Author: David Crawford, OSU Extension, Stark County, CED & 4-H Youth Development Educator
This five-year USDA/CYFAR grant started in late 2013 and funds the efforts that address local concerns on the importance of active fathering, provides youth participants with hands-on 4-H activities to develop marketable skills, and the improve nutritional health of targeted youths and adults in Stark, Hardin and Franklin Counties. All 4-H programs focus on active involvement and quality experiences which stimulate lifelong learning of values and skills. More than 20 fathers and youth participated in a 2014 data collection activity to assist in designing the weGrill© program to meet the needs of participants in Stark.
Program curriculum is being developed and piloted. Preliminary formative evaluation occurred during three grilling workshops in 2014 with more than 60 total youth/father participants. Needs assessment data and information gathered from these workshops are being used in the development of the curriculum. The program will be implemented in communities in 2016 after intensive piloting in 2015-2016.
The program targets adult male participants who are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, or step-fathers, and their adolescent youth ages 11-18 years old. Participants participate in hands on, learning activities, to incorporate the following themes: Awareness, Responsibility, Decision-making and Connection. Each of the main topics will have a number of themes that are introduced and interwoven throughout. Topics include compassion, commitment, forgiveness, gratitude, identity, leadership, preparation, responsibility, and respect. A collaborative effort exists for the success of the program. Campus researchers, 4-H, EFNEP and ANR professionals have contributed to this effort in Stark County. Our local Stark County community partner is FameFathers (http://www.famefathers.org/) who assists in participant recruitment, planning, and program delivery/development.
“The curriculum is designed as a four session, in-person series, taught by Extension professionals, each session being approximately two hours long. The themes will tie the information for fathers (fatherhood education) and youth (4-H youth development) into an integrated learning package. Lesson material will be augmented by father/child activity and nutrition cards that can be used during the in-person sessions and at home. Activity cards are designed for fathers and youth to engage each other in simple activities to build stronger relationships and develop life skills. Nutrition cards are used to demonstrate grilling techniques, recipes, serving sizes, and dietary health,” shared by Dr. James Bates, Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor, Extension Field Specialist, Family Wellness, Ohio State University Extension.
The 4-H Grilling and Beyond Team looks forward to develop quality opportunities for this program effort to be replicated throughout Ohio and the nation.
Reviewed by Mike Hogan, Extension Educator and Associate Professor
Reviewed by: Dr. James Bates, Assistant Professor, Extension Field Specialist, Family Wellness, Ohio State University Extension.