STEM and SNAP-ED Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Programs In Carson City And Storey County
Extension continued its two-decades-long relationship with Carson City Schools through the 21st Century Learning Centers after-school program and in-school classes with Storey County Schools during the FY21 School Year. James Barcellos continued science enrichment at Empire and Bordewich Bray Elementary Schools virtually in Carson City and Carolyn Cook gave in school nutrition programs at Hillside Elementary in Storey County. Although cut short because of the COVID 19 Pandemic and school shutdowns, Extension brought 4-H STEM and Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Nutrition programs to elementary school children during 44 classes, reaching 471 combined youth participants in FY21.
Juntos 4-H: Together For a Better Education
4-H Juntos: Together for a Better Education program led by Ms. Leticia Servin, Extension His-panic Outreach Coordinator, was established across schools in our school districts. Our overall goal of the JUNTOS program is to increase Latino student success by improving student attendance, grades and achieving high school graduation. Involvement has shown increases in Latino students attending higher education, family engagement leading to students' educational success, and the sense of belonging among Latino students and families in their schools and community. During COVID, Leticia held 29 virtual classes and one in-person parent session totaling 175 family contacts, with an average of 25 families attending each session. Leticia provided other impactful programs, including La Mariposa, Hispanic PTA, among others. Total individuals reached 295 participants.
Latino Multicultural Club Juntos 4-H at Carson High School After School Program. The Juntos 4-H Club continued to meet and provide inspiration during the month's COVID was raging. Their club grew from eight to 12 Car-son High School members. They proudly shared their heritage with high school students and faculty members once the school was back meeting in person. The hybrid education model was used to educate Carson's high school students throughout Spring 2021. This model entailed one-half of the school two days a week, the other one-half met the other two days, and the final day students attended homeroom from their computers used at home. Our 4-H high school afterschool groups could meet as they followed social distancing and mask-wearing policies.
Juntos 4-H Health and Wellness: Latino Family Farmer’s Market Program. Six families participated in a new Latino Family Farmer’s Market-based program, a unique, new offering of continuing virtual and in-person health and wellness programs. Depending on the week, each family who participated received farmer’s market shopping updates and a shopping bag filled with various items, including recipes, water bottles, seasonal cooking instructions, and a $10 gift certificate to be spent on fresh produce. Families participated in four outside activities and one virtual meeting. The primary goal of this program was to keep the families informed about local food sources and ways to improve the quality of foods, especially fruits and vegetables they could incorporate into their everyday meals served family-style at least three times a week.
Life Skill Development Through 4-H After-School, Summer And Traditional Club Membership In Carson City And Storey County
Traditional 4-H programs reached more than 326 youth, in addition to the contributions of 14 4-H Volunteer Leaders working with 81 4-H youth members in eight 4-H clubs throughout the year. Ms. Sandy Wallin, our traditional 4-H community-based instructor, supported and educated parents and volunteers to carry forward projects and community 4-H clubs. Through these programs, youth develop life skills including leadership, decision making and mentoring through their project areas. While the pandemic prevented any spring face–to–face competitions and events, the majority of 4-H Carson City youth participated in virtual shows and events within their clubs from March–September in 2021. Carson City youth were award winners at Nevada's 4-H EXPO held in October. Volunteers contributed 2500 hours for 4-H Shooting Sports leaders and 370 hours in other project areas, a value of $64,890.70 at the Nevada government rate of $22.61 per hour. Family-focused clubs include:
- A new Carson City Community 4-H Club has formed. • Hands-on education in dog training, showing, obedience and agility
- Livestock breeding, raising, and showing large animals, including dairy cattle, beef cattle, market and dairy goats, sheep/lambs and swine
- Poultry raising and showing
- 4-H Shooting Sports - safe firearm handling and target shooting in seven disciplines in Carson City and Storey County
Carson City Community Garden
In its 20th year, the Carson City Community Garden provides opportunities for those inclined to want to grow food and pollinator promoting plants in a safe, secure space close to the heart of the city. Our Carson City Extension Community Gardening project survived, despite adopting a unique pandemic protocol, to increase produce and herb donations (from about 146 to 172 pounds) to food banks and community groups such as the Carson City Senior Center Meals on Wheels Program. From 92- and 90-year-old gardeners to adults with disabilities, vegetables and herbs were grown better and bigger through use of green waste composted on site.
Healthy Home And Community Health Education For Adults
With rising numbers of COVID-19 related illnesses and casualties, local leaders reached out to ask Educator Lisa Taylor to provide steps residents could take to make them feel healthier and more in control of their home environment. Hold these educational programs more often in our area. There are endless topics that could be expanded that would be of interest to our seniors,” It was fun, free and educational-Recycling enlightenment” were just two of the comments provided by Healthy Home Ecology participants about the hands-on lessons Lisa taught about recycling, renewing and reusing items normally thrown away. Next topics to be taught include how to prevent water contamination, manage home air quality, conserve money and resources, and plant sustainable, safer indoor and outdoor gardens. In addition, Lisa and two volunteers provided ongoing wellness education throughout 2021 ex. Go4Life, Bingocize, and Tai Ji Quan. Participants experienced increases in strength, conditioning, and balance--which can prevent the incidence and frequency of falls. These outcomes for Carson City and Storey County participants were similar to research reported nationally about the fitness programs we used in 2021.