Cloverbud programs set the stage for success – Part 1
Michigan 4-H programs geared toward 5 to 8 year-olds can provide youth with a solid foundation in animal science projects.
Michigan State University (MSU) Extension 4-H Youth Development offers programming for younger youth to explore new opportunities that aim to set a solid foundation for lifelong success. The Cloverbuds program goal is to promote healthy development in children by enhancing life skills such as social-interaction, self esteem, making choices and learning.
Scott Scheer, Extension specialist from The Ohio State University, has effectively outlined ten parameters for successful Cloverbud programs in Ohio. Because of program differences between states, nine of those parameters are extremely applicable in Michigan 4-H programs. They are:
- Activity based experiences
- Cooperative-learning centered
- Activities are developmentally age appropriate
- Activities are safe for children
- Cloverbud activities are distinctly different from 9 to 19 year old programs
- Curricula are success oriented
- Animals and animal subject matter should contribute to Cloverbud objectives
- Activities are fun, positive and focus on the five general life skill areas through the experiential learning cycle
A series of articles will effectively dissect one to two of the parameters outlined and give practical strategies for club leaders and parents to utilize within their Michigan 4-H clubs. Club leaders have a unique opportunity to foster a genuine interest in animal science with this age group.