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Idaho Enterprise

4-H Hosts Afterschool program

The Agricultural Extension Office in Oneida County and the 4-H Club are another part of the district’s Afterschool program, hosting events during alternating weeks along with the school and library.

This month’s 4-H events included an activity devoted to exploring “communities” as a concept, and reinforcing the importance of civic engagement.  Director Paula Hannah and Crystal Kimberling were on hand to help with the activities.

The activity began with introductions.  Each of the kids present was given a specific question to answer by way of introducing themselves to the group.  “What is your favorite thing to do?” Logan was asked.  “My name is Logan, and I like to play football,” he said.  Other questions involved favorite desserts (“pie”), one thing the student would change about school (“stop bullying”), and what animal they would change into if they could (“arctic fox”).

After getting to know each other, Sherry Moeller led the students in a discussion of communities in general, and what kinds of things it took to make one.  “Families, houses, neighborhoods, people, pets, businesses, farms, police, firefighters, hospitals, banks, trees, parks, post offices, libraries, gas stations, garbagemen, bees, water, places to play,” and many others were suggested as essential elements.

“That’s great!” Moeller said.  “Now that we know you all know what kinds of things we need, we’re going to ask you to draw a picture of the kinds of communities you want.”

The students were divided into groups, who each came up with a diagram of their ideal communities.   Although the drawings had a lot of similarities between them, each one had at least one unique element, including creepy forests, a robbers’ hideout, and other…nonstandard elements.

Afterward, the students took over the main arena area of the Event Center, where they participated in a game involving the spoon-based transportation of marshmallows from one student to another and into a bowl.  On hand to help were the High School volunteers for the afterschool program: Kayleigh Worrell, Ryley Taylor, Gabie Lund, Paige Wilson, and Aubrey Corbett.

I like helping kids,” Ryley Taylor said, and the other high school students agreed.  “It’s something that I really enjoy, too,” Kayleigh Worrell said.  “I’m on the road to becoming a teacher, and this is a great way to get some experience.”  Of the volunteers present, the majority of them had also considered teaching as a future career path, or careers that involved working with children in one way or another.

The marshmallow contest itself was full of smiles, as one might expect.  In the end, every group was given a prize of candy to share, and the remaining time was turned over to the kids to run out the leftover energy they had until their parents picked them up.