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Public Service Research Program

4-H Youth Mentorship Program


Program Description

The Yolo County 4-H Youth Mentorship Program takes place in an afterschool setting in the rural town of Winters using science, engineering and technology content. Its 4-H delivery model combines university students and local teen assistant leaders in mentoring and teaching K-8th graders and is implemented through a low cost self-sustaining, culturally relevant, and replicable nonformal after-school educational program. The program uses gardening and the environment as the integrating context for academic and experiential learning, health-related physical and mental activity, and youth leadership development and civic engagement. Activities focus on science literacy, emphasizing applied science, engineering, and technology in community settings so that activities have relevance to youth.  Partnerships with local agencies and non-profit organizations in support of youth are instrumental in helping the project achieve its aims and in providing youth with local opportunities. For information contact Project Coordinator Megan Harns

About the larger CYFAR Project

The University of California 4-H Youth Development Program Sustainable Communities Project (SCP) involves three sites representing the diversity of California's geographic, cultural and socio-economic landscape. These sites lie within the larger communities of San Diego, Yolo and Sacramento counties. The project focuses on reaching out to a high-context audience of school-age youth to help them improve knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior necessary for fulfilling contributing lives. Each of the sites focuses on providing sustainable afterschool programming and resources for youth who are at-risk for not meeting basic human needs. The target audience identified for programming is primarily K-8th grade low-income, Latino/a youth attending low-performing schools. A special focus of the SCP is to provide opportunities for experiential and inquiry-based learning through high-quality science and technology literacy activities grounded in place-based environmental education to help bridge the learning gap experienced by this at-risk population of youth. Teen volunteers from the broader communities of the SCP sites become an integral part of the program model, serving in a leadership role as mentors for the youth. Funding for the project comes from USDA for its programs on Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR)