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Extension: Time for 4-H school club meetings
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By Jack Lowery

For the Forsyth County News

With the start of a new school year, 4-H leaders are busy gearing up for a new year of school club meetings. Every August, the 4-H Agent reaches out to elementary school teachers to share what 4-H can offer students. 4-H Club meetings begin in the fourth and fifth grades, but can extend all the way through high school. 

With lessons that align with state standards, 4-H leaders bring a wonderful opportunity to many students in Forsyth County. Schools can choose from six curriculum options to be presented to in the classroom and many schools elect to mix and match multiple options to best serve their students. 

CCRPI (College and Career Readiness Performance Index): This curriculum includes lessons that cover state requirements on four career clusters (Information technology, marketing, finance, and government and public administration). This option also includes two public speaking lessons. 

Healthy living: This option includes six fun and engaging lessons including my plate, caloric intake, fast food, sugar, and even lessons about disease outbreaks from the CDC and the USDA. 

Agriculture and environmental science: This is the more traditional of the 4-H curriculum options. Lessons range from germs and microbes, to plants and animals. Students will learn all about the environment around them.

School gardening: No actual garden is necessary for these lessons. Throughout the year students will learn all about how to garden. Topics include plant depth, soil types, common garden diseases and pest management just to name a few. These skills can be applied to a school garden project or can be useful for students in their home gardens. 

English and language arts: This curriculum dives deep into public speaking and research projects. Lessons include choosing topics, doing research, making visual aids, developing a speech, verbal/nonverbal communication and presentation skills.

Weather and climate: This is a new option here in Forsyth County and is great for fourth-graders, though the content can be shifted to be appropriate for other age groups. This lesson set begins with the differences between weather and climate, and goes all the way though storm tracking and weather reporting.

If you would like 4-H in your child’s school during class time, or in an afterschool setting, contact your teacher or your school administration. 4-H is always willing to start new clubs within Forsyth County Schools.

For more information on how to bring 4-H to your school, or on how to support the local 4-H Club, contact the UGA Extension office at (770) 887-2418 or uge1117@uga.edu. You can also like and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Forsyth4H. In Forsyth County, 4-H is supported by The University of Georgia, Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, Forsyth County Board of Education, and United Way of Forsyth County.

Jack Lowery is the Forsyth County 4-H Extension Agent.