Tag Archives: 4-H

Virginia 4-H crowdfunds to support Brazilian youth development program

students in Brazil

Character Counts! is making an impact in more than 65 schools in Brazil.

For more than a decade, Virginia 4-H has been working in Brazil to bring character education and training to educators, students, and families. The Character Counts! program has made an impact in more than 65 schools, improving student behavior, reducing violence, and increasing family involvement.

“Character Counts! changed our whole classroom routine. There are fewer fights at recess, and we study harder and ask for help when we need it now,” said a 13-year-old student who participated in the program.

This month, Virginia 4-H launched the “Bills for Brazil” campaign to solicit donations through Virginia Tech’s JUMP crowdfunding platform. Their goal of $4,999 will help expand the program and reach more educators and students in Brazil.

Sponsors will be directly supporting training for teachers, principals, judges, and all community leaders who affect the lives of children in Brazil. A $20 donation provides 20 Character Counts! posters for one school, while a $50 donation gives a full scholarship for Character Counts! advanced training. A $120 donation pays for a substitute teacher so educators can participate in the two-day training.

Character Counts! is designed to address the character development challenges youth face today. The program emphasizes the importance of teaching ethics and good character in the classroom and the home. Children across Virginia, and now Brazil, have learned some of their earliest ethical behavior from the six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.

Virginia 4-H representative Glenda Snyder first went to Brazil in 2004 to build partnerships and begin the work of bringing Character Counts! to Brazil’s youth. By 2006, the pilot program became training held in Joinville, Santa Catarina. More than 250 school faculty and judges working with troubled youth attended, addressing violence prevention and fostering a stronger community to support children.

Each year, the program has grown, reaching 1,700 teachers, principals, judges, and community leaders in Santa Catarina, Minas Gerais, and Rio Grande Do Norte. Virginia 4-H has impacted more than 65 schools and 70,000 students who have attended.

The trainings have now expanded to include conflict management, learning styles, and classroom management. Teachers can participate in the initial two-day basic Character Counts! training or the more recent advanced training designed for teachers returning to the program. More than 350 educators have participated.

In 2018, Virginia 4-H also visited Joinville, the site of the earliest Character Counts! training in Brazil, to see their work in action in the schools. The teachers and the school administration reported decreased violence, improved classroom behavior, and an increase in parent involvement.

4-H is the youth development education program of Virginia Cooperative Extension. Through 4-H, young people are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities that emphasize 4-H’s “learning by doing” philosophy of youth development. Administered through the state’s land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, 4-H is the first experience many young people have with higher education.

To support Character Counts! programming in Brazil, please visit the JUMP campaign.

-Written by Caroline Sutphin

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Virginia 4-H horse judging team wins national championship

The Virginia 4-H Horse Judging team won first overall at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Judging Contest in November.

“Winning the national contest means so much to this team. I knew at the beginning of the year they had the talent to do it, and they worked tirelessly every week to make sure they were ready for the challenge of Eastern Nationals,” said Leona Ransdell, the coach of the Horse Judging team.

The Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky. The event allows 4-H’ers to compete nationally in several contests, including Horse Judging, Hippology, Horse Bowl, and Horse Communications. This year, 306 youth from 26 states competed. For the Virginia 4-H Horse Judging team, this was their biggest and most important contest to date.

Team members Charlotte Manvell, 17, of Fredericksburg, Virginia; Ruth Martin, 16, of Check, Virginia; Sarah Seay, 16, of Louisa, Virginia; and Caitlyn Russ, 17, of Palmyra, Virginia, each placed high individually, demonstrating the skills they’ve worked hard to cultivate through practice and competition. They were scored in three areas: halter class judging, performance class judging, and oral reasons. They placed first in halter, first in performance, and third in reasons, taking home the first overall.

Virginia 4-H had 16 total competitors at the Roundup, all placing well in their competitions. The Horse Bowl team of Taryn Cowles, Emma Hartman, Katie Define, and Hannah Beaver placed ninth overall. In Hippology, the team of Nikki Novak, Adela Novak, Peyton Freeman, and Claire Edwards placed 10th overall. The Virginia Communications team placed ninth, with Caroline Perkins competing in Public Speaking, Kate Hudson competing in Individual Presentation, and Camryn Madagan and Brenna Hathaway competing in Team Presentation.

4-H grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for the world of tomorrow. The research-backed 4 H experience teaches young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities, two times more likely to be civically active, and two times more likely to make healthier choices. 4-H reaches nearly 6 million young people across the country. The 4-H horse program in America has an enrollment of more than 260,000, the largest of all the animal-oriented 4-H projects.

Written by Caroline Sutphin

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97th annual Virginia 4-H State Congress inspires true leaders

4-H members on drillfield standing in the shape of a 4-H clover

Virginia 4-H State Congress is the leading, statewide annual 4-H event for 4-H members and volunteer leaders.

More than 500 4-H’ers and adult volunteers will converge on Virginia Tech’s campus for the 97th annual Virginia 4-H State Congress to take place June 19-22.

Virginia 4-H State Congress is the leading, statewide annual 4-H event for 4-H members and volunteer leaders. Its mission is to provide competitive and non-competitive educational experiences to Virginia teens and the adults who work with them, helping them to develop life skills and leadership abilities to become contributing citizens in their communities.

Participants customize their 4-H State Congress experience by selecting activities from the dozens of workshops, showcases, and competitions offered. The activities provided cover topics such as communication and expressive arts, citizenship, healthy living, leadership, service learning, career/economic education, animal science, STEM, and environmental/outdoor education.

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Bristol Junior Steer and Heifer Show in Abingdon, Virginia on May 10

The 2017 Bristol Junior Steer and Heifer Show will take place May 10, at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Abingdon, Virginia. The 73rd annual show will begin with the steer exhibition at 9 a.m.

The event is a partnership between Virginia Cooperative Extension and University of Tennessee-Tennessee State University Extension, and it includes 4-H and FFA members from both Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.

Youth exhibitors will compete in steer, heifer, and showmanship classes; project record books; and an educational beef skill-a-thon, as well as for college scholarships. Participants have been caring for their project animals for several months in preparation for the show.

The Bristol Junior Steer and Heifer Show is a time-honored event that started in downtown Bristol in 1944. Goals of the event include teaching youths about the beef cattle industry, where their food comes from, and life skills. Participants learn responsibility, decision-making, communication, relationship building, and teamwork.

For more information, contact Walter Malone in the Sullivan County Extension Office at 423-279-2723. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m.

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