Providing Youth with Lifetime Skills
4-H began more than 100 years ago as a way to teach agriculture to youth. Today’s 4-H’ers still learn agriculture, but 4-H also offers programs that keep pace with the modern world. A wide variety of STEM projects, including rocketry, robotics, environmental protection, and computer science, are available. 4-H’ers from Tuscola County, Michigan, took first runner-up honors at the 2016 National Team America Rocketry Challenge with a launch that reached an altitude of 829 feet. In the Caribbean islands, the Virgin Islands National Guard Child and Youth Program delivered recreational, educational, and social programs to 295 National Guard families, mentoring youth in leadership, personal development, team building, and skills such as marine science and agriculture. As a community involvement effort, West Virginia University Extension 4-H operates Energy Express, an award-winning, eight-week summer reading program for children in rural West Virginia. For 20 years, about 3,000 children per year have engaged in the Energy Express reading, writing,drama, and art program and have received hundreds of thousands of books to keep and read. Participants also receive a nutritious breakfast and lunch as they stay academically engaged during the summer months.
NIFA originally published this impact in the NIFA 2016 Annual Report. Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.