4-H Youth Leaders Read to Young Children

4-H youth across the state are finding ways to stay involved and help others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the Safer at Home order issued by Governor Tony Evers last month, regular 4-H programming has been postponed, canceled or moved to an online platform. Now, some 4-H youth leaders are coming up with creative ways to engage younger kids.

Vernon County started its Youth Leadership Project around the time the COVID-19 precautions were being put into place. “We had originally planned to have this project be a hybrid, where we were meeting online and face-to-face to learn life skills and practice service,” says 4-H Coordinator Emery Bork. Bork says during the group’s second meeting she asked youth leaders to think of ways they could reach out and support local families. The youth leaders decided upon reading their favorite stories online to families and teaching camp songs. More than 55 families watched their first reading earlier this month.

Bork says this provides young children with literacy opportunities and gives them a glimpse into 4-H. It also gives our youth leaders a chance to build their confidence and leadership skills. “One youth was very hesitant to volunteer, but as she was looking through her childhood books, it brought back many fond memories and helped her gain the confidence to be able to read,” says Bork. “The youth that signed up to do the songs recruited their younger brothers and sisters to help them, and it has been exciting and a great teaching opportunity for them as well.”

The readings were taking place every Tuesday and Thursday this month. However, the team has run into some technical issues. Families interested in the program can now email Bork at emery.bork@wisc.edu to get a Zoom link and log in to participate.

We are grateful to our youth leaders for their creativity and willingness to pitch in during this time of uncertainty.

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