For more information, including a complete listing of recipients of Iowa's Promise Youth Grants, contact your local ISU Extension county office or Sue Bogue (see contact list).
AMES, Iowa -- When spring approaches, many Iowa communities launch into outdoor improvement projects. Leading the way to spruce up several city parks, playgrounds and ball fields will be 4-H clubs working closely with adult volunteers.
4-H is no stranger to community service and volunteerism, according to Chuck Morris, director of ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development.
"Young 4-H'ers often lead the way to community improvement," Morris said. "4-H gives these young people the skills they need to organize service projects and play an active role in their hometowns."
Several 4-H clubs have earned an "Iowa's Promise Youth Grant" to assist in the completion of their service projects. This year many 4-H'ers opted to use the grants to make improvements to community playgrounds, parks or ball fields.
Cedar and Clayton County 4-H Councils, the Madrid Merry Makers of Boone County, the Franklin Go-Getters of Monona County and the Ocheyedan Indians 4-H of Osceola County all have plans to fix up outdoor sports and activity spaces with their grants.
The Cass (County) Coed Club, Franklin (County) Junior Master Gardeners, Afton Aces (Howard County), Jackson's 4-H Club (Sac County) and Lincoln Bluebirds (Shelby County) will use their grants for city improvement or landscaping projects in their hometowns.
Individual 4-H’ers also step forward and guide community service projects. Humboldt’s Shelby Beilke has raised $652.22 toward the development of the Jennifer Ruzicka Memorial Playground in her community. Beilke, a sixth-grader, suffered a stroke at age seven months and benefited from a community fundraiser. She wants to give back to the people who helped her.
In Sac County, Kevin Peyton led an effort to bring about the Barn Quilts of Sac County, a project that now features a route that motorists can take through the county to see historical buildings that sport quilt paintings. This year, the Wall Lake Bandits 4-H Club will join that effort and paint two additional Sac County barn quilts.
Spring also will see a group of 4-H volunteers from across the state gather at the Iowa 4-H Center near Madrid in Boone County for Clean Up, Fix Up Day on April 22, which marks the end of National Volunteer Week. In addition Poweshiek County’s Boy Scout Troop 313 and the Mighty Golden Clovers 4-H Club will jointly build and install tables and benches at the 4-H Center.
Iowa’s Promise Grants are awarded by the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, in partnership with ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development. An outgrowth of the 1998 Iowa Summit Initiative, the grant program emphasizes involvement of young people in their community.
4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.
Carol Ouverson, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-9640, firstname.lastname@example.org