Such programs teach students not only through hands-on experience, but also by incorporating skills that help prepare them for Standards of Learning tests, says Jacqueline Lawrence, a 4-H educational support specialist and a worker with the Virginia Cooperative Extension with VSU.
"Last year, we made sure all the activities we did were tied to the SOLs," Lawrence says. In the case of the garden project, she says, "We gave [schools] printed information to go along with the planting that incorporates the SOL's reading skills, English, math and measuring."
In the Richmond area, Lawrence says, 4-H programs are offered to more than 2,000 students at 20 schools.
"When we started having more children migrating to urban areas," she says, "we felt 4-H needed to change to meet the needs of those children. We created projects to be adaptable to kids in urban areas." Katie Gantt
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