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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

June 6, 2023

Kansas 4-H Summer Engagement: Helping Youth Discover their Spark Program Kick-Off

Submitted by Rick Peterson

More than 80 summer interns and 26 agents attended the Extension 4-H Summer Engagement Grant program training May 22-24.

The goal of the project, which is funded by the Kansas Department of Education, is to address the impact of learning loss due to the loss of instructional time during the COVID pandemic. A strength of the program comes from the engagement of community stakeholders in the partnership process.

The project intends to capitalize on collaboration with community partners -- such as schools, summer school providers and day camp providers -- in order to reach participants.

During the summer program, 4-H interns will lead youth in grades K-12 in such areas as STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math), agriculture and natural resources, creative arts, family and consumer science, and personal development. This general offering of project-based learning opportunities will complement efforts already in place within Kansas’ formal education system.

The training introduced interns to the overall goals of the grant, program implementation and management, including risk management practices. Interns were provided with curriculum, materials and supplies and hands-on training of curriculum activities. Training included how to evaluate and report their program outcomes.

The program will begin in June and continue through summer.

Over 12 weeks last year, 56 interns reached 22,611 youth through 962 programs resulting in more than 1,975 hours of instruction.

If you know of any local youth who need a fun, educational experience this summer, please refer them to one of the participating counties or districts. This is a great opportunity for non-4-H youth to get exposure to what extension has to offer.

Local counties and districts participating in this year’s summer programming include:

Eastern Region:
Brown County – 4 interns.
Butler County – 2 interns.
Coffey County – 2 interns.
Douglas County – 5 interns.
Frontier District – 4 interns.
Geary County – 2 interns.
Lyon County - 2 interns.
Marais des Cygnes District – 2 interns.
Marshall County – 2 interns.
Shawnee County – 2 interns.
Southwind District – 3 interns.
Wildcat District – 4 interns.

Central Region:
21 Central District – 2 interns.
Barber County – 2 interns.
Central Kansas District – 2 interns.
Chisholm Trail District – 2 interns.
Harvey County – 2 interns.
McPherson County – 2 interns.
Midway District – 2 interns.
Phillips Rooks District – 2 interns.
Post Rock District – 4 interns.
Reno County – 1 intern.
Rice County – 2 interns.
River Valley District – 4 interns.

Western Region:
Sunflower District – 2 part time interns.
Twin Creeks District – 4 interns.
Walnut Creek District – 2 interns.
West Plains District – 4 interns.
Hamilton County – 2 interns.
Grant County – 2 interns.
Wild West District – 2 interns.
Morton County – 2 interns.

State Level – 2 interns.