4-H youth development

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

Working for the Best Kept Secret

By Aaron Plotke

UConn Extension Intern

Aaron Plotke, Linda Castro, Stacey Stearns and Rineicha Otero with Lever and Smith at the UConn Extension Centennial Dinner

With summer quickly approaching, I was still unsure what I was going to do for the next three months. Understanding the importance of gaining real world experience in my field of study, I applied to a number of nutrition related internships throughout the semester. I was hoping to find that “perfect fit.” Alas almost all of the programs either had chosen their summer interns or were deemed too impractical for me to commit to (i.e. traveling to DC). I was in a tight spot… But the last week of school changed that for me; I received an email regarding a “Paid Summer Internship” with the UConn Extension Department. I always knew Extension existed but wasn’t really aware of its significance. I did some research, decided to apply, and within a few weeks was asked to join their team. Still with limited knowledge of what Extension did or was, I committed to the summer internship.

As I learned more about what is considered the “state’s best-kept secret,” I was amazed at what I found. Extension is compromised of a vast network of outreach programming across every state in the U.S. including our own state of Connecticut. With the passing of the Smith-Lever Act in the early 1900’s, each state’s “Land Grant Universities” were tasked to run their own Extension programs. Then, as now, the objective is to empower communities with the knowledge and expertise of major research universities in the areas of food, health and sustainability. UConn is Connecticut’s Land Grant University with an Extension program that has over 282 active initiatives. Strong local ties have been established with communities across the state, with every county having a dedicated Extension office.

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Cohen Contributes to Tolland County 4-H as State Corn Yield Contest Winner

4-H logoEllington, CT – Harris and Louise Cohen of Ellington have contributed $150 to the UConn Extension Tolland County 4-H program as a result of winning first place in the state of Connecticut 2013 National Corn Growers’ Association’s (NCGA) Corn Yield Contest. The contribution was provided by DuPont Pioneer on behalf of first-place winners. Sanford Cohen also made a donation to the Tolland County 4-H program.


The NCGA Corn Yield Contest is an annual competition among corn producers with the goal of producing the highest yields. In the contest, growers compete within a broad range of corn production classes, including non-irrigated, no-till/strip-till non-irrigated, no-till/strip-till irrigated, ridge-till non-irrigated, ridge-till irrigated and irrigated classes.


DuPont Pioneer (www.pioneer.com) is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success™.


DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com

4-H Saturday Science

Youth at the 4-H Saturday Science program.

Denise Coffey of the Reminder News covered the first 4-H Saturday Science Program at Windham County Extension:

“The Windham County Extension Center in Brooklyn hosted the first 4-H Science Saturday on Nov. 16. Program Coordinator Marc Cournoyer led a group of youngsters through “Maps and Apps,” an exercise in map-reading and map-making. With nods to technology and Rand McNally, the kids were given a chance to design their own maps.

The program is part of a larger effort on the part of national 4-H to boost the scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical skills and interests of youngsters. “Maps and Apps” was the national 4-H science experiment held for 4-Hers across the country. The experiment on Saturday required participants to use geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), grid paper and their own creativity in coming up with a map they could call their own.”

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Tolland County 4-H STEM Mini Field Trips

STEM Mini Field TripThe Tolland County 4-H Program, which is part of UConn Extension hosted three fun and educational adventures close to home that focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Junk Drawer Robotics allowed youth to become an engineer with things from around the house! We constructed: tooth brush eco-bots, marshmallow launching trebuchets, and a mechanical arm. Youth also discovered how to think like a scientist, communicate like an engineer, and build like a technician.

Science in the Kitchen focused on muffin madness, discovering my plate, staying safe in the kitchen, baking soda balloons, and much more! Getting messy in the kitchen has never been so much fun! Youth discovered the science of cooking while exploring amazing ways to be healthy and safe with food.

During Lost in the Woods, youth went on an adventurous nature hike where we used GPS to identify trees, orienteered to find hidden messages in letter boxes and played games to learn about wooded habitats.

Survival 101: The Science of Survival

science of survival

On June 1st, The Middlesex county 4-H Advisory Committee presented Survival 101 – The Science of Survival.  This high energy and action packed workshop day included 10 different survival workshops focusing on the science and technology behind survival skills.

The workshops included: Shelter Engineering, Fire Building, Survival Communication, Wild Game and Fishing, Wilderness and Survival Skills – Who lives who dies and why?, Water Purification, Survival Packs, Orienteering and Wilderness First Aid.  Each presenter taught their sessions not only keying in on the essential skills and science for survival, but also how those essential skills equate to everyday life, the workplace and community.       Many instructors explained how these skills could be built into a career, and some even drew a parallel to military training.  Adults were encouraged to attend and sessions were held for them as well.


Special thanks need to go to our sponsors: Mountain Khakis, JHL Supply and Adventure Medical as well as Estela Wilderness Education.


Our Presenters were: Kevin Estela, Jim Dina, Linda Kauffman, Wayne Wright, Tremor Allen, Paul Rouleau, Alice Durinick, Ellen Day, Jim Smigel, Shirlon Smigel and Walter Squier.  Their combined knowledge base made for an outstanding day.

Planning Committee: Alice Durinick, Sue Dearborn, Beth McCabe, Kathy Naples, Ruth Naples, Paul Rouleau, Nancy Squier, Walter Squier, Joe Alger, Carlie Chapman  Staff: Emily McCabe Alger and Carol Birdsey