Today, members of the Texas 4-H and Youth Development faculty and administration are here to kick off the Expanding The Quality, Local 4-H Experience Initiative. This initiative is a response by the Texas 4-H and Youth Development faculty to changing societal needs, diverse family demographics and the efforts of our program and agency to meet these challenges.The “kick off’ is happening in all 12 districts and 4 regions this spring. This is the beginning of a long term comprehensive effort the 4-H program as it partners with other departments and county extension agents to make the best better for 100 more years!
To set the stage as to your involvement and commitment to this initiative, we have a short video to present on that power of one. One degree, that is. Each of us in this room, regardless of our discipline area, has the ability to be the difference and be the one degree that the 4-H program needs. Raising the temperature of water by one extra degree means the difference between something that is simply very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine --- a unique, uncomplicated metaphor that ideally should feed our every endeavor. It reminds us that seemingly small things can make tremendous differences.The Expanding Initiative is not one that will take the same or less effort, It will take hard work. Without action it will not happen. And those who do take action, there is even a smaller number who will make the EXTRA EFFORT necessary to reach the desired results that were originally set to be achieved. We hope after today you will feel both empowered and equipped the expand your local 4-H program.
As we begin by looking at where we are in the Texas 4-H Program, we see many, many positive impacts that we are making:We reach approximately 550,000 youth across annually!We are the largest 4-H program in the US, with 7% of the total enrollment.We have the largest staff of professionals supporting the 4-H program with more than 1,500.And for 100 years, we have been serving and benefitting our youth!
With those many positives, we are also seeing the opportunities for the youth of today becoming limitless as to what they can participate in, be members of, and just enjoy on their own. With the creation of the Internet, the development of video games, and the increased opportunities and requirements of school and extra-curricular activities youth, as well as adults, have had to realize the importance of prioritizing activities. As 4-H continues to be a volunteer supported organization, several key issues have evolved over the past years, which include:Declining 4-H enrollment in clubs & outreachDemand of youth and adult timeIncreased interest in short-term involvementBalancing club and outreach delivery methods Transitioning all youth to “high impact”Multitude of curriculum with little time to package and market Lack of time & commitment to start new 4-H clubsMeeting marketing needs of counties
Additional situation issues are as follows:All 4-H projects do not have the same educational supportPrioritize projects for phasing out old projects and phasing in new projectsProjects need to meet address needs of current youth4-H enrollment vs. project enrollmentDecreasing volunteer enrollmentVolunteers need clear expectationsIncreased use of episodic/random volunteers
Club enrollment has been on a constant roller coaster effect over the past ten 4-H years. Some of this variation can be attributed to internal changes in faculty positions, reductions in force, and changes in reporting programs, however, we also must look and see what external forces are driving our roller coaster ride.While the last couple of years of club enrollment has been increasing we have to remember the overall total enrollment of youth has dropped over 400,000.
It is no surprise that the number of clubs has also dropped.
We continually struggle with a roller coaster effect in the areas of outreach. We can also see the same trend as in club enrollment with outreach enrollment.
As with youth enrollment there has been a steadily decline in direct and indirect volunteer enrollment. Also when the enrollment system or how we determine enrollment changes, you may see an increase or decrease in enrollment.
In response to declining club enrollment, the Texas 4-H Program has developed the initiative, “Expanding the Quality, Local 4-H Experience.” By providing a quality experience at the local level, it is anticipated that the number of youth involved in the program (club and outreach) will increase, and all youth will value their 4-H experience and continue to re-enroll annually. Some highlights of the initiative are:is very much process oriented.focuses on 6 key components.The framework being constructed will sustain the future of the Texas 4-H Program.
The six areas of focus make up the action teams for this initiative, are:Strengthening ClubsExpanding Outreach EffortsMarketing and TechnologyEngaging VolunteersProjects and OpportunitiesProgram Development
The Texas 4-H and Youth Development Program is committed to the current and future success of the 4-H and Youth Development program and has identified and is addressing six major elements to ensure quality and success within the program. Many agents across the state have been involved in this effort Those from this district are:(read from task force spreadsheet)
This expanding the quality, local experience has the following benefits:Increased quality will result in increased quantityPotential and readiness to reach new audiencesFuture of 4-H is secureFunding for Texas AgriLife Extension for the future
Strengthening ClubswillProvides 4-H members with a great, life changing 4-H experienceProvides volunteer resources to manage, recruit and retain youth members in 4-H clubsProvides options for emphasizing project clubs
Expanding Outreach Efforts – Reaching youth who, traditionally, would not join a 4-H club exposes them to unique and exciting educational experiences while helping them learn more about the 4-H program.
Marketing and Technology – Increase the image of the 4-H program through the introduction of new marketing materials and the integration of technology into the marketing plan. The use of technology based marketing and delivery methods is crucial to the success of the 4-H program to recruit new members, retain current members, and provide the opportunity to conveniently engage youth in learning experiences and interpret to key donors and stakeholders.
Projects and Opportunities – A vital component of the experience a member receives through the 4-H program are projects and opportunities. To continue our success of recruitment and retention, 4-H must offer those projects and opportunities that correspond with youth interests and educational trends.
The situation is ….Lack of support material and learning opportunities for some projectsNeed plan to add new projects and phase out othersProjects offered need to match current interests of youth Scheduling4-H enrollment vs. project enrollment
The top project areas in both club and outreach for last year include:Ag in the ClassroomPlant ScienceFoods & NutritionEnvironmental Education/Earth SciencesConsumer & Family ScienceTechnology & EngineeringLeadership & Personal DevelopmentAnimalsWe also must be mind full of the interests of youth and the impact on the projects that need to be offered through the 4-H program.
4-H Projects are the key learning experiences. During these learning experience, the following should occur:HEAD (subject matter of the learning experience):• Experiences should be deliberate, with appropriate elements on applied life skills, workforce preparation, leadership, andservice learning.HEART (involvement of others in the learning experience):• Volunteer led (teacher, older youth, volunteer).• Exposes youth to positive role models.Provides enhancement of experiences.
Quality Experience Overview April 26
Spring 2008 Training<br />
One Degree<br />At 211 degrees, water is hot…..<br />At 212 degrees, it boils…….<br />
Current State of Texas 4-H<br /><ul><li>Texas 4-H reaches approximately 550,000 youth annually.
Texas 4-H is the largest state 4-H program in the United States.
Seven percent of the U.S. 4-H enrollment is in Texas.
More than 1,500 Extension professionals assist and support in the delivery of the 4-H program.
For 100 years, 4-H has been serving the youth of Texas.</li></li></ul><li>Current State of Texas 4-H<br />What we are seeing…..<br /><ul><li>Declining 4-H enrollment
Funding for Texas AgriLife Extension Service for the future</li></li></ul><li>Strengthening 4-H Clubs<br /><ul><li>Provides 4-H members with a great, life changing 4-H experience
Provides volunteer resources to manage, recruit and retain youth members in 4-H clubs
Provides options for emphasizing project clubs</li></li></ul><li>Expanding Outreach Efforts<br /><ul><li>Reach youth who would not traditionally join a 4-H club OR youth who want a short term involvement
Youth can experience unique, educational experiences
Makes the 4-H program available to more youth </li></li></ul><li>Marketing and Technology<br /><ul><li>Technology-based marketing leads to:</li></ul>Recruitment of new members<br />Retain current members<br />Provides the opportunity to engage youth in learning experiences<br />Interprets to donors and key stakeholders<br />
Projects & Opportunities<br /><ul><li>Vital component of a member’s experience
Correspond with youth interests and educational trends
Represents why youth join 4-H!</li></li></ul><li>Projects & Opportunities<br /><ul><li>Lack of support material and learning opportunities for some projects
Need plan to add new projects and phase out others
Projects offered need to match current interests of youth
Supports reaching youth from diverse backgrounds</li></li></ul><li>Program Development<br /><ul><li>Current research and resources are imperative to the continuation of the 4-H program’s vitality
Quality training and resources are essential for CEAs to facilitate a successful 4-H program </li></li></ul><li>Our Program is……..<br />Stand up when the following statements describe your county 4-H program.<br />
Provides fun and educational opportunities for youth<br />
An increase in enrollment and participation has occurred over the last 3-5 years.<br />
Clientele have an interest in short term involvement<br />
Volunteers have taken advantage of resources and trainings online<br />