Tag Archives: 4-H participation fee grant

4-H members learn valuable life skills while learning to quilt

Three members of the Friends and Stitches 4-H Club in Chippewa County learned essential life skills while each created an original baby quilt. Under the guidance of Sherry Duesing, 4-H club leader, Missy Buhro, Kaitlin Goetz and Rachel Yanni practiced skills such as goal setting, communication, problem solving, service learning, friendship, community service and giving. The girls spent more than a year working on the project. Then on Dec.16, 2011, they donated the baby quilts to the Care Net Pregnancy Center to be given out to mothers in the community.

 The girls are grateful to Mrs. Duesing for her time and patient instruction; the Sault Area Middle School, which donated the use of their Life Skills room so that the girls could work on the project; and Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development Chippewa County, which supported the girls through a mini-grant. The mini-grant, part of the funds collected through the 4-H Participation Fee, purchased the National 4-H sewing curriculumand materials for the project.

MSU Extension Chippewa County 4-H program instructor Andrea Caron, 4-H members, and 4-H club leader Sherry Duesing display quilts that the three 4-H members made and donated.

A team effort (L-R): MSU Extension Chippewa County 4-H program instructor Andrea Caron, 4-H members, and 4-H club leader Sherry Duesing display quilts that the three 4-H members made and donated to Care Net Pregnancy Center Dec.16, 2011. Photo credit: Deb Colbert of the Care Net Pregnancy Center

 “The members not only increased their sewing skills and completed their 4-H project, but they also increased their community awareness and empathy,” said Andrea Caron, 4-H program instructor.

 What I see is another example of 4-H’s Revolution of Responsibility – 4-H youth stepping up to make their club, their community, their country and their world a better place for all. Thanks for being a great model for us, girls!

Comments Off on 4-H members learn valuable life skills while learning to quilt

Filed under 4-H

Kids use garbage to learn and serve

Deb Gierke, Schoolcraft County Michigan State University Extension program instructor, knows a lot about garbage. In fact, kids at the CloverKid College summer day camp have crowned her the Garbage Goddess – complete with a cardboard crown and throne. 

Says Deb, “It’s not a title I aspired to, but I’ve earned it.”

 Deb has worked with garbage – and kids – for years. She was able to take that expertise and use it to get kids involved in social entrepreneuring.

 Last January, a Social Entrepreneurship 4-H Participation Fee Grant helped to cover her attendance at a 4-H Citizenship, Leadership and Service conference at Kettunen Center. At the conference, participants learned how to identify social issues and find resources to address those issues. Deb was already working with youth on recycling issues and the conference added to her enthusiasm and gave her more ideas to work with.

 With her help and the help of adult and teen volunteers during 4-H school enrichment at Emerald Elementary and CloverKid College day-camp programming, 350 area youth successfully completed the 6-Rs Activity Series: Be Respectful, Responsible and Resourceful, and Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Each member who participated received an “I R a StaR” award.

 Classroom and camp participants collected trash, weighed it and charted their collection totals. They then prepared the garbage for recycling or reuse by cleaning and sorting it.

 Deb notes that the youth themselves noticed that people generate a lot of garbage, but there are not a lot of recycling options in the Upper Peninsula. The kids decided to convert the trash they collected into treasure. Under the kids’ creative hands, a pop can tab became a pet snake, a toilet paper roll became a decorative hair tie and old jeans became backpacks. The youth took part in a “Trash Fash” activity in which they converted paper, plastic and fabric recyclables into fashion T-shirts and hats. The young people became entrepreneurs, creating a business called R&R (Recycle and Reuse) Creations and selling their transformed trash at the school and the day camp.

 All proceeds from the sales went to two local organizations: Project Backpack, which outfits at-risk youth with school bags filled with all the necessary supplies, and the Voices for Youth transitional living home.

 In addition, teen counselors in the summer camp created community awareness by developing a brochure that identified local recycling options. Information about local recyclers was also distributed in Friday school-to-home folders at the elementary school, on the free public television channel and in the local paper. The information distribution made people aware of local recycling centers and consequently brought them more business.

 Youth learned about respecting the environment, managing a business, helping the community and each other while having fun at the same time. They successfully integrated entrepreneurship with service learning and the results benefited the kids as well as the community. And according to Deb, both she and the kids continue to learn.

Comments Off on Kids use garbage to learn and serve

Filed under Entrepreneurial

Entrepreneurship program creates spark in students at alternative school

It’s not often that students in an alternative school setting take initiative for their own learning, but the entrepreneurship program made possible through a 4-H Participation Fee Grant is creating that desire in students at the Sunrise Academy High School in Elk Rapids. Young people at the high school are learning to be business owners of the future through a program introduced by Michigan State University Extension 4-H.

 Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 15–21, was a chance for millions of youth across the globe to connect and explore business ideas in a variety of activities. Dana Tuller, AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America), worked with youth at the high school to celebrate the week in a variety of ways.

 Sunrise Academy students learned about business in an entrepreneurship class using the Going SOLO curriculum. They opened a store in the school during Global Entrepreneurship Week that featured products made and purchased by the students. Students ran the business during the entire operation process.

 The students also attended the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. While there, the youth interacted with hundreds of business owners and got ideas about the kinds of businesses they might want to open in the future.

 The students also toured the facilities at Britten Banners, a local business that has grown tremendously over the last fifteen years. Two department managers shared their employment stories with the students. The teens were encouraged when they learned that each speaker started out at Britten Banners in an entry-level position and each has now moved into management.

 Students also were educated through a panel discussion involving a wide range of business owners including a day care provider, an engineer, a disk jockey, a salsa maker, a fresh food initiative entrepreneur and the owner of a local Cartridge World.

 Dana works with lead teacher Kathy Breece, and both women are very encouraged at the kids’ response to the program. One student, in particular, took responsibility for the store, making sure that it was opened every day during lunch break and keeping tabs on the inventory.

 Said Dana, “Students have responded well. It’s not often they get hooked on something, but they’ve really taken ownership of this.”

Comments Off on Entrepreneurship program creates spark in students at alternative school

Filed under Entrepreneurial

Program connects youth to their food, teaches business skills

Stephanie M. Reuter, Michigan State University Extension 4-H program assistant in Ingham County, is connecting kids to their food – from the garden to the table. Stephanie coordinates a program at the Ingham County Family Center in Lansing using a $10,000 4-H Participation Fee Grant. The center on 22 acres includes a high school, Ingham Academy, and an evening program called Pride. Stephanie and an AmeriCorps member-in-training work with court-involved youth tending about an acre of land and raising five egg-laying chickens. A hoop house on the grounds contains raised beds for growing greens. The students eat the produce that they grow for lunch and dinner. A four-week cooking program that used produce and eggs from the site was such a hit with the kids that the classes are being held again.

Ingham school garden

Youth tend an acre of land on the Ingham County Family Youth Center grounds.

 Last year more than 100 youth were part of the program. It seeks to get kids involved with the food they eat by learning how to grow their own and at the same time increasing the amount of produce that they eat, leading to a healthier lifestyle. But the program does not stop with just growing and eating. The youth test their entrepreneurial skills selling the produce at farm stands at county buildings and on the school grounds. Adult volunteers led by the AmeriCorps member are helping out with projects – cleaning up the garden, planting garlic and creating a native butterfly garden in an island of the parking lot.

 The program has grown substantially in a short time and because of the enthusiasm of the youth, volunteers and staff members like Stephanie, the project should continue to make a difference with the youth at the center.

Ingham school chickens

Youth use eggs from these chickens in cooking classes in the MSUE 4-H program at the Ingham County Family Center.

Comments Off on Program connects youth to their food, teaches business skills

Filed under 4-H