The Ohio 4-H Healthy Living Journal features content related to health, the 4th H of 4-H (along with head, heart, and hands). The blog format allows us to feature information, activities, and stories about various aspects of health  Theresa Ferrari and Heather Gottke originated this site in April 2020 as youth development professionals and youth processed events related to the COVID-19 pandemic. After a break to complete other projects, the Ohio 4-H Healthy Living Design Team members are continuing with posts on all aspects of health. We added Grab and Go Resources to make it easier to find downloadable activities featured in many of the posts.


Theresa Ferrari has been with OSU Extension for 20 years, working in the State 4-H Office as an Extension Specialist. Prior to joining OSUE, she had state and county positions in Florida, Michigan, and Maine, and she spent a year on-loan to the 4-H National Headquarters in Washington, DC. As a member of the Healthy Living Design Team, she provides subject matter support and works with the Teen Leader subcommittee. She also supports programs for youth who live in military families.

Theresa enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and being outdoors (mostly in the summer when it’s warm). So far she has been to 48 of the 50 states, and is looking for opportunities to travel to Alaska and Arkansas to make it 50. During the pandemic she became reacquainted with her interests in gardening and knitting.

Theresa would like readers to learn something new, apply it in their life, and share it with others. You can reach her at ferrari.8@osu.edu.


Justin Bower is a 4-H Educator in Logan County.

Aubry Fowler is a 4-H Educator in Fairfield County.

Laryssa Hook is a 4-H Educator in Delaware County.

Tyler Kessler is a 4-H Educator at Adventure Central in Dayton, Ohio.

Heather Gottke worked for 11 years in the Van Wert County Extension Office. As a Healthy Living Design team member for Ohio 4-H, she worked closely with the 4-H Winning Plan, special needs youth, and invisible illness. Other topics of interest are accessibility for disabilities and accommodations.

Heather enjoys crafting in her free time, making jewelry and upcycling décor for her home. Spending time with family, journaling, photography, and hiking are four forms of self-care she greatly enjoys.

Heather was one of the originators of this blog. Her goal was to inspire youth during the pandemic and to help them find the best way to creatively express themselves. Drawing, writing, cut and paste, or coloring are just a few of the ways to enjoy our online journal and blog!





The target audience for this blog is 4-H youth ages 12-18 and those 4-H professionals and volunteers who work to support them in Ohio and other states.


  1. Identify youth needs as related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Discuss mental health topics as related to youth and emotional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Explain historical significance of pandemic and identify how past responses were conducted.
  4. Demonstrate proper strategies for positive healthy living during pandemic and stressful times.
  5. Model healthy living through nutrition and recipes.
  6. Celebrate significant dates, celebrations, and changes during pandemic response.

Needs Being Addressed

Online accessible approach to positive mental health that is curated with 4-H’ers and age in mind.
Self-care strategies and fun worksheets to break up monotony of daily activities during lock downs and virtual school.