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,
Oklahoma 4-H is lucky to have dedicated employees, volunteers and parents and I wish to thank you for all you do to Make The Best Better!
May this holiday season bring tons of success, good health, and prosperity to your life!
State 4-H Program Leader & Assistant Director, OCES
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.
Are you looking for an adventure and an opportunity to give back? The 2018 International Trip to Costa Rica slated for June 30-July 8 promises to be a jam-packed adventurous journey! 4-H members who will be 15 or older by June 30, 2018, are eligible to apply. Youth must be active 4-H members in good standing in their county and be able to participate in highly active excursions including kayaking, lots of walking, zip-lining, white water rafting and manual labor in a service project. Cost for youth is approximately $2800, and applications are being accepted now. Click here to access the website with the application and flyer. For more information, contact Cheryl Newberry.
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
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 email@example.com
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:
The following enrollment reminders can be found in either the Oklahoma 4-H Program Fee and/or Oklahoma 4-H Rules and Guidelines dated September 2017. The information has also been shared via Th@3 or 4-H Focus on Youth.
- Both "New" volunteers and those being "recertified" should be completely through the systems, which includes all three required trainings, the background checks, interview process, reference checks, VAC approved etc. within three months of the date the application is completed.
- Inactive Status – Volunteers who have not re-enrolled (Inactive in 4HOnline) are not covered by Insurance and should not be working with youth.
- Training - All volunteer training is to be recorded in a timely manner in 4HOnline, using the "Training" tab feature. If at any time the University would require an audit of volunteers who have completed WWM or Title IX training, the report would be printed directly from 4HOnline.
- WWM and Title IX Training - As the online recordings are not yet available, training can be presented by the Extension educator using the 2017-18 PPT and training outlines posted online. Do not use any WWM teaching outline dated before October 2017.
- Staff Only - 4-H WWM Training will be completed through OSU Talent site. The training is currently in the process of being recorded. Staff will be notified when it is available.
- Club and Cloverbud Leaders must have a signed Position Description uploaded to 4HOnline before their enrollment is accepted.
- All volunteers must be associated with a Club and have a "volunteer type." This is confirmed in the approval process.
- All paper and online enrollment is to be processed within 30 days of being submitted. Paper Enrollment – The 30 days begins when the family signs and dates the enrollment packet.
- Bulk of all enrollment should be completed/approved and fees transferred by January 1, 2018.
- Youth Enrollment associated with an animal(s) nominated for a Spring Show – Check the nomination list(s) provided to county to current 4-H enrollment. Notify youth of ineligibility based on enrollment status. Assist youth in getting enrollment processed and program fees paid for show eligibility.
- Level I – This level includes youth who have recently submitted enrollment online or youth who have NOT paid the program fee. Fees must be paid within 30 days of enrollment or the enrollment will be deleted or inactivated. Never move enrollment to level II without having received payment.
- Level II – Youth whose fee has been received in the Extension office and are awaiting transfer. Transfers must be completed no less than once each month.
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.
The revised WWM Training for New Volunteers and Volunteers Being Re-certified has been posted at http://4h.okstate.edu/for-educators/volunteer-management-system/powerpoint-presentations. Please use the revised accompanying help sheet 4-H.VOL.122 Working with Minors (2017) when conducting training.
The system will be notified when online versions of Title IX and WWM are available.
The following excerpt was printed in the August edition of Focus on Youth.
WWM and Title IV & IX Training
The office of Institutional Diversity has approved our combined WWM and Title VII and IX training for volunteers.
- The two trainings have been merged for returning volunteers only. Volunteers will get ½ of each training every other year. Example: Odd year, training includes half WWM and half Title IX content. Even year, the volunteer gets the other half of each training. The recorded training will no longer be part of e-Xtension. The online training will be taken through 4HOnline.
On a regular interval all volunteers will be re-screened/re-certified. At that time, the veteran volunteer will complete both trainings in full, as if they were a new volunteer.
- New volunteers and staff cannot use these combined sessions for their annual training.
- We are working with the University to get the 4-H Youth Development WWM training uploaded to the OSU Talent site for annual training requirements.
- New volunteers must do both trainings the year they are being approved.
The program fee guide has been updated. Please download the 2017 version.
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.