Designing 4-H toolkits for increasing engagement with diverse youth audiences
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Based on experience from culturally relevant programs around the country, the University of California 4-H Youth Development Program (UC 4-H YDP), administered by Cooperative Extension, developed and piloted three new programs that emphasized engaging under-served youth and families. The objective of these programs was to develop inclusive environments emphasizing culturally relevant practices. Based on successful pilot programs, three toolkits were developed to assist county-based 4-H programs to implement three varying models of 4-H Clubs. The purpose of this manuscript is to offer a pragmatic discussion of challenges, successes and opportunities for improvement to inform others' efforts in developing more inclusive programming. In-Motion Clubs: 4-H often collaborates with existing afterschool programs that serve youth in a specific school, program, or setting with science, health, and civic education during afterschool hours. 4-H S.N.A.C. Clubs: Organized through in-school or afterschool settings, these clubs collaborate in conjunction with existing Cooperative Extension nutrition education programs that serve youth in a specific school with health and nutrition education. Day Camps: During school breaks (such as spring break, holidays and summer break), these camps provide opportunities for youth to learn valuable skills through experiential project-based learning.