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Wyoming 4-H At-home activities provided

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Published on March 28, 2020

As schools close and Wyoming Extension cancels all in-person events until May 15, parents of 4-H members may be looking for activities for their children to productively pass the time.

            Wyoming 4-H Program Director Johnathan Despain notes there are a plethora of resources available for homebound students and their parents. 

            “Throughout this lockdown, we are still supporting our Extension network here in Wyoming and nationwide,” says Despain. “Extension specialists across the country are creating opportunities using visual methods, many of which have been in use for awhile such as Zoom.” 

            “We are linking states together and our county offices are collecting feedback from their local membership to create content for students to use while at home,” he says. “Some counties are really latching onto this, I saw one county with over 30 video links shared with their volunteers.”

            “A lot of kids are also beginning to plan for their project animals, even with the uncertainty, its important they begin planning now,” he says. “The learning experience is so important and we don’t want them to miss out on that.” 

            “My general recommendation for parents with kids at home is to stay healthy themselves above all else,” Despain says. “There are not 4-H meetings until at least May 15 and that date is fluid based on government recommendations.” 

            Despain notes Extension has used programs such as the video conferencing program, Zoom, for years and the program will be the platform basis for interactions. The program is also free for families and volunteers to use. 

            “A lot of our workers use Zoom for group volunteer meetings and our recommendation is for parents to connect and find opportunities at home for their students to gain learning experiences,” he says. “This is a great time to formulate a plan of attack for project work and tackle home projects that may have been put on the back burner.” 

            “Stay in contact with 4-H offices about resource access,” he says. “We let counties tailor their programs to the needs of their local membership. There has been a concentrated effort on Facebook and through email to keep members in the loop.”

Available programs

            Extension and 4-H programs across the country have teamed up to provide programs for home-bound students, with some private companies also contributing. The following are a sampling of what programs are available. Please stay in contact with local 4-H offices via social media for hundreds of available programs and projects for all ages.

            According to Wyoming 4-H, the group has partnered with Eastern Wyoming College to move the contest they had scheduled for April 4 to a virtual platform, so youth can still participate from home, while practicing social distancing as recommended in response to the coronavirus. 

            Daily learning sessions have been added and will run March 23-April 3 at 1:00 p.m. each day via Zoom. These sessions will highlight the topics that will be included in the contest which will be held April 4-5. 

            Horse Hippology and Food Skill-a-thon will be presented March 31 and April 2. 

            The Dog Skill-a-thon will be available March 31, April 1 and 3 and the Livestock Skill-a-thon will be presented March 30, April 1 and 3. 

            Contests will open at 9 a.m. on April 4 and close at 9 p.m. on April 5. Awards will be given in each age category -junior, intermediate, senior and adult. 

            Questions should be directed towards Georgia Younglove at 307-799-5419 or Dawn Sanchez at 307-799-8780.

            Youth can connect to the learning sessions by going to bit.ly/Wyoming4-H.

            Albany County 4-H is participating in Monday virtual activities with North Carolina 4-H. Virtual events include handwashing, cooking in the kitchen, embryology and much more. Events can be found at facebook.com/NorthCarolina4H/events. 

            Show-Rite products will be presenting Stockshow Classroom discussions for four weeks. Week one, which started on March 21, covered animal selection. Week two will cover livestock management, week three will be feeding strategies and week four will be breaking and training tips. 

             Each presentation will be posted to Show-Rite’s Facebook page and will be recorded live at Alltech.zoom.us at 5 p.m. each day. Interested parties are asked to register at least one hour prior to the presentation. 

            Please follow Wyoming 4-H on Facebook at Facebook.com/Wyoming4H for even more programs.

            Callie Hanson is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to roundup@wylr.net.

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