Recruiting for 4-H Cloverbud members can be as easy as “ABC.” Here are three great audiences where you may find new members:
Alumni- Former members of your county 4-H program may be great resources for new Cloverbud members. Because Cloverbuds is a relatively new program (started in Ohio in 1995), some former members may have kids or grandkids who could participate, but they don’t know about the program. Advertise Cloverbuds in your 4-H newsletter or on your county Facebook page where you might catch the attention of alumni. Provide them with basic Cloverbud information: age requirements, locations of clubs who have Cloverbud members, and upcoming county-wide Cloverbud events.
Brothers and sisters of current members- This is often the best source of members for the Cloverbud program. Siblings of members often come to club meetings so be sure they are involved in Cloverbuds. An excited Cloverbud can be the one who keeps a family coming to meetings.
Community families- If you want to take your Cloverbud program beyond your past and current families, use your local newspapers. Plan an event for the 5-8 year old population and publicize it in your community. At the event, make 4-H Cloverbud registration available so families can sign up.
When building your Cloverbud enrollment, keep in mind that one adult is required for every six Cloverbud members. If you are successful with Alumni, Brothers and sisters, and Community families in growing your Cloverbud program, you may also need to look at recruitment of new volunteers. It can be a vicious circle- growing club membership and providing leadership for the growing clubs- but it’s a great problem to have.
What’s in the medicine cabinet in your home? And why is this important?
Misuse of opioids, including prescription pain medications, is a serious problem in Ohio and across the country. Overdose deaths from opioids have created a public health emergency. In 2016, more than 4,000 Ohioans died of an unintentional drug overdose—more than car accidents—ranking Ohio as #1 in the nation. All areas of Ohio are affected by the epidemic of drug overdoses: rural, suburban, and urban.
Prescription opioids are found in many medicine cabinets, making them readily available. Half of those who misuse these prescription painkillers obtained them from a family member or friend for free. The prevalence of other drugs, such as heroin and fentanyl, is also a cause for concern.
The issues related to opioids are very complex. It will take an entire community effort over the long term to address the current issues and the underlying causes.
What can adults who work with Cloverbud-age children do?
- Find out if your local community has a drop-off location for prescription drugs and disseminate this information to your 4-H families so they understand how to dispose of these medications properly.
- Emphasize that no one should take medicine that is not prescribed for them or give their prescription medication to anyone else.
- Have a pharmacist come to talk to the club about medication safety.
- Do activities that help youth to be positively engaged in their community, as well as those that build their communication, social and emotional, and interpersonal skills, which will help them build a foundation to resist future peer pressure.
- Learn about drug addiction and how it is a disease that affects the brain.
- Access materials from the Generation Rx Toolkit developed by Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.org/drugoverdose/opioids
Generation Rx: www.generationrx.org
National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction
Ohio Department of Health: https://www.odh.ohio.gov/-/media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/health/injury-prevention/2016-Ohio-Drug-Overdose-Report-FINAL.pdf?la=en
State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy: http://pharmacy.ohio.gov/Pubs/DrugDisposalResources.aspx
With health as the 4th H and with a variety of healthy living projects, 4-H as an organization recognizes the importance of promoting and establishing healthy habits for its members. However, some aspects of 4-H have yet to embrace health promotion.
In 2016, a survey study was conducted to 4-H club leaders about club practices related health. The survey results below showed that although some practices align with health recommendations, the majority of 4-H clubs surveyed were not serving healthy foods and beverages nor allowing time for physical activity during club meetings.
• Over 90% of clubs served water and not quite half served 100% fruit juice (45.6%), but other beverage offerings included fruit-flavored drinks such as Kool Aid (50.5%), artificially sweetened fruit juice (36.9%), and soda (33.3%).
• Cookies and baked snacks were the top food items served at club meetings; fruit was the third most served food item, followed by chips and pizza.
• A majority of clubs (59%) hold fundraisers involving food items; top items sold were baked goods, pizza, and candy bars.
• Only two-fifths of clubs always and less than half sometimes allotted time for physical activity.
• Club leaders identified limited time, lack of interest, lack of space, and physical disabilities of club members and leaders as challenges to implementing healthy living activities.
4-H volunteers have the opportunity to help children meet guidelines for physical activity and healthy eating by regularly incorporating healthy living activities into 4-H club meetings. For example, to increase physical activity, try including active movements into already existing activities such as icebreakers and roll call. Try to keep MyPlate in mind by including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and unsweetened beverages as snacks during meetings. Finally, consider taking the 4th H for Health Challenge to jump start your club’s journey to healthier meetings.
Consider concentrating on health as the topic of your Cloverbud meetings this year. The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities, publication number 4-H 710GPM, contains the following six lessons on health: Fitness Is Fun, Making Healthy Food Choices, Safe at Home, Food Fun, Looking Your Best and Fall Festival: A Harvest of Fun. The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities can be ordered through your local county Extension Office in Ohio for $13.25 plus tax. Although the cost is a little more, it is also available at estore.osu-extension.org.
Another great source for health lessons on safe use of medications is the Generation Rx web-site. Visit www.GenerationRx.org, click on “Take Action” and then on “Elementary” to access an Elementary Resource Toolkit. The information will educate 4-H Cloverbuds about the safe use of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Developed through a partnership between The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and the Cardinal Health Foundation, the toolkit contains activity stations, games, worksheets and visual aids to keep children engaged and having fun while learning. There are also educational resources for teenagers and adults.
Hello again! Great to make this 4-H Cloverbud Connections with you.
This Cloverbud Connections issue is about healthy living. Living healthy is not something that should only be thought about later in life or as an adult, but across the lifespan, including childhood. Cloverbud kids are at a perfect age to start learning and living healthy.
Hopefully you have used and seen The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities which is the latest curriculum written for you, the 4-H Cloverbud advisor. It contains many activities to use with Cloverbud participants. One of the sections is on Healthy Living and contains six curriculum pieces including “Fitness is Fun” and “Making Healthy Food Choices.” There are numerous activities in each curriculum piece to use with Cloverbud children to promote healthy living. If you are not familiar with The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities please check with your local 4-H Youth Development professional.
Thanks for your commitment to the 4-H Cloverbud program as we enhance the healthy development of children throughout the state!
Ohio has several 4-H Cloverbud resources available for volunteers and educators. In Ohio they are available from your local Extension Office. Outside of Ohio the resources can be ordered from http://estore.osu-extension.org/ Click on 4-H then Cloverbuds
- The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities – NEW in 2017
- My 4-H Cloverbud Year – NEW in 2017
- Clover Cubes
- Choose and Tell Cards
- Cloverbud Volunteer Guidebook
- Connect to College
The Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Connections has been a resource for Ohio 4-H volunteers and Extension staff since the 1990’s. The resource was developed in response to requests from 4-H volunteers for more information and support working with 4-H Cloverbud members. The newsletter started as a print version and later transitioned to a blended online and printable resource. The quarterly resource has grown to include a variety of Click it, Print it, Do it activities that are easily accessible and readily available for volunteers.
The new location for this resource is u.osu.edu/cloverbudconnections The new format will allow readers to subscribe to the site and receive an email when new posts are added. The site is searchable by key words and topic to help readers find content. New posts will be added monthly rather than quarterly in the previous format. The new format will continue to provide a unique blend of education, activities, and fun to build and challenge 4-H Cloverbud Volunteers teaching kindergarten through second grade youth.
Bruce Zimmer, 4-H Educator, OSU Extension, Washington County, Ohio
Joyce Shriner, 4-H Educator, OSU Extension, Hocking County, Ohio