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Big plans for little kids in 4-H

Article Date: 
18 January, 2013 (All day)

For over 100 years, 4-H has been giving kids useful skills and wholesome recreation.  The 4-H program in Morgan County, as well as many counties throughout the state, has been limited to children in the third grade and older.  The Utah State University Extension Office has been working on bringing a program called Cloverbuds to Morgan County that will involve students in Kindergarten through second grade.  These students will have the opportunity to “learn while doing.”
Beginning this month, these schoolchildren will be able to stay after school in both Morgan Elementary and Mountain Green Elementary and meet with classmates and volunteers to learn and grow in many areas. Cloverbuds offers classes and activities designed specifically for them.   The curriculum is aimed to help these children develop in a variety of areas. 
January will bring lessons in Citizenship and Civic Education; February, Communication and Expressive; March, Environmental Education and Earth; April, Plant and Animals.  In May, the Cloverbud members will participate in a day camp.  There will be a variety of activities.  They will be able to create projects they will be able to enter in the fair.  During June, July and August, Cloverbuds will join in Summer in the Park and prepare for the fair.  In September, Cloverbuds will pick back up with Healthy Lifestyle; October, Personal Development and Leadership; November, Science and Technology; and December, Family and Consumer.  
Cloverbud members will be able to enter exhibits in the fair and receive a ribbon.  Details on premiums are currently being finalized.  They will be able to create exhibits at the activities or at home.  There will be a limited number of entries from the Cloverbuds.  
Cloverbuds is aimed to get kids interested in 4-H and teach them life skills. Parents have been requesting the program to be brought to Morgan for some time.  Amanda Christensen has been working to solidify several other programs for the main group of 4-H. Those working in 4-H felt now would be an opportune time to introduce Cloverbuds.  “I felt we could fill a need,” Christensen said of allowing younger kids to join in 4-H.  
This program is dependent on volunteers.  The curriculum is already developed and there is enough in the budget in our area for staff to plan one activity a month and to support volunteers.   Each school will need four or five dedicated volunteers to carry out the program.  Ideally volunteers would meet to choose which of the provided activities and lessons they would like to use.  If a volunteer is only able to come to the activities, they are also needed.  If volunteers would like to increase the number of activities a month, the Extension Office would support them with curriculum and even supplies.  Christensen says volunteers can be as involved as much or as little as they want to be.  
In order to become a 4-H member and participate in Cloverbuds, parents must complete a registration form and pay $4 fee.  This registers members until the 4-H year changes in October.  Space is limited, so early enrollment is recommended.
Cloverbuds will meet the fourth week of each month.  Morgan Elementary will gather Cloverbuds on Tuesdays right after school.  Mountain Green Elementary will meet on Thursdays right after school.  Register at the Morgan County Extension office in the courthouse, 48 W. Young Street.  Call (801)829-3472 with any questions.