Situation: Quality low cost programs are important to provide in rural or isolated settings, giving families access to each other and positive social interaction. The 4-H ideal of practical, learn-by-doing experiences encourages youth to experiment, innovate and create. Youth are becoming conditioned to think of learning as occurring indoors behind a desk.
Action: A fun-filled, informal high quality educational workshop or "Super Saturday" was held at the Pacific County Fairgrounds on April 25. Super Saturday is open to all youth from birth through 12 grade and their families. Twenty classes were offered to older youth while Block Fest and STEM activity stations were offered to younger children and their interested family members. Holding the educational program at the fairgrounds helped get our community's youth outdoors and exposed to a variety of learning styles. Opportunities included introducing new ideas, new areas of interest, improving existing skills, participating in and increasing community awareness. The three family centered organizations which presented the event, expect to increase future participation in their activities.
Partners: WSU Pacific County Extension 4-H Youth Development brought 4-H projects designed for youth (6-years-old and up) as classes with trained leaders and community members. Partnering with Know and Grow Coalition for Early Learning allowed young children in early ages (birth to 5) to participate in Super Saturday. The Pacific County Fair hosted the event on the fairgrounds offering suitable space. 4-H Leader Council covered the class expenses. A grant from Visions for Early Learning, Family Engagement covered the costs for early learning activities and distributed books. Donated by a clothing company, hoodies were given to all youth providing appropriate outdoor weather wear. Love Talk Play furnished bags for the families to take home their class materials.
Evaluation Results and Impacts: A short evaluation of the day was provided. Sixty eight youth participated in the day with their families. Fifty-seven percent of the youth (39) returned the evaluation. Some youth filled out the evaluation with the help of their parents. Seventeen of the youth were under 5-years-of-age.
Responding youth indicated they took home new ideas or skills to share: 26% learned about small animal care, 25% learned new sewing and cooking skills, 13% learn about games, 8% learned new craft skills and 8% of the young children indicated they learned early science skills. Sharing of their new-found knowledge demonstrates a level of interest and mastery. These new ideas, knowledge and skills will enrich their lives and enhance personal social activities.
The responding youth reported spending the day doing experiential learning activities is enjoyable as 26% indicated they had fun! One youth stated that he/she would rather do experiential education than stay home for a day.
Youth reported they are planning to share their new take home science activity books which demonstrated an increased interest in science. When youth share information it extends the impact to their social group broadening our reach.
The young children and their parents demonstrated improvement of their children's cooperative skills. Everything from not eating play dough to improved behavior was mentioned.
Evaluation show older youth learned complicated information and reasoned how to apply it to their own small animals. This is inducted in the 10% of the youth's answers who disclosed a plan for raising a healthier animal.
After participating in Super Saturday:
- 97% of the youth indicated they would be more likely to enter something into the Pacific County Fair.
- 95% indicated they would be more likely to participate in future Know and Grow Early Learning Collation events.
- 85% would be more likely to join a 4-H club while 18% self-selected as already a member. Eight youth found a club to join at the event and turned in enrollment forms before leaving.
Satisfied Super Saturday participant with her chef's hat and picture frame craft.
Memorable Evaluation Responses
"I learned not to lick my hands when cooking"
"I learned I am not afraid of chickens."
"Butterflies and Chickens are similar!"