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4-H Youth Development

The 4-H emblem is recognized all over the country as a symbol of pride. Its mission of cultivating America's youth to lead us in a Revolution of Responsibility has been embraced by the efforts of WVSU Extension Service and our 4-H Youth Development program. We’ve adopted a non-traditional approach to our programming efforts, focusing on expressive arts initiatives and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. Current programs include the following:
PLANTERS: (Preschoolers Learning Agriculture, Nutrition, Technology, Engineering, Reading and Science) is an initiative to bring garden-based education to early learners. Extension agents and WVSU students establish school gardens and lead activities in preschool settings, teaching sustainability, environmental awareness and appreciation for outdoor spaces. Lessons are rooted in science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics (STEAM).

4-H Family GROWTH
The 4-H Family GROWTH literacy program represents (G)ardening, (R)eading, (O)pportunity, (W)ellness, (T)eamwork and (H)ealth. It provides youth in grades K-5 the opportunity to be involved in gardening during and after school with parents and other adults, reading books that relate to health and gardening, exploring the world with outdoor activities, and enhancing wellness through physical activity, nutrition and teamwork.
Junior Master Gardener: Developed by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Junior Master Gardener is a comprehensive gardening education curriculum targeting elementary, middle and high-school youth. Our assistant program director is the state coordinator of JMG here in West Virginia

The SCRATCH Project: The SCRATCH Project brings together inquiry-based science, real-world technology and outdoor education at the elementary level to prepare children to become problem-solvers, entrepreneurs and live a sustainable lifestyle. SCRATCH youth actively participate in the Junior Master Gardener program and receive various levels of certification based on JMG curricula. The SCRATCH Project also includes development and implementation of several backyard edible gardens, greenhouse production, hydroponic/aeroponic growing and a specialization in high-yield urban gardening for end-product production in support of local foods initiatives in Cabell County. As their garden crops are harvested, youth are learning about business and entrepreneurship by selling their products to local farmers markets and restaurants. Help support the SCRATCH Project here.

Youth Mentoring Program
The 4-H Mentoring Program targets youth ages 10-14 and their families. We use culturally appropriate, early-intervention strategies during interactions such as one-to one and group mentoring, involvement in 4-H clubs and family activities. The program is designed to increase youths’ interpersonal competence, improve their academic performance and strengthen family relationships.

Interested in volunteering with 4-H programs at WVSU? Complete our Volunteer Form, and we will contact you with additional information.

Our Team

Hannah Payne
Assistant Program Director
(304) 553-8218
Caroline Copenhaver
4-H Extension Agent
(304) 382-3383
Kaysha Jackson
4-H Extension Agent
(304) 204-4009
Emily Moore
4-H Extension Associate
(304) 532-5573
Tabitha Surface
4-H Extension Agent
(304) 543-7432
Shelley Whittington
4-H Extension Agent
(304) 541-0907

Students working on a 4-H project

Upcoming Events and Activities

Introduction to Spanish Course
Grades 6-10
Fridays, October 19-December 7
Noon to 2 p.m.
103 Davis Fine Arts Building, WVSU Campus
Cost: Free
Space is limited to 25 students.
Registration Information 
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