Family

10 Ways to Volunteer with UConn 4-H

UConn 4-H Legends soccer group
The UConn 4-H Legends.

No matter how much time you have, volunteering with UConn 4-H makes a difference by helping youth explore and discover the skills they need to lead for a lifetime. There are lots of ways to get involved! Please note, your volunteer experience and/or opportunities may be happening virtually or in-person. Contact UConn 4-H for more information and apply to be a UConn 4-H volunteer today at s.uconn.edu/helpus.

Help youth lead a club

  • Assist a youth club leader with organizing meetings, speakers, and other logistics.
  • Assist and/or mentor a 4-H volunteer who is serving as a project leader.

Teach a skill

  • Organize a club, or share your skills by teaching a club meeting workshop, devoted to your area of specialty.

Judge projects

  • Serve as a judge for 4-H exhibits, competitions or performances, providing encouragement and suggestions for improvement.

Plan or help at an event

  • Volunteer at a county/state special event; from set-up or clean-up to serving food or taking registrations, there are a lot of ways to get involved.

Serve on an advisory board/committee

  • Sit on a local advisory or county governing board to help determine program priorities.

Help with a specific 4-H project

  • Advise a 4-H member in their project work: help youth identify and set goals, create and implement a plan, and reflect on what they learned and would do differently next time.

Assist with program delivery

  • Volunteer at an after school program, a summer program, camp program event or club meeting.

Volunteer on a fair organizing committee

  • Volunteer at a local fair – be inspired by the talents and creativity of the next generation while promoting the country’s largest positive youth development organization!
  • Work in the food booth or help in the 4-H exhibit hall or at the 4-H show ring.

Utilize your professional skills

  • Share your technical skills and knowledge to develop subject matter for curriculum/project sheets.
  • Utilize your professional skills to assist with with creating marketing tools, graphic art, word documents, webpages, videos, online training modules, etc.
  • Intern at your local Extension office with the 4-H program, a great resume builder.

Share your experiences

  • Share your hobby/passion – inspire a young person as a guest speaker or short-term instructor.
  • Share your career path – invite a 4-H’er to shadow you for the day.
  • Share your educational path/give a testimonial – how did you get to where you are? (If you are a college student – how did you choose your school, what are you pursuing, what are you aspiring to do?)

Apply to be a UConn 4-H volunteer today at s.uconn.edu/helpus

UConn 4-H is the youth development program of UConn Extension. 4-H has access to research-based, age-appropriate information needed to help youth reach their full potential through UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR). The mission of 4-H is to assist all youth ages five through 18 in acquiring knowledge, developing leadership and life skills while forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive, and contributing members of their families and communities.

UConn 4-H uses the thriving model in our Extension youth development programs, and these align with all the strategic initiatives in CAHNR. These include climate adaptation and resilience; promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion; enhancing health and well-being; ensuring sustainable agriculture and food systems; and fostering sustainable landscapes at the urban-rural interface. Learn more at s.uconn.edu/4-H.

Help Wanted: Become a UConn 4-H Volunteer

UConn 4-H is Accepting Volunteer Applications

student in garden
A youth member at Auerfarm.

UConn 4-H provides youth with life-changing experiences from flying rockets into space with NASA to organizing national conferences for other youth, and everything in between. These experiences are possible because of thousands of adult mentors and volunteers who work throughout the state and guide youth to reach their potential.

Volunteer opportunities include club leaders, county fair advisors, mentors, project leaders, project evaluators, advisory committee members, and workshop presenters. 

If you enjoy working with children, have a willingness to share your time and talents with young people in the community, like to have fun, learn new skills, and make a difference, then being a 4-H volunteer is for you.

“UConn 4-H is the best organization ever for my daughters and me. Both, they, and I, learned and grew with the involvement in 4-H. It has provided me with the ability to give back to other young folks up in coming in 4-H. The Trice girls swear by 4-H,” says Ken Trice, a UConn 4-H volunteer from Tolland County.

4-H volunteers play a significant role in helping youth reach their potential. Volunteers help youth learn leadership, civic engagement and life skills through projects and activities. Hobbies or interests such as photography, animals, plants, fishing, drama, community service, computers and technology, woodworking, fashion design, arts and crafts, robotics, or something else can be shared with youth through the 4-H program.

“UConn 4-H helped me develop a set of skills like; teamwork, problem solving, public speaking, dependability, leadership which I use every day in my career,” says Rachael Manzer, a nationally awarded educator, and UConn 4-H alumni and volunteer.

Volunteer training and recognition is conducted at local, state, and regional levels. New 4-H volunteers participate in a general orientation with UConn Extension. Meetings are held throughout the state several times each year to help new leaders and volunteers. 

“4-H has been one of the most important aspects of my life and has shaped me as a person in more ways than I could ever imagine. Through this organization, I have been educated on necessary life skills, the significance of helping my community, and the key elements of leadership, just to name a few. But, most of all, 4-H has taught me the utter importance of responsibility,” says Ava, age 15, a UConn 4-H member from Fairfield County.

Just as we recognize the efforts of youth, the UConn 4-H Program recognizes and acknowledges its volunteers for their efforts at the local, state, and national level. The biggest reward is watching the transformation in youth and seeing them grow into engaged adults making a positive contribution. Apply to be a UConn 4-H volunteer today at s.uconn.edu/helpus.

UConn 4-H is the youth development program of UConn Extension. 4-H has access to research-based, age-appropriate information needed to help youth reach their full potential through UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR). The mission of 4-H is to assist all youth ages five through 18 in acquiring knowledge, developing leadership and life skills while forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive, and contributing members of their families and communities.

UConn 4-H uses the thriving model in our Extension youth development programs, and these align with all the strategic initiatives in CAHNR. These include climate adaptation and resilience; promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion; enhancing health and well-being; ensuring sustainable agriculture and food systems; and fostering sustainable landscapes at the urban-rural interface. Learn more at s.uconn.edu/4-H.

Summer Program Updates

Empowering Connecticut Communities 

Extension programs are in full swing this summer, both in-person and online. we are here to serve and empower our Connecticut communities, while co-creating solutions to the critical issues that residents and communities are facing. Programs focus on the expertise of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) and incorporate UConn’s research. These areas include agriculture and food, climate adaptation and resilience, enhancing health and well-being, and sustainable landscapes at the urban-rural interface. All programs incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, as we strive to empower all Connecticut residents.

There are opportunities for you to become further involved with Extension programs this summer. Our UConn 4-H program is preparing for the new 4-H year that begins on October 1st and we need help statewide implementing these programs. Volunteer opportunities include one-time commitments and ongoing involvement. Extension is hiring in different locations at our statewide offices. This summer, we welcomed 17 interns to work on various programs and extend our knowledge further while providing them with life transformative educational opportunities. Finally, we continue adding to our suite of online programs that are offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. We look forward to working with you on our various programs and initiatives.

Learn about all our updates.

UConn 4-H New Haven County: Here to Be Healthy!

4-H dance squad members pose in the grassDo you need some tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Do you have a project that you are passionate about, but haven’t shown it off? Are you looking for a place to both learn and enjoy what you learn about? My name is Genesis Rosario and I’m the Summer 2022 Intern for UConn Extension’s 4-H New Haven County office working with Margaret Grillo, where the fundamentals of living healthy are exhibited through creative and interactive workshops. Being held both virtually and in-person, there are Healthy Living workshops being offered throughout New Haven county where the youthful community, alongside their adult chaperones, are welcome to attend. From learning how to identify mold in the house to learning how to be safe in the kitchen, these workshops will introduce all participants to information that is valuable for staying healthy in their everyday lives. Have a specific interest in cooking healthy recipes in the kitchen? There are even 4-H cooking workshops that have a step-by-step process of cooking your favorite meals with substitutes of certain ingredients to maintain an effective diet-based meal. Participants of all ages are welcome to attend the 4-H cooking workshops. 

4-H is an organization that emphasizes the importance of living healthy while bringing insight on topics that can impact the community of all ages. Nonetheless, every year 4-H hosts a fantastic 4 H-fair for community members to show off their best interests and hobbies, while still being able to attend and learn about healthy living through local workshops. These projects can suit anyone! Projects exhibited at the fair range from raising livestock to showing off home art crafts. The 4-H fair has a variety of entertaining and inclusive attractions that serve as a way to incorporate education and genuine interest for a project on a personal level. Come join the fun

Article by Genesis Rosario

UConn 4-H – A Thriving Family

Article by Cade Buckheit

Cade BuckheitThis summer I have been given the opportunity to work as a part of the UConn 4-H family, right near where I live in Middlesex County! One of my goals for the summer to spread the word about 4-H. As the largest youth organization in the country, 4-H has focused on helping youth to thrive, especially at a time when it is needed most. 4-H continues to provide support, recreation, and development for children and teens throughout Connecticut. We focus on engaging individuals in long-term projects through caring relationships with mentors.

Youth learn skills such as record keeping, public speaking, and civil responsibility which enables them to become the healthy, smart, active, and enriched individuals they were meant to become. But most importantly, becoming a part of UConn 4-H means joining a community and a family. My time with 4-H so far has been extremely valuable to me because of the amazing people I have met, and the incredible things they have taught me, such as how to show a horse. If you’re like me and are interested in learning more about how to get involved, check out our form:

s.uconn.edu/4-h_backstage_tour

Places to Learn About and Enjoy Horses in Connecticut

Jennifer riding a horseJenifer Nadeau, an Equine Extension Specialist and an Associate Professor for the Department of Animal Science at UConn in Storrs, will be leading an outreach program about Places to Learn About and Enjoy Horses in CT. Come learn about the famous horses found in Connecticut as well as where to find horse-related attractions on July 21st at 11Am. We will also have a list of places you can go to take a trail ride or a lesson.

https://www.ctvisit.com/events/places-learn-about-and-enjoy-horses-connecticut

UConn Extension Attends National Urban Extension Conference

UConn Extensionists Mary Ellen Welch, Jacqueline Kowalski, Jeantyl Norze and Heather Peracchio attended the National Urban Extension Conference at Rutgers Camden May 23-26. Educators and directors from across the country came together to share best practices in Extension and vision the future of Urban Extension. Norze led a presentation on “Academic Structure Versus Urban Extension Needs: Keep Tradition or Innovate” and Peracchio presented on “Reimagining Youth Nutrition Education and Teaching Outdoors During Covid-19”.

Norze and Peracchio had an opportunity to tour Philadelphia’s Common Market and view Myocopia Mushrooms growing practices. Common Market provides locally grown produce to Philadelphia’s highest need citizens where food access is limited. Myocopia Mushrooms grows a variety of unique mushrooms and sells them to restaurants and at local farmers markets.  Kowalski toured Bartram Gardens, the oldest surviving botanical garden in the United States.  This public garden is in Southwest Philly and is also the home of Sankofa Community Farm,  a 3.5 community farm celebrating the agriculture of the African Diaspora.  Additionally, the Gardens serve as an open green space in space in a formerly industrialized area of the city.

 

The conference concluded with a meeting for the Northeast Region Urban Extension personnel.  This meeting provided the opportunity for the group to discuss opportunities to strengthen regional partnerships and collaborations.

Northeast CT Farm and Food Guide

grown connected logoGrown ConNECTed has released a new Guide to Farm Fresh Food in Northeastern CT  for 2022. This guide is an attempt at creating a comprehensive listing of farms selling directly to consumers in the Northeastern CT region and that your constituents can use to find local food, grown and raised in Northeastern CT.  A digital copy available online can be accessed at https://media.cahnr.uconn.edu/extension/ag-food/farm-fresh-guide/index.html

magazine front cover

Nutrition Education in the Community Through SNAP-Ed

Brooke BoscoHello everyone! My name is Brooke Bosco, and I am a rising senior majoring in Dietetics. This summer I am an extension intern working with the UConn School and Family Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education Program (SNAP-Ed). UConn Healthy Family CT SNAP-Ed works towards accomplishing Connecticut’s goals and objectives to deliver nutrition education and physical activity messages to SNAP-Ed recipients and those who are eligible. We focus on delivering fact-based, tailored nutrition education to our target population of income-challenged adults, families, and children who may be experiencing food insecurity. We reach these groups in different towns including East Hartford, New Britain, Manchester, Willimantic, Enfield, and Hartford.

Part of my work is delivering direct and indirect nutrition education in different areas of the community, including elementary schools, senior centers, public libraries, community events, food pantries, and Foodshare mobile. I am also working with other SNAP-Ed team members to enhance the material on Healthy Family CT’s website and social media accounts, which also focuses on reaching our target audience with nutrition education. We hope that our education increases our audience’s knowledge and skills to achieve healthier diets and access local and affordable healthy food. We also hope that it improves their willingness to consume a healthier diet and increase physical activity.

I developed an interest in community nutrition during my supervised practice training this past spring semester. Nutrition education is so important in low-income communities because it helps to prevent nutrition-related health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. These health issues can create even more hardship and financial burden for this community. It has been an amazing opportunity to be a part of this effort! I encourage you to check out UConn Healthy Family CT’s website (https://healthyfamilyct.cahnr.uconn.edu/) and social media accounts with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

Job Openings with UConn Extension

UConn Extension is hiring! We have several positions open. Please visit the individual position links for full descriptions and information on how to apply: