Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program Partners with Valley High School

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Students at Valley High School in Las Vegas will soon be offered additional before and after school programs to help those who may have fallen behind on needed credits or are looking for engagement opportunities. Assistance will be provided by the 4-H Youth Development Program, through a grant of $ 120,000 from the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program of the Nevada Department of Education.

“Most of these grants go to elementary schools and usually go directly to schools, not community organizations. Nora Luna, manager of the 4-H Urban Youth Development Program at the University of Nevada, Reno Extension, said. “By securing a grant from the Nevada Department of Education to implement a 21st Century Program at Valley High School, we have direct access to a population that will benefit from everything 4-H does.

According to the data and inputs provided by the school, the school has a problem with students who do not have enough credits for their grade level. However, the data also shows that students generally have a favorable sense of being on campus, where they regularly stay after school and form informal groups. Funding from this grant will provide the infrastructure to formalize these groups and create impactful before and after school programs that meet the needs of the student body.

Beginning in January 2022, Extension will be basing a 4-H site coordinator, Maria Chairez, in high school. Chairez will develop and execute programs aimed at helping students catch up and improve overall academic performance, such as improving student grades and attendance, and reducing behavioral and discipline problems at school. school. Being campus-based, Chairez will get to know the students firsthand and can adjust programming as needed.

“I am excited to create a new program that harnesses the interest, needs and talents of Valley High School youth, while meeting their needs to stay on track to high school graduation and beyond, ”Chairez said. “Many have fallen behind or just need extra support and the 21st The Century after-school program will provide young people with new learning and growth opportunities.

In his work, Chairez will pilot the “4-H MAGIC Program”. The program, which stands for Mastery, Generosity, Independence, and Community, uses six-week sessions designed to leverage student engagement, target academic intervention, and provide a diverse supply of enrichment opportunities to build community. of out-of-school people. learners of time. To complement the grant, Extension has pledged an additional $ 10,000 per year to support the program and will also provide a variety of additional high-quality enrichment programs led by Extension facilitators once a week.

“We are really delighted to be partnering with Extension’s 4-H program on the 21stst Century Community Learning Program, ”said Philip Marsh, Deputy Principal of Valley High School. “Our students are eager to get involved, and 4-H activities will give them more opportunities to do so. In addition, some students have fallen behind, and this program will allow us to offer more opportunities for credit recovery.

The specific programming offered will be developed based on a needs assessment that Chairez will conduct, which will include student feedback in the form of surveys, focus groups and interviews, as well as information and feedback provided by administrators. school. In addition to the 15 hour per week enrichment program that 4-H will offer, the grant provides funding for teachers to deliver before and after school programs to help students earn the credits they need. missing. Family involvement is another goal of the grant program. As such, certain activities will be included to ensure that parental involvement is offered.

The 4-H-21st The Century Partnership at South Valley High School is intended to serve as a pilot program.

“We believe that using the 4-H MAGIC model at Valley High School will prove effective in achieving the objectives of the program. We hope that then this experience can serve as a model and be replicated in other high schools with similar needs across the state, ”said Luna.

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