetables, preparing the garden soil, planting the seeds, what seeds look like up close, the different parts of a plant and what each part does the help the plant live, how to take care of the garden and gardening tools, harvesting the garden produce, and horticulture careers.
The second and third curriculum books are designed for youth ages 11-13 and 14 and older. The activities build on the previous levels so youth can develop their gardening skills as they continue on in the project. Sample copies of the 4-H project literature may be seen at the Clay County Extension office.
The 4-H Cloverbud Program will be offered again this summer for area youth who are 7 years old. The Cloverbuds will meet on a weekly basis for six weeks starting June 6. Participants will have the opportunity to explore several different 4-H project areas, work with the Character Counts program, and experience the 4-H Youth in Action activities.
Participants will also have the opportunity to exhibit what they made and learned at the Clay County Fair July 18-20. Parents that would like more information on this program are encouraged to contact the Clay County Extension Office 677-7111.
We are still looking for a few more youth to participate in our June 1 project day activities. Samples of the class projects are on display at the Clay County Extension Office. The last day to pre-register is May 28. Project day is open to any youth ages 8-19.