Focus on Youth
News for OCES staff working with youth.
4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.
Dear Educators and Volunteers,
This article was written by Sherry Grace of Michigan State University Extension but I believe it speaks to any county in Oklahoma!
Fairs play a significant role in 4-H youth development
By taking a step back and looking at fairs through the eyes of an educator and the youth who participate, it's easy to see the impact fairs have on 4-H youth.
As the Calhoun County 4-H Educator for the past three decades, I’m able to see a broader perspective on the important role that a county fair can play in helping to develop skills 4-H youth can carry on into adulthood. Through my eyes, I see dusty old barns come alive with the excitement of adults and youth coming together with paint brushes, cleaning materials, flowers and shrubs, benches coming out of storage, club banners being hung from rafters and the 4-H theme and clovers pasted in buildings they will occupy for a week.
The county fair provides a stage for the 4-H'ers to have their efforts publicly recognized and reinforces the skillful performances they have learned in their 4-H club throughout the program year. As part of the educational process, young people have input into their own learning. The fair offers the opportunity to present their projects to a judge for evaluation and gain positive feedback and suggestions on how they might improve or advance in their project area. Through my eyes, the young people are the project and the fair is more than just a place to display what youth have worked on during the year.
I see people from all walks of life in the county coming together for the benefit of the young people; many faces creating one community that we call "the fair." There are the shows and auctions; leaders sometimes keeping a frantic pace to ensure that the events run smoothly as they give direction to the young people preparing for their day in the spotlight. Parents nervously, yet proudly, watching their children take their place among other exhibitors to demonstrate what they have learned. Grandparents conversing with their neighbors, gloating over their grandchildren and reflecting on life in general. The business community showing their monetary and moral support towards the 4-H program as a whole.
I see young people taking on responsibility and leadership roles; taking care of their livestock and non-livestock projects. To my amusement, the real joy is watching the children develop over the years, enjoying the simple things in life during fair: laughing and playing, whether it's a card game in the barn or stick ball in the arena. The friendships many of them make will last a lifetime, or someone they meet could become a future boss, colleague or even a spouse one day.
One of our 4-H members summarizes it this way: "When I was just a toddler, my fondest memories of 4-H was sitting in water buckets at the 4-H horse show at fair. You learn a lot just watching. I was blessed to have known a wonderful woman - Elaine Furu-Baker. She was the one who would fill up those water buckets for me. Her presence and small acts of kindness will never be forgotten and I consider myself incredibly blessed to have such an amazing person be a huge part of my childhood. As time moves on and I grow older, I can no longer fit into those water buckets. However, I will always carry on the concept that Miss Elaine taught me. It is always important, no matter how busy life becomes to sit back and simply watch. This has taught me how incredible others are."
A child approached me at fair and stated very simply, "Fair to me is like Christmas."
Through my eyes, the fair is a magical place in life. Through a child’s eyes, it is a secret world just unfolding. What do you see through your eyes?
To every educator, volunteer, parent, support staff professional and 4-H member, we say "Thank You" for your commitment and dedication to Oklahoma 4-H!
State 4-H Program Leader & Assistant Director, OCES
I just wanted to remind everyone that the Common Measures system is still available as you develop the evaluation portion of your program plans. There are 8 survey instruments: Universal, Science, Healthy Living, Citizenship for two age groups. If you use paper copies attach the submission form and sent them to us. We will enter them for you. If you enter them directly, send us a submission form, and we will get the report back to you ASAP.
Instruments are on the 4-H Website:
National 4-H Council is now accepting applications for the 2017 4-H Youth in Action Awards to be presented at the eighth annual Legacy Awards in Washington, D.C. on March 21, 2017.
As the highest honor National 4-H Council awards to 4-H youth, the 2017 awards will recognize one remarkable 4-H’er within each pillar area: Agriculture; Citizenship; Healthy Living; and STEM.
Each of the four 4-H Youth in Action Awards pillar winners will receive:
- Scholarship: $5,000 scholarship for higher education.
- Public Recognition: An all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to be recognized at Council's Legacy Awards on March 21, 2017.
- Spokesperson Opportunities: Serve as the National Youth Spokesperson for their recognized pillar area.
In addition, one National 4-H Youth in Action Award winner will be selected from the four pillar winners and receive an additional $5,000 scholarship for higher education.
All applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM ET on Monday, October 24, 2016.
For qualifications, application rules, and information on past honorees, please visit the 4-H Youth in Action Awards website.
Do you know a former 4-Her who has a passion for government, history, political science, working with youth, public speaking or leadership? If so, encourage him or her to apply for the position of CWF Program Assistant (PA) at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center!
- Experience in leadership roles, public speaking and presenting
- Be flexible and work well under pressure and with others
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, with education beyond high school preferred. Courses in political science, communications, history and education preferred.
- Be a citizen of the US
- Be able to read, write and speak the English language
- Pass a satisfactory background check
- Successfully complete the tour guide exam and meet the medical and physical requirements of DCRA.
For more information, go to
We are accepting a few more applications for the 2017 Denver Western Roundup. If you or someone from your county is interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by November 1, 2016 for more information.
Chaperone Application for 2017 Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF), 2017 National 4-H Congress and 2018 Denver Western Roundup
An application form for chaperoning the 2017 CWF, 2017 National 4-H Congress and 2018 Denver Western Roundup is attached. If you or a certified volunteer from your county are interested, please complete this form and route through both the county and district office by January 31, 2017. If you have questions or need more information, please email email@example.com or contact your District 4-H Program Specialist.
Please share this with your young ladies interested in STEM.
WATCH: Rachel McAdams Introduces Marvel's Doctor Strange - The Magic of STEM Contest [VIDEO] (People Magazine)
Who wants a mentorship with Marvel Studios and the Walt Disney Company? If you are a young woman between the ages of 15-18 and interested in STEM, Marvel and Disney have a special announcement for you. It's their latest efforts to continue encouraging young women to pursue science or technology-related interests: Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange - The Magic of STEM challenge. In an exclusive video, Doctor Strange star Rachel McAdams explains more about the mentorship program.
A Horse Science will be held Saturday, November 19th, at the Cline Center. This workshop is designed for high school-age youth interested in horses, as well as math and science. Cost of attendance is $40 and includes lunch, a notebook and supplies. This year's topics will cover nutrition, equine anatomy and fitness assessment.
Help Oklahoma 4-H celebrate our state's agricultural industries at the 2016 Celebrate Agriculture Day at the OSU v. Iowa State football game, Oct. 8, 2016. Discounted tickets are $53.
- Visit: http://okstate.com/sports/2015/3/17/GEN_201401017.aspx
- Click on: Redeem Promo Code
- Enter code: 4H4OSU
Oklahoma 4-H Hunting & Wildlife Contest
Saturday, October 8, 2016
Oklahoma YHEC State Contest
OKC Gun Club
Registration Due to State YHEC: September 30th
YHEC Registration Fee: $30.00
Oklahoma 4-H Muzzleloader Contest
Saturday, October 15, 2016
OKC Gun Club Muzzleloader Range
Registration Due into State 4-H Office: October 10th
Registration Fee: $16.00
Oklahoma 4-H Shotgun Trap Contest
Saturday, October 22nd
Oklahoma Trap Association - El Reno
Registration Due into State 4-H Office: October 17th
Registration Fee: $25.00
Oklahoma 4-H Senior National Qualifier Archery Contest
and Jr. & Int. Archery FUN Shoot
Saturday, November 5th
Payne County Fairgrounds
Senior Registration Due into State 4-H Office: October 31st
Registration Fee: $16.00
Jr. & Int. Registration Due to OYSSEA: October 31st
Registration Fee: $16.00
I hope you were able to attend one of the recent NYSD trainings. NYSD is a terrific opportunity to promote 4-H Science and really have a fun enjoyable experience with your volunteers and youth. October 5 is the official NYSD day that clubs all across the US and around the globe will be conducting the experiment, but you can do this anytime that fits your schedule or your volunteer schedules. And don't forget, volunteers can lead this in their clubs. You do not have to be present to participate in this activity.
This year's NYSD experiment is the "Drone Zone." The kit contains a styrofoam airplane with a key-chain camera that can simulate a real drone. Or, as always, find someone with a drone to come do a demonstration for your group. Trust me, they are around and willing to come show off what they do.
For information on the experiment and "How To" videos, go to: http://4-h.org/parents/national-youth-science-day/ (Click on guides and toolkit for the videos.)
Registration information for the 4-H Denver Western Roundup Conference can be found on the 4-H webpage at http://4h.okstate.edu/events-and-activities/national-events/denver-western-4-h-roundup
The upcoming conference is January 4-8, 2017. Forms and payment are due in the state 4-H office by November 1, 2016. If you have questions or need additional information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405-744-8891.
In the event you missed the NAE4-HA professional development session on Manners, please consider viewing the video and looking at the curriculum. It is a great resource for 4-H club leaders and other youth serving organizations.
Georgia 4-H Manners Worth Millions - NAE4-HA professional development recording https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94V5FwuQak8&feature=youtu.be
4-H is committed to helping youth across the nation engage and rise to meet the challenges in their communities. Earlier this year we used the Text, Talk platform to bring conversations around mental health to our 4-H programs. Text, Talk, Vote uses text messaging to facilitate a face-to-face conversation on voting and civic engagement. Participants gather in small groups (3-5 people). They text VOTE to the number 42016 to receive a series of text messages that guides their group through a conversation: what you care about, how you feel about the election, and how to get engaged. The text messages include videos, social media interactions, polling questions and discussion questions.
Throughout the week of Oct 16-22, 4-H is teaming up to bring Text, Talk, Vote to 4-H programs across the nation, free of charge. Here are three things you can do to help out:
- TRY IT: It's easy! Simply text "Vote" to 42016 and follow the prompts. Text, Talk, Act is available for you to try right now.
- SHARE IT: Share this information with your local 4-H programs. Simply forward this announcement to program staff.
- HOST IT: Bring Text, Talk, Act to your 4-H program. It takes less than an hour, and you can do it anytime that's convenient for your group.
We have gathered all 4-H science kits and curriculum for you to use for club and school enrichment. As you make your program plans don't forget we have science kits available for your use.
Go to: http://4h.okstate.edu/projects/science-and-technology. This website will give your overviews and ideas for adding more science to your 4-H programs.
All due dates listed in this publication are the dates that county staff are to have items in the state 4-H office or other designated location. Each county will establish due dates prior to the dates posted here. These dates are set to accommodate things like screening of applications, processing payments, and adequate mailing time. All forms should be submitted through your county Extension office unless otherwise indicated. Forms that require an Extension Educator's signature may not be processed if mailed directly.