Focus on Youth
News for OCES staff and volunteers working with youth.
4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.
Dear Educators and Volunteers,
4‑H Alum, NASA Astronaut Encourages 4‑H Kids to ‘Dream Big’
"Dream big…and I mean really big!"
This was 4‑H alumna Peggy Whitson’s advice to youth from the 4‑H Clubs of Houston and Hartsfield Elementary School in Texas during a twenty-minute interview on March 3rd, 2017. And such advice is not to be taken lightly when you consider that it was given by someone 250 miles above the Earth’s surface traveling at 17,500 miles per hour.
You see, Peggy Whitson is an astronaut currently living on the International Space Station.
"It is important for young people to dream big," Whitson told the 4‑H’ers. "And I mean really big. Think about things you might not be able to imagine yourself doing. And then imagine yourself there. And then pursue it as a goal. Because you can accomplish it!”
And if there's anyone who has followed that advice, it's Whitson herself. Not only was she the first female commander of the International Space Station, but she was also the first female Chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA, the organization's most senior leadership position for active astronauts. Dr. Whitson is currently tied for most spacewalks by a female astronaut in history (a record she'll break during her current or next mission), and will soon hold the record for most days in space for a United States astronaut.
When asked how she feels about breaking records, Whitson told the 4‑H'ers, "I think setting records in exploration is very important. It shows that we’re advancing in our capabilities." She went on to add, "I hope that young people, in your futures, will surpass all the records that you encounter."
Talk about a dreaming big.
Throughout the course of the interview, Whitson answered questions on everything from her education to her research to her career as an astronaut, and of course, to her time as a 4-H'er.
So meaningful was her time in 4-H, that when asked about her most memorable experience, she didn't need a moment to think about it.
"That’s an easy question," she said with a smile, before telling her interviewers that 4‑H helped her overcome a childhood fear of public speaking. From speaking to her local club to speaking in space, Whitson credited 4‑H for helping her conquer her fear of public speaking, turning it into a skill that would help her throughout her career.
The interview is a fascinating look into the lives of people who, quite literally, live at the edge of the world. At the end of her interview, Whitson encouraged the youth interviewing her to "look for questions, and try to answer them."
After all, it’s worked well for her.
To every educator, volunteer, parent, support staff, professional and 4-H member, I am THANKFUL for you!!
State 4-H Program Leader & Assistant Director, OCES
An exciting adventure awaits in the countries of France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany June 29-July 8, 2019! Information has been sent to educators and is posted on the website. Youth must be 15 by June 29, 2019 (when we leave on the trip). Applications are to be sent to Cheryl Newberry. Educators are required to complete a feedback form as a part of the application process. Applications are coming in so please share with youth and help facilitate them getting applications in soon!
Adult Chaperones: Application for educators to serve as chaperones will be sent out in the Fall. Number of chaperones is determined by the number of paid participants. Watch for more information later on chaperone opportunity!
Please encourage 4-Her’s to take advantage of this opportunity.
Over 2700 youth are enrolled in one or more of the Communication and Expressive Arts project areas of
- Communication Arts: Graphics, Writing/poetry, Print, Story Telling, Film Making, Photography
- Expressive Arts: Visual Arts, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Crafts, leather, etc.
- Performing Arts: Dance, Drama, Theater, Clowning, Mime, Music
- Public Speaking
This is our fifth year to provide the “What Do You See” opportunity to OK 4-H members. It's easy. Everything is electronically submitted - application, narrative, pictures of the art, recording of the music, etc. Exhibits can be submitted at any time during the year to be posted on the national WordPress site. Exhibits submitted by June 1, when possible, will be showcased at the State 4-H Parent-Volunteer Conference, State 4-H Roundup and other possible venues.
A copy of the criteria, application and past exhibits can be viewed at http://4h.okstate.edu/events-and-activities/state-events-activities/what-do-you-see. In February, a 4HOnline broadcast email went to families who had youth enrolled in Communication and Expressive Arts, Photography and other related projects.
What is taught through 4-H project work with a foundation in the arts?
Through 4-H project work, our goal is to assist youth in learning technical skills, nurturing creativity and encouraging personal self-expression. Just as important is helping members understand the process of evaluating the arts from both a technical as well as a subjective perspective.
Through the Arts, youth learn life skills: critical thinking, learning to learn, stress management, self-discipline, self-motivation, marketable skills, accepting differences and communication. Through their project work we encourage them how to think creatively and critically, how to observe and interpret their surroundings, and how to become comfortable with expressing thoughts and/or emotions through writing, music, dance, photography, performances, graphics, sculpture and many other visual media. A national 4-H Interpretive Web Exhibition has been developed to showcase “What Do You See?” projects. It is open for public viewing on WordPress https://4hwhatdoyousee.wordpress.com/.
4-H provides many opportunities for developing a variety of communication methods. Each method develops a different skill set as well as providing valuable life skills development.
Interest continues to grow in the three categories introduced to the Roundup Communication Event. To encourage and assist 4-H members in preparing for the state event, we encourage counties to include the same three categories at the county level. The guidelines and score sheets can be accessed online.
Interview judging is used for each of these categories. This form of judging supports our youth development efforts in developing communication skills. If you would like to introduce or implement Interview judging check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s594NX48p1s.
JOANN is helping 4-H bring more hands-on programs to local communities across the nation to inspire kids to lead lives with their hearts, hands and minds.
JOANN stores are connecting more young people to experiences where they can learn by doing, creating and making. By providing local 4-H Clubs with resources and tools to run impactful programs, JOANN will help bring the 4-H experience to more kids in need.
Current & lifetime members, parents of members, volunteers and 4-H staff can save 15% off total in-store and online purchases every day with 4-H Rewards. JOANN will give a minimum of 2.5% of every eligible transaction to support 4-H programming.
Go to http://www.joann.com/4-h/ to learn more.
Oklahoma 4-H Foundation is excited to offer the 2nd annual Dr. Ron and Linda Sholar Essay Contest. Members ages 13 and older are invited and encouraged to enter this contest, sponsored by Dr. Ron and Linda Scholar.
Background - Dr. Ron Sholar spent three decades as a Cooperative Extension Specialist and Professor of Plant Science at Oklahoma State University. In addition to a career in Extension, he served in the US Army and Army Reserve for 39 years before retiring in 2010 as a Major General. Mrs. Linda Sholar spent her professional career as a kindergarten teacher in the Stillwater, OK, public school system where she was dedicated to instilling a life-long love of learning in her students
The Sholar's strongly support youth development programs that encourage the recognition of excellent communication skills critical for success.
Purpose - The purpose of the essay contest is to:
- Provide participants an opportunity to express themselves in regards to the impact of 4-H on their home state of Oklahoma and the influence of 4-H on them personally.
- Encourage the development of excellent skills of written expression.
Theme: "Because of 4-H, I can….."
Description, Prizes & Deadline: The Oklahoma 4-H Foundation will administer the inaugural Dr. Ron and Linda Sholar Essay Contest.
Essays will be judged by a selection committee with separate cash prizes awarded to the winners. First place cash prize of $500, $300 for second place and $200 for third.
The entry deadline for this contest is April 27, 2018. Entries postmarked by April 27th will be accepted. Essay contest winners will be selected and notified in May of 2018, and the formal presentation of award checks will be made during State 4-H Roundup.
Eligibility: The contest is open to all Oklahoma 4-H Members age 13 and older.
Format and Contents: All essays should be no less than 1,000 words and no more than 1,200 words, typed and double spaced. Include your name, age, address, telephone number, school, and grade as well as a statement from a parent, guardian or 4-H Educator certifying that the essay is your original work. The main selection criteria will be creativity and presentation of thought.
All entries are to be submitted to:
Oklahoma 4-H Foundation, Inc.
Attn: Sarah Dunn
205 4-H Youth Development Building
Stillwater, OK 74078-6063
Entries must be postmarked on or before the entry deadline of April 27, 2018. All entries become the property of the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation.
The National Junior Master Gardener 4-H program has partnered with the WW1 Memorial Commission on a national service project for 4-H youth to be involved with building the WW1 Memorial. The Junior Master Gardener program is proud to promote this project because it ties to gardening!
Groups can make a donation of $64.99 and receive 60 poppy seed packets from the WW1 Memorial Commission. They can then sell the seeds to support their program. The recommended selling price is $2 per seed packet, which would generate $120. Basically the first dollar goes to fund the National WW1 memorial and the second dollar stays local for the 4-H club, school group, etc. to support their activities/programs.
We are promoting through all of our JMG groups and state partners, but this is open for any and all 4-H groups. It is a great opportunity for youth to learn more about WW1 while also being a part of a national service project. Many resources, learning experiences and details on how to participate in the poppy project can be found at the website below:
Groups can start now, but the big push is between Sept. 5 and October 20th. Representatives from 4 winning groups will be invited to experience an expense paid trip to the groundbreaking of the National WW1 Memorial in Washington DC in November.
The Mariee C. Wallace and the Leadership Development and Citizen Engagement (LDCE) is an educational effort of two partnering organizations: Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service (OCES) and Oklahoma Home and Community Education, Inc. (OHCE). 4-H programming qualifies for grants as high as $1000. 4-H programming can be adult volunteer development, youth leadership/citizenship development, community development/service, etc.
LDCE grants are to provide seed money for emerging leaders to develop and refine leadership skills through specific training or by working on a project of importance to the community, neighborhood or county. The proposed project or training must foster leadership development and citizen involvement.
Prior to proposal submission, applicants should carefully consider the following selection criteria:
- Significance of need for leadership development - this need should be clearly described in the proposal
- Evidence of how emerging leaders will increase and/or enhance their leadership skills
- Evidence of collaboration among individuals or groups (i.e., school, 4-H, volunteer, and/or professional groups)
- Projected impact of leadership training and/or project
It is vitally important that each project proposal clearly indicate how leaders will be developed and/or how community projects will increase citizen involvement in addressing local problems. For more information: https://humansciences.okstate.edu/fcs/ohce/resources.html
2018 State 4-H Ambassador applications are available and can be found on the 4-H Ambassador website. Applications must be postmarked by March 15th. Please encourage 4-H members to carefully follow directions when completing their applications. Applications should be returned to Cathy Allen at the State 4-H Office.
The Horse Topic Communication Contest will be held Saturday, February 3rd. Complete information is available at www.osuhorse.com. Registration deadline is 26th.
Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising will be hosting a conference June 11-12, 2018, on the OSU Stillwater Campus. The cost will be between $125-175. The cost includes supplies, lunches and some dinners. Housing will be the participant's responsibility.
The program is designed for 4-H members 13 and older, 4-H project leaders/volunteers and Extension educators who want to learn more about the Interior Design and Construction 4-H project area, degree program and career path.
- Discover how science, technology, engineering, art and math are part of interior design
- Gain skills needed to design and construct an interior design project for you, your family or that meets a social, economic or community need
- Understand the application of the Elements and Principles of Design as they apply to interior design projects
- Learn to coordinate construction mediums using principles of design
- Learn how to articulate your interior design project and/or end product to promote your design
- develop an ability to think creatively, develop a sense of originality and a mastery of the application of design principles and elements
- Explore careers in the interior design industry
- Develop skills in identifying and selecting appropriate finishes and materials for an interior design project.
- Share their experience and enthusiasm with others in their district and home counties.
Additional information forthcoming.
Karla Knoepfli and Alana Pulay
National 4-H Day of Service will be on April 28th, 2018. 4-H clubs, counties and 4-H members are encouraged to plan, conduct and evaluate a service project in their community. More information will be coming soon about registration for the 2nd National 4-H Day of Service.
Blast Off to Better Health, Special Clovers Camp will be held March 24 and 25th. The camp is open to 4-H members (8-17 years of age) with special needs. Campers will enjoy a full 4-H camp experience, complete with team-building exercises, outdoor activities, crafts and more!
4-H members (14-18 years of age) can also serve as a Clover Buddy to mentor campers. Clover buddies will arrive on March 23rd for training and camp preparation. Clover Buddies will also receive via conference call training prior to the camp.
Registration materials will be available February 1. Cost of the camp will be $15. The camp is supported through the Walmart Healthy Living grant.
For more information contact Cathy Allen.
4-H members 8th through 12th grade are invited along with 4-H educators and/or volunteers to spend two fun- filled days participating in hands-on activities, learning in interactive workshops and advocating for healthy Oklahoma youth. Topics to be presented include healthy living, citizenship projects, decision making, hunger, time management and more!
The Healthy Living Summit(HLS) will begin at 4 pm with registration on January 19th and conclude at 4:30 pm on January 20th. The HLS will be held at the Best Western Cimarron Hotel in Stillwater. Cost for the conference is $40, which includes hotel stay, three meals, snacks, workshop materials, take-home curriculum and a 4-H Heroes for Health shirt. Registration materials were sent to county offices December 1.
Registration materials will soon be posted to the state 4-H website for the 2018 Oklahoma CWF Trip! Citizenship Washington Focus is a 4-H leadership program for high school youth. For six weeks of the summer, delegations of 15- to 18-year-olds from across the country attend this program at the National 4-H Conference Center, located just outside Washington, D.C. The program is aimed at enriching young people's lives by broadening their appreciation of themselves and others in the world. Participants attend workshops, committee meetings, field trips and social events for hands-on opportunities to learn and grow. Participants learn and practice skills that will make them better citizens and more successful individuals.
Oklahoma will attend CWF June 14-24, 2018. The trip will include visiting the St. Louis Arch, Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and many sites in our nation's capital. Youth, ages 15 and older, are eligible to attend. For more information, please visit the state 4-H website at http://4h.okstate.edu/events-and-activities/national-events/citizenship-washington-focus-2/citizenship-washington-focus or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration materials and payment will be due to Ag Conferences by February 23, 2018.
New for 2018 - Please ONLY send money for the county delegate. If an alternate is chosen, the county will be notified and an invoice will be sent for the alternate's payment.
There is money available from the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation through the Rule of Law settlement for financial assistance for the Citizenship Washington Focus trip of up to $750. Applications are available on the website at: http://4h.okstate.edu/events-and-activities/national-events/citizenship-washington-focus-2/citizenship-washington-focus
Applications for the Rule of Law Travel Scholarships are due to the state 4-H office no later than January 19th, 2018. Due to delayed campus mail please mail 7-10 days before due date.
Date: February 16-17, 2018
Registration Due: February 1, 2018
Price: $45 per participant
$25 per Chaperone
Theme: Star Wars
Includes the new exhibit CurioCity, Planetarium, Science Live Show, Science Activity Tables and a fun-filled evening exploring the Science Museum.
Dress as your favorite Jedi Knight and jump to hyperspace as you head to a galaxy far, far away. Join SMO as we go deep into the science of light sabers and explore the forces of both Isaac Newton and Yoda! May the Forces be with you!
Who can attend?
Everyone! the science museum program is perfect for 8-12 year old youth, but every age seems to enjoy the evening. Since this is a non-competitive event, feel free to bring younger or older youth, brothers, sisters, cousins, even those really big kids (parents and chaperones) to enjoy an evening filled with science and fun. Families are always welcome to participate.
Each county group is responsible for the youth that attend from their county. We do not provide chaperones.
- Registration Form – Due February 1, 2018
- SMO Code of Conduct and Photo Release
For more information and registration go to:
There are a variety of reports to assist with checking enrollment and club management records. Below are a series of reports which should be run to insure clean records.
The attached table was prepared as a quick reference guide of information found in the OK 4-H Program Fee Guide, Oklahoma 4-H Rules & Guidelines, VMS and CMS manuals, 4HOnline Help Sheets, Staff Webinars and other online references. Topics include: Insurance; Program Fee; Authorizations; Enrollment for Livestock Shows; Enrollment Requirements for Participation; Teen Enrollment; Club Management; etc.
Enrollment - Any enrollment (paper or online) more than 30 days old (not received within the last 30 days) should have been entered in the data management system and their payment received. **Per Program Fee Guide fall 2017 - Any enrollment older than 30 days without payment the family must be notified that they are not enrolled.
Do not move an enrollment to pending level 2 without payment.
Reports which will be of assistance in managing enrollment:
- Incomplete Enrollment Report - Search Screen/Reports/Shared/Enrollment/Youth – Incomplete Enrollment
- Active and Pending Enrollment Report - Search Screen/Reports/Shared/Enrollment/County: Active and Pending Enrollment
New and Re-Certified Volunteers – A new volunteer or volunteer being re-certified must be through the system within 90 days of submitting the application/enrollment to the Extension office.
Duplicates - Please clean up duplicate families and individual enrollments. There are two reports for finding potential duplicates:
- Search/Reports/Quick Reports and run “Member – Potential Duplicates”
- Search/Reports/Quick Reports and run “Family – Without Members”
D-100 Duplicates/Merging Enrollment help sheet- Eliminating or Merging Families or Members(1/12/2018)
Club Management – Each county is required to check volunteer enrollment status and club affiliation for adult and teen leaders.
All Chartered clubs must have certified adult volunteers affiliated with the club. Per prudent risk management practices, NO club is to functions without one or more Certified Adult Volunteers. The volunteer(s) must be in Active or Pending status to work with youth and to be covered by insurance. Run the following reports:
- Club/CB Leaders Associated with Club Report - Search Screen/Reports/Shared/Volunteers/Volunteers: Club and Cloverbud by Club
- All clubs must have a minimum of one certified adult volunteer serving as the club leader. No Adult listed on the report? Check the individual’s enrollment status, club affiliation and volunteer type.
- Volunteers – All Adult and Teen Leaders Report - Search Screen/Reports/Shared/Volunteers/Volunteers – All adult and teen ldrsNo one should pull on this report who is not a certified adult or teen leader. To correct an individual’s enrollment, go to their Profile screen and change the “Are you a Volunteer?” radio button to NO.
- Youth-Adult Ratio Report - Screen/Reports/Shared/Clubs/Charter Clubs (Youth/Adult Ratio, primary and Secondary clubs)
**If an adult pulls on this report “without” a volunteer type it must be corrected on their enrollment. No Adult listed on the report? Check the individual’s enrollment and add club and volunteer type.
Program Fee Payment Report - Does each profiles have “current” payment, payment date and receipt numbers associated with the individual’s record? Report to determine data status: Search Screen/Reports/Shared/Enrollment/Program Fee Payment
Please do not hesitate to ask for assistance, as we want everyone to be successful in using the 4HOnline Data Management System.
The attached table was prepared as a quick reference guide of information found in the OK 4-H Program Fee Guide, Oklahoma 4-H Rules & Guidelines, VMS and CMS manuals, 4HOnline Help Sheets, Staff Webinars and other online references.
Per the 2016 Club Management System manual, page 16.
Prudent Risk Management Practices - Youth-Adult Ratio for clubs and 4-H programming
Clubs and project groups must have adequate supervision and leadership of “certified” 4-H volunteers. Refer to the Volunteer Management System manual on certifying volunteers. "Adequate” supervision is based on the American Camping Institute's youth-adult ratio. (2013)
The "volunteer to youth ratio" should be appropriate based upon the developmental level and needs of youth, the setting and the project(s). ★ Note in the table, the "youth-adult ratio" which should exist in 4-H club/programming efforts to successfully manage risk and more importantly to provide youth with positive relationships with caring adults.
For the protection of the volunteer and youth, best practice is to have no less than two certified volunteers with a group of youth.
As you plan your promotion of your 4-H program, don’t forget the marketing resources on our website. There you will find templates, promotional materials, graphics and more. Click here: http://4h.okstate.edu/literature-links/marketing-resources/marketing-resources
The NIFA webpage and all of the resources related to 4-H Name and Emblem have been updated.
- 4-H Professional's Handbook (The handbook is designed to assist 4-H professionals to understand the 4-H Name and Emblem federal regulations that must be adhered to and to assist them in executing their role as both an authorized user and the authorizing entity within their limited geographic area.)
- NEW Quick Reference Checklists for Key Regulations.
- Training Resource for 4-H Professionals (10 minute self-study)
- 4-H Charter Fact Sheet
Sign up for National 4-H newsletters to stay connected with what's happening in 4-H. Get information about national youth events, programs and contests, read stories of youth impact, check out the latest curriculum, and buy 4-H apparel and club supplies. http://4-h.org/newsletters/#!features-panel-1
The 2018 State Parent-Volunteer Conference will be held June 23rd in Stillwater. Volunteers and Extension Educators are needed to instruct 1- and 2-hour workshops which will enhance a volunteer and/or parents' skills for guiding youth and developing 4-H clubs and SPIN (Special Interest) groups.
2018 Objectives will UNITE Volunteers, Parents and Educators in Positive Youth Development.
Understand – Understanding your role in positive youth development
Nourish –Physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially nourish yourself and the youth and families we serve through the 4-H experience.
Ignite – Light a spark of enthusiasm for the 4-H experience.
Teach – Volunteers “Learning to Learn” and then passing the life skill along to 4-H members.
Empower – Growing leaders…learning how to encourage, share and nurture leadership in a club, project group or committee.
Applications are now being accepted for workshops. Application are due March 2, 2018. Download application at http://4h.okstate.edu/parents-volunteers/conferences
Volunteer Conference(s) Web Address - Refer to the conferences website for the latest updates and information. http://4h.okstate.edu/parents-volunteers/conferences
PVC – Volunteer Recognition Reminder - County, District and State Volunteer of the Year and Life-time Volunteers will continue to be recognized at the luncheon. Electronic nominations are due to the district 4-H office no later than 5 pm on or before March 14. Nomination includes volunteer resume, 3 letters of recommendations and an electronic photograph. Application available at http://4h.okstate.edu/for-youth/awards/2014-ok-volunteer-salute-to-excellence-awards-form
SE District Volunteer Board, Karla Knoepfli, Advisor
4-H Salute to Excellence Program
The State Volunteer Board encourages each county to honor and recognize the efforts of their volunteers. A county may submit one nominee for each of the two awards:
- Volunteer of the Year (less than 10 years of experience)
- Lifetime Volunteer Awards (an accumulation of 10 or more years of experience)
County nominee(s) will be recognized at the state awards luncheon on June 23, 2018, as part of the State Parent-Volunteer Conference.
The application form and guidelines for 2017 District and State volunteer awards is available at http://4h.okstate.edu/for-youth/awards/volunteer-recognitions.
Electronic nominations are due annually to the district 4-H office no later than 5:00 PM on or before March 14. Nomination includes volunteer resume, 3 letters of recommendations and an electronic photograph.
National Volunteer Month - April
National Volunteer Week - April 15-21, 2018 http://www.pointsoflight.org/signature-events/national-volunteer-week
Through programs such as the President's Volunteer Service Award, Daily Point of Light Award and the Extra Mile - Points of Light Volunteer Pathway, the Points of Light organization recognizes individuals, families, nonprofit organizations and government entities and the tremendous impact they are making on our country's most critical challenges year-round. Take action...
Share your stories - Tell us about the impact volunteers are having in your community or through your organization.
Learn more about these volunteer recognition programs and how to nominate volunteers for awards.
All due dates listed in this publication are the dates that county staff are to have items in the state 4-H office or other designated location. Each county will establish due dates prior to the dates posted here. These dates are set to accommodate things like screening of applications, processing payments, and adequate mailing time. All forms should be submitted through your county Extension office unless otherwise indicated. Forms that require an Extension Educator's signature may not be processed if mailed directly.