Story in Brief
To provide engaging, educational and hands-on 4-H programming, the Emanuel County 4-H agent developed 4-H Summer Fun Kits — four individually themed packets that included crafts, recipes, educational content, and a hands-on project or learning experience. The kits were specifically designed to target rising 2nd-7th graders to keep them engaged and to facilitate the relationship that those youth would typically have forged with 4-H through in-person recreational activities such as residential and day camps. The activities within the kits had no online or digital components, and materials needed for each were common items found in the home or were mailed in the kits to the youth. The cost per kit was set at $5 to enable participation for youth from any income level. The kits were based on themes that would appeal to a wide variety of youth: Prizewinning Pumpkins, Electricity, Pollinators and Cupcake Wars. A total of 35 youth in 2nd-7th grade requested and received the kits. Two months into a new programming year, over 31 percent of those youth have enrolled in 4-H and already participated in 4-H activities, including the Georgia 4-H Pumpkin Growing Contest promoted in one of the kits. Another nearly 52 percent of youth receiving the kits are still pre-club age, but have reported that they plan to enroll and engage in more 4-H activities. One parent shared that she was happy that it wasn’t virtual and that her child could “unplug” for a while and still receive some educational content.