Oregon 4-H Sustainable Communities Programs

In 2009, the Oregon 4-H program received a five-year Sustainable Communities Project (SCP) grant from the Children, Youth, and Families At Risk (CYFAR) Program, NIFA/USDA, to focus on Latino youth and families.  Specifically, the grant provides support for Oregon 4-H to develop and implement after school/summer programs at two demonstrations sites.  The programs feature a core curriculum in science, engineering, and technology, with teamwork as a learning strategy.  County 4-H staff, assisted by volunteers, deliver the curriculum to youth in grades 3-5.

While the primary target audience is Latino youth, other youth are welcome to attend (all participating schools are designated as serving low income or at risk populations).  State project staff support local efforts by providing overall project leadership, training, and technical assistance.  Further support is provided by the Oregon 4-H Latino Outreach Project; the Oregon 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology Initiative; partnering schools; and other community resources. 

The program design also engages the parents of targeted youth in activities designed to increase their ability to support the academic achievement of their children.  Other program elements include recruiting, training, and supporting Latino 4-H volunteers; developing close partnerships with other Latino-serving organizations in local communities; and integrating Oregon SCP programs and participants into county 4-H programs.

[Over the past decade Oregon 4-H has received previous CYFAR grants, as well as funding from other sources, to develop and implement  culturally responsive outreach strategies to (1) expand the statewide capacity of OSU Extension to reach and engage Latino youth and families and (2) increase the participation of Latino youth and families in 4-H.  The body of knowledge accumulated in successfully applying the resulting project model is synthesized in the online document, Engaging Latino Youth in Community-based Programs, and continues to provide guidance for SCP programming.]

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