4-H organization has tried to make most of bad situation

By Per Peterson

While some normalcy has returned to everyday life, one very large and outgoing group continues to try to move forward in a much different way than usual and stay connected with youth around the state.

Sam Jens, University of Minnesota Extension educator and 4-H Youth Development coordinator for Lyon County, said 4-H has been offering high tech and low tech opportunities for kids this year on local, regional and state levels, meaning that even though youth can’t get together in person, they can still keep busy. By doing so, Jens said 4-H can serve as an outlet for youth and help them deal with what are difficult times.

“This is a very stressful time for youth, and being the youth organization that 4-H is, we are committed to offering solid learning opportunities for youth to be able to interact socially via different social medial platforms,” Jens said. “We are committed to resembling in-person activities where kids can interact as much as possible. We are very committed to being cognizant of youth needs and youth stresses, and providing resources to youth and adults to help cope with any stresses they may have at this time.”

Because of COVID-19, all face-to-face programming with 4-H and Extension was postponed through at least July 1, and Jens said there are small steps being taken to reopen some of that face-to-face programming sometime this month.

“With that, 4-H has never shut down,” Jens said. “We have had a lot of great learning opportunities for all of our youth, from the last quarter of the school year when all the schools had to go to distance learning — we shifted gears from in-person learning to virtual learning also.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.