A First for Missouri, 4H in the School in Anderson - FOX 14 TV Joplin and Pittsburg News Weather Sports |

A First for Missouri, 4H in the School in Anderson


        "My hands for better living."  Students an Anderson Elementary learned and recited the 4h pledge Tuesday. 4H is no longer  just an after school club here.  This is the first school in McDonald county and Missouri as a state to have 4H In the School.

First grade teacher Shelley Paul is excited. Being a lifelong 4H member myself  and then into adulthood raising my child in 4H,  I see all the benefits. The leadership benefits, the personal growth, she said.

And  lots of projects.  Like planting gardens, photography, and even cake decorating. Paul's class will first   focus on owls. On Tuesday, a 4H member demonstrated preparing a cow for show at an all school assembly.

Principal Trent Barratt said, The student engagement that comes with 4H I  think will impact them and the student centered approach is what we're going for."

The principal and coordinators with the University of Missouri Extension 4H program said in such a large rural district, its logistically difficult to have an after school program when it comes to rides home. Principal Barratt said in school it is  an opportunity for all  students to gain leadership skills.  And those in 4H say it works. Especially when it comes to public speaking. 
Callie Keaton, a  senior at McDonald County high school and long time 4H member said,  "Its truly helped me because I wasnt much of a public speaker before I started and I took the public speaking classes  that they offered when I was younger and Ive become so much of a better public speaker. I wouldn't have been able to go up  in front of all them and speak to them without 4H."

The principal said a lot of the  hands on projects will take place  in the schools courtyard but students will also be taking over a landscaping project for the front of school. And all will be tied into curriculum.

Mike Coffey, the regional 4H youth specialist said the landscaping project will teach students,  "How to control erosion,  prevent water runoff into our streams, preserve water quality."

Shelley Paul said,  "There are resources  available through the University of Missouri program. We are going, the kindergarten   through second grade teachers, are gonna come together and  look through those resources and find the ones  that best fit with our curriculum and be able to incorporate those."

The third Thursday afternoon each month will be dedicated to 4H projects.

Anderson elementary is a trial project and depending on how well the roll out goes there, 4H could be added to other schools next semester. Eventually the entire school system in McDonald county is going to have 4H in the school.


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