When I found out our school was going to offer 4-H during the school day, I couldn’t wait. I had been involved with 4-H beef in the past but I was very excited that I would get to try new projects that did not involve animals or being on the farm. I enjoyed absolutely everything about our school club but being able to interact and help with people that I would not usually associate with (all students in grades 4-9), trying so many new projects, and meeting new people at camps and other 4-H programs are my most memorable.
This experience has already provided me and will continue to provide an enormous advantage as I use the skills I have learned throughout my life. Being able to practice and use these skills starting with people I already know has made it much easier when meeting and working with those I don’t know.
I have recently moved to a school that does not offer a 4-H program at this time. I am truly going to miss it; I would love to be involved in a school 4-H program again and I would definitely recommend it to others. It has made me a better leader and communicator and I have so much more confidence in myself and my abilities.
Thanks 4-H and Ardmore School.
What is 4-H and how could it fit into school? Two years ago, when our school was going to start the project, I really didn’t know but I was happy to try it out. Now my experience with the school program has offered me a greater understanding of 4-H in general and with this new found knowledge, I am able to participate effectively as our school’s new 4-H president for this upcoming year, a chance that I know will open more doors and opportunities for me to enjoy in the future.
Our school program is great; we have many options that allow everyone to try something new and different. 4-H is hands on learning with a capital “H” and almost all aspects involve social, mental and physical creativity which also teaches valuable life skills needed for a successful future. The dreaded public speaking was initially scary but has opened my eyes and made me realize how much I enjoy speaking to groups and audiences and this has worked together with other skills such as presenting, teamwork, and self-responsibility making me a more well rounded person.
When asked how I would describe the experience, I would use two words – “important” and “amazing.” I am very proud of what I have accomplished through our schools first two years and I look forward to continuing for years to come. The opportunities are incredible, the challenges are personality shaping and the outcome is valuable and self-reflecting, it has been worth every adventure that I have embarked upon through it. I also know that when the time comes to apply for a job at any age in my life, I will have the social and mental skills to succeed which is due in part to my experiences gained through the 4-H program offered in our school. Every student should be given this same opportunity that my friends and I have been given, it really is life changing.
I was too young to be in our school 4-H club when it first started but I got to see my sister in it. I could not wait to be able to try the projects and be in Achievement Day when I was old enough. Now I am involved and it is great, we actually get options at our school now. I hope we always have the school 4-H program.
I was involved in a 4-H club before our school started the program so I knew that it would be a great chance. We now have actual options, most of which students wouldn’t see in regular school classes, for example, business in which we learn many new skills to use later in our life. I love the fact that we can participate in these activities with our school friends, some of whom have never had the chance to try. We have all gained so much from this experience but the skills acquired through public speaking, the responsibility gained and being able to express ideas freely are among the benefits. There is one activity that I am not fond of in the program however; and that is completing record books but it’s something we have to do and if it means we can have 4-H in our school then I will do it. 4-H is a great school program that more students should have the chance to take.
Since our school started doing 4-H as part of the school day, I look forward to being involved every year. I love that our school offers new projects each term and we can choose which ones we want to take, that never happened before 4-H started.
We learn so many new things and have so much fun all during the school day and the best part is, we don’t have to choose between 4-H and other after school and weekend activities, we can be a part of it all.
The new skills that I have learned and the opportunities that 4-H provides will positively help in the future. Everyone should get the chance to try 4-H in school, you will get to meet new people, learn new skills, go to any 4-H programs like summer camp and best of all – have fun!!
When the 4-H program was proposed as a possible option in our school, I was very excited that my children would have the opportunity to partake in such a leadership program. I was already familiar with 4-H having been a former member and Ambassador in Manitoba and I did not have any hesitations whatsoever.
Since the start of our school 4-H club, I see such positive things; they have learned about different subject matters, they have a desire and willingness to try new things, they have worked in group settings with multiage members, they have improved their communication skills, they have learned the responsibility of finishing a project on time and they are gaining a grasp of the global issues that affect us all. This entire experience now will be a tremendous benefit to each of them in the future, making stronger citizens for tomorrow.
We know that schools can offer a lot of options to students but the 4-H program offers practical skills, a leadership building role, and communication training all of which enhance the school experience and help prepare students for life after school. I would highly recommend this program to any schools and families.
I love the school 4-H program! I thought 4-H was only for farm kids with horses or cows but I soon discovered it was not. My daughters have been offered such a wide variety of topics from business to photography and they have truly learned through doing; they don’t even realize they are learning because they are having so much fun. This program opened up new options that they would never have had the chance to experience and we found out they had a love for things that we, as parents, never would have known.
The 4-H program fosters life skills and each child’s self-esteem through projects, public speaking, group work and so much more. With the 4-H program being offered in our school, my children do not have to make a choice as to which extracurricular activities to participate in as they can be in 4-H during the school day and still participate in sports and music lessons after school – it is absolutely the best of both worlds.
We are very fortunate to have a school that found a program with opportunities for so many students to be able to take advantage of – most of these students would not be in 4-H otherwise and I would be very upset if this program was discontinued.
Our entire family is extremely involved in rodeo life and many other activities so we were never able to have our children involved in extra-curricular 4-H clubs. We were very excited when the school decided to offer the program within the school day; this meant our kids could actually do it all very reasonably.
The school 4-H program is wonderful and our boys have benefited in so many ways. They have developed confidence, self-esteem, social skills and adaptability and as parents we can definitely see how the skills they have learned will be applied to everyday life. The energy, experiences, and direction 4-H offers is fantastic and it truly encourages kids to want to be involved.
To other parents I would say, if your school doesn’t offer 4-H at this time, look into it! Your children have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The life skills they will learn are just as important as the book skills and they will build memories to last a lifetime!!
From Administration / Staff / Leaders
Before Ardmore School began the 4-H pilot project, I’m embarrassed to say my knowledge of 4-H was very limited. I assumed it was an agricultural based program which involved members primarily working with their animals on the farm. I had no idea there would be so many projects to choose from. Being a leader is an amazing opportunity and it is no more work for me as a teacher than planning any other class; the beauty of being a 4-H leader/teacher is that you get to choose what you teach. If you are passionate about your choice then you will definitely have fun with it.
From a school perspective, 4-H is clearly organized into a format which is easily implemented into the classroom. It has a great structure and base but it is also very flexible and adaptable for students with special needs. It is easily modified to suit any student and their needs. For students the benefits are numerous, they can participate in social event, develop public speaking, leadership, and organizational skills; participate in an organized democratic process; and become more independent while building their confidence. This program incorporates real life skills that students will need to learn in order to be successful outside the walls of the school. Whether it’s to interview for their first job or complete college applications, the tools learned and put into practice in the 4-H program are so valuable to developing a well rounded, successful young adult.
I would absolutely recommend offering the 4-H program in school to everyone. I wholeheartedly plan on being involved in our club for as long as the school offers it. It is an amazing program that students embrace as their own personal success!!
The 4-H program was introduced to Ardmore School with the hopes of offering true option choices and motivating students and families to remain in our school. As we were able to easily fit the program into our regular timetable using multiage groupings, we were able to offer more project choices and allow older and younger students the opportunity to work together, giving our school a very unique identity. The school 4-H program has helped improve school culture and it has made an impact on student learning and enjoyment for being at school.
Our teacher leaders have not had their workloads increased and they are very excited about the opportunities to work side by side with students in areas that they are passionate about which has definitely increased enthusiasm within the classroom. One significant advantage is that students benefit as the program is very hands-on, activities can be adapted to meet each person’s individual needs and desires, and the skills they learn are totally applicable to life after school. For example, leadership and record keeping skills can be utilized everyday throughout their lifetime and are very important aspects of the 4-H program. This is without a doubt, a program that I, as principal, would recommend to other schools – it can work in any school with 4-H age students and can be developed and organized to meet the unique needs of each individual school.
When the idea of offering the 4-H program within our school was first proposed, I did have some experience with it when I, myself, was school aged so there were no hesitations; I definitely saw it as a “win-win” situation – my biggest question was how to sell it to the students. Our school had a great first year and we look forward to continuing; we have received outstanding support from both the local and provincial levels and the positive press has helped our school come to the fore front.
The 4-H program has allowed our school to offer a wider range of options and is another tool to help draw the students, staff, and community together. In the future, we will be exploring ways to bring community members in to help offer projects thus expanding their involvement making them a larger part of this wonderful experience. Special needs students are also able to participate completely without experiencing any barriers, some have even found new passions in areas they didn’t even know they had, that’s true success!
As with anything else, there have been a few challenges such as leader screening in which we would like to see be a more streamlined process and the additional work which occurred through the organization period and during communication competitions and achievement days. All in all though, it’s worth every minute just to see the accomplishments of every member and the satisfaction they feel. The benefits of the 4-H program in school definitely outweigh the challenges and now our students have the chance to use their new found skills throughout their lives, they will have travel and scholarship opportunities and just participating in the 4-H program will add to their resume and future. With our first year complete, the students themselves are now also seeing the benefits of their involvement.
As principal of a school offering the 4-H program, I would absolutely recommend it to other schools. It is a terrific way to offer new opportunities and allow students to develop their citizenship and life skills at an earlier age giving them an enormous advantage. We are very proud of our affiliations with the local and provincial 4-H program and plan to continue for years to come.
From the School Board
4-H is such a worthwhile program. By offering 4-H within the school day, it becomes accessible to so many more youth, especially those at risk whose parents or guardians may not be able to pay the fees or get them to extracurricular 4-H clubs. The school 4-H program also allows students who struggle academically the opportunity to learn in a hands-on environment. Through the variety of project options available, the 4-H program ensures all students are engaged and learning.
The program presents so many benefits to each of its members but risk taking, creativity, problem solving and group effort are among the top skills that they will be able to use into and throughout adulthood. Not only does 4-H benefit the members but the school community as a whole as it creates a very strong sense of unity bringing students of all ages together through a common thread.
As a school district trustee, based on what I have seen of the school 4-H program in our area and how it serves the needs and interests of such a large student population equally regardless of ability, I would highly recommend it to other schools and districts.
School Board Trustee