- Author: Chris M. Webb
Resilient youth and adults are able to thrive despite life’s obstacles. Resilient youth typically have one or more caring adults who are active and present in their lives, coaching their perseverance.
The following is a message from Sharon Junge, our acting State 4-H Director:
“For nearly a hundred years the 4-H Youth Development Program (4-H YDP) has capitalized on the powerful influence of caring adults in the lives of children and youth. Central to the success of 4-H are the talented and dedicated adult volunteers, who are the heart of the 4-H program, providing valuable programmatic leadership and build caring and nurturing relationships with 4-H members. Research over the past three decades continues to show that caring adults can be a protective factor in high-risk situations and provide safe environments for youth to develop independence and confidence. ..”
Photo by Quang Tong.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
The following article was written by Dayle Morris, Vice President of Las Posas 4-H Club. We are proud of the many community service projects throughout the county. We would like to thank the youth for their dedication, and the adult leaders for providing safe and supportive environments for our youth to thrive!
At the beginning of this project year, the Las Posas 4-H board decided that our club should do more community service projects in addition to our regular club projects.
In October, most of our club participated in Trick Or Treat So Others Can Eat, and we collected a lot of food.
In December we were very busy. About 25 members from Las Posas 4-H and Somis 4-H went Christmas Caroling at senior citizen homes in the Camarillo area. Some of our club members also marched in the Camarillo Christmas Parade behind the equestrian units to pick up after the horses, and still other members of our Cake Decorating Project made and decorated cakes for the Ventura County Rescue Mission’s Christmas lunch.
This winter we have already prepared hand made Valentines for the troops, which we are going to send to Afghanistan.
This month we are also going to be collecting socks for Project Understanding, because there is a very big need for socks for homeless people right now. If you have any new socks you would like to donate, please drop them off at the County 4-H office.
Our club is also going to be participating in the California 4-H Statewide community service project, Operation Cover-Up to make hospital gowns for sick kids in California. Details about Operation Cover-Up can be found on the California State 4-H website.
For more information about our 4-H Youth Development Program, please see this page of our website.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
The following article was written by Candace Stines, Club President of Bardsdale 4-H. These Featured Club Happenings are a great way to learn what happens in 4-H Clubs throughout the county.
Greetings from Bardsdale 4-H!
We have had an exciting and fun year so far. Every year we participate in the Fillmore Christmas Parade. The members and leaders really enjoy coming together for this fun event!
Our Club has taken on supporting “Meals on Wheels” in the Fillmore area by making crafts to put in lunch bags provided by our Arts & Crafts Class. The seniors really look forward to opening their lunch and finding a nice card and craft inside. We are very happy to know that we are putting smiles on their faces when they open up their lunch to find a treat from us!
Community Service - We participate in Beach Cleanup twice a year and Bike Path Cleanup about 4 times a year. We also participate in a few other events in the county.
Our Cultural Awareness is off to a great start. We adopted 4 families during the holidays and we were able to provide gifts, clothing, books, school supplies and DVDs. What a great feeling it is to know we are providing for families going through such hard times. This group has a lot going on this year. They work once a month at the local homeless shelter. During Christmas, they fed over 250 people in one evening. They will be participating in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Renaissance Festival, The Grove, and several other events.
The Leadership Development Project Class has been very fun! The members are learning about public speaking, parliamentary procedure, writing formal letters and sharing a lot of information about themselves that others did not know. Such as, some members are very involved with other things outside of 4-H like their Church, Sports, Swimming, Tennis, FFA etc.
The Large and Small Livestock groups are gearing up for another busy year. We have Beef, Goats, Lambs, Pigs, Rabbits, Chickens, and Turkeys just to name a few! There are quite a few members taking animals to fair which will be some first timers. This is very fun and exciting for them! Good luck to them all and look for them at the Ventura County Fair in August.
We want to thank all of our volunteer leaders, parents and 4-H’ers for all the time devoted to their projects. Helping to make 4-H members be all they can be. As they donate their time to help these young leaders participate in fun and educational classes, clinics, shows, outreach events and other educational opportunities, they are helping these young leaders better understand how 4-H continually “Makes the Best Better!”
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Partnering with faculty and staff at Cal State University Channel Islands and a science teacher at Somis School, the Ventura County 4H program participated in the 2010 National Youth Science Day. Details of the event can be found here.
As with many other areas of the country, local students are less interested in science than in times past. Nationally, statewide and locally, 4H is stepping up and partnering with others to reverse this trend.
In addition to 4H SET (Science Engineering and Technology) our office encourages youths to explore their world. Previous youth development blog postings offer a variety of ways for youth and their families to learn about the environment around them and include:
- Forest Service Kids
- Green My Parents
- The Power of Wind
- Treasures of our Local Ocean
- Free, fun and educational
- USDA's Sci4Kids
- Author: Chris M. Webb
This is National 4-H Week. 4-H is a structured youth development program for ages 5-19. The overarching purpose of the program is to provide positive environments for youth to develop life and leadership skills. Community service is encouraged and celebrated.
The Trick or Treat so Others Can Eat (TOTSOCE) project is one example of the many programs in which Ventura County clubs participate, assisting families and individuals in need of help.
For the TOTSOCE Teen Leader Kimberly Cloverly, life and leadership skills have developed over her 14 years of consecutive participation (she has collected food for others every Halloween since age 2!). All collected food goes to Food Share, Ventura County’s food bank. Food is then distributed throughout a network of 240 certified charitable agencies. These agencies serve children, families in crisis, low-income seniors, the homeless, handicapped, disabled and many others living within the cities and communities of Ventura County.
Recently I had an opportunity to talk to Kimberly about the program and her participation. Her enthusiasm for this project is amazing.
Kimberly’s first memory of TOTSCOE is being dressed as a lion and pulling a red wagon filled with collected food. She remembers being very excited that in addition to the cans of food, people also gave her candy. Her mother estimates she was about three at the time.
When she reached middle school age, more of the coordination and outreach responsibilities became hers. She remembers feeling joyful to have the new responsibilities while continuing to collect and encouraging other youth to participate.
As is typical in 4-H projects and programs, as youths master a skill level, a new level is introduced with supportive adult leaders and mentors assisting and encouraging as the next level is mastered. This is what has happened for Kimberly with TOTSOCE. She hopes to earn the Emerald Star, which is a 4-H award to members who are involved with a community service project that touches people within a large geographic area.
Currently her main responsibilities are to: organize the program and participants; motivate and communicate through emails, press releases, and interviews with assorted media outlets; and use spreadsheets to coordinate logistics and analyze the program to provide follow-up news and results after the collection period has ended.
Her favorite part of the project is helping families. Most of the time those who receive the donated food remain anonymous, although from time to time people come forward to offer thanks and share their stories. She particularly enjoys these occasions to learn about particular people who have been helped by the program. It is even better, she says, to put faces and stories together.
When asked what her hopes and dreams are for the program, she quickly said “to collect more food.” She then added that she would also like to train a new Teen Leader because it won’t be long before she is off to college. It is important to her that the program be sustained. A new adult leader will be needed too.
She asked that I share that TOTSOCE is open to all youth and youth groups. With the help of the internet, youth groups in Northern California and Ohio have communicated with Kimberly and in turn collected food for their communities. It is very easy to get involved. Information, materials and contacts for the program can be found here.
Last year TOTSOCE food collection dropped to about 800 pounds, down from over 4,000 pounds the year before. The amount of people in our county requesting help from local food pantries during the same period as risen nearly 20,000 per month to over 54,000 people per month in Ventura County. Please do what you can to support this program and our youth.
This year’s official food collection period is October 16 through November 7. Questions, comments, and interview requests can be sent here.