Extension News

Iowa 4-H Announces New Service-Learning Program


AMES, Iowa -- As part of National 4-H Week, the Iowa 4-H Youth Development program today announced a new service-learning program, Reach Out Iowa. “Service-learning is at the heart of what we do in 4-H; with this program 4-H can bring service-learning to communities in new ways,” said Don Broshar, Iowa State University Extension program specialist. "We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with community organizations as well as 4-H clubs, and help young people truly make a difference in their communities.”

Reach Out Iowa, a three-year program, will target six communities: Des Moines, Winterset, Marshalltown, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Humboldt – with a special emphasis on projects that support those families hardest hit by the economic downturn. ISU Extension will provide service-learning training and support to already existing youth groups in these communities.

“Service-learning is a process where community needs are identified, those needs are researched, then action plans are created and implemented,” said Marc Peterson, ISU Extension youth specialist and program coordinator. “Reach Out Iowa will teach this process while working with youth groups. This program not only aligns with 4-H goals, but it is consistent with Governor Culver’s learn and serve challenge to build awareness of the value of students’ contributions to communities.”

Peterson said a secondary goal of the program will be to work with adult leaders in the six communities so they better understand the value of including youth in local decision making and effectively spread service-learning practices. Community organizations will receive training on how to work with youth to achieve positive youth development through community involvement.

Reach Out Iowa is receiving Learn and Serve America Community federal grant funding and is administered through the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service. Reach Out Iowa service-learning activities are scheduled to begin in spring 2010.


Contacts :

Marc Peterson, Field Specialist, (515) 261-4211, marc@iastate.edu

Don Broshar, 4-H Youth Development, (515) 294-1473, dbroshar@iastate.edu

Natasha Forsythe, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-7033, natshaf@iastate.edu

Willy Klein, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0662, wklein@iastate.edu