AMES, Iowa – More Iowa youth will get hands-on experience learning how agriculture, the environment, food production and nutrition connect to their daily lives, thanks to a Walmart Foundation grant to Iowa State University Extension 4-H Youth Development.
In June, Iowa 4-H received $25,000 through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program for “Connecting Learning and Living,” an Iowa 4-H in-school and after-school curricula and teacher/educator training program that connects classroom learning with sustainable living for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade youth.
According to ISU Extension 4-H program specialist Janet Toering, 127 classroom teachers and other educators and 126 child care providers already have been trained in the curricula thanks to the Walmart grant. They’ll be able to educate more than 8,000 Iowa youth about sustainable living.
“Through ‘Connecting Learning and Living,’ youth apply what they learn in the classroom to how and where they live so that they see themselves as part of a community with natural resources, people, plants and animals on planet Earth,” Toering said. “They also get to practice important life skills such as critical thinking, decision making, healthy choices, communication, respect, responsibility, citizenship and leadership.”
Some of the Walmart funds will be used to print updated sustainable living lessons, Toering said. “We also are completing four new lessons about energy sources, sustainable agriculture and our food supply, why we need rules and gardening alternatives.”
The Walmart donation was officially recognized Aug. 22 during Walmart Day at the Iowa State Fair. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey was on hand for the event.
“I appreciate Walmart’s commitment to Iowa agriculture through this donation and the company’s dedication to sell and promote Iowa products,” Northey said. “This has been a very successful Iowa State Fair and I am pleased that Walmart has played a part in this great showcase of Iowa agriculture.”
“We are very excited about the Walmart Foundation’s donation and interest in increasing agricultural education,” added Shelly Greving, marketing coordinator for the Iowa 4-H Foundation. “This donation will make a significant impact on our ability to create a youth curriculum that will benefit many of the 4-H youth across the state.”
“Walmart is pleased to support Iowa 4-H and we are committed to helping those in need in the communities we serve,” said Ryan Irsik of Walmart Public Affairs. “We have had a great response here at the Fair and are glad to help 4-H create future leaders.”