Military Youth Programs
NIFA and 4-H have established formal partnerships with the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Military Community and Family Policy, Army Child, Youth and School Services, Air Force Airman and Family Services and Navy Family Readiness to support positive youth development education for youth whose parents are serving in the military.
There are 1.9 million children with a parent serving in the military. 220,000 of these children have a parent currently deployed. There are 153,669 single parents serving in the military. The demands of extended conflict add to the challenges faced by military families. Research suggests that children of deployed parents experience more stress than their peers. While they are often described as a resilient group, the cumulative effects of multiple moves and significant parental absences can erode this resilience. By providing research-based programming and a safe and nurturing environment for military kids, 4-H enhances resilience.
In addition to wise use of public resources, these collaborations promote mission readiness for the men and women serving in U.S. military operations. With the support of 4-H extension professionals, military staff provide strong educational programs for children so that military men and women can pursue their critical, high-risk assignments knowing that their children are in safe and nurturing environments. 4-H clubs provide quality educational experiences using research-based curricula in photography, computer technology, arts, and citizenship for military youth ages 5-19.
The goal is for military youth to join a 4-H club and to be able to continue their 4-H work wherever they move when their parents are deployed. Extension provides resources and programs in a wide variety of subject areas that can benefit military staff as they serve their youth and families. Each state 4-H leader has named a state 4-H military liaison to coordinate extension and military partnerships in the state and serve as a liaison for local installations, counties, and NIFA. The liaisons also provide guidance and assistance in establishing 4-H clubs and programs on military installations.
These military youth partnerships bring the resources of the Land-Grant University - youth development professionals, research based curricula, and high quality training and technical assistance--to the youth programs of the military.
4-H Military Partnerships
NIFA has developed partnerships with the Army, Navy, and Air Force to develop and support military children, youth and family programs on military installations around the world, as well as the families of National Guard and Reserves living in communities far removed from military installations. In addition to making wise use of public resources, these collaborations promote mission readiness for military personnel. With the support of 4-H extension professionals, military staff members provide strong educational programs for children so that service members can pursue their critical, high-risk assignments knowing that their children are in safe and nurturing environments.