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4-H Expands To New Audiences
- 4-H provides predictable programming and a safe and nurturing environment for military youth, whose families may move frequently and experience difficulties surrounding lengthy and frequent deployments.
- Through the 4-H Military Club grants program, 4-H, Army, Air Force and Navy have partnered to support 19,000 youth to participate in 4-H clubs on installations both in the U.S. and overseas.
Through the Operation: Military Kids program, 4-H members make connections with military youth and provide opportunities for youth to make tangible contributions to their communities. Operation: Military Kids teams operating in 49 states and the District of Columbia include over 600 partner members from both national and local organizations that work together to provide support for military families and children in their state and local communities. In 2008, the program reached more than 72,000 children and youth whose loved ones were deployed.
- Operation: Military Kids engages youth in making Hero Packs, backpacks filled with a variety of items from the partner agencies, which are given to military youth as a "Thank You" for the sacrifices that they make while their parents are deployed. Operation: Military Kids has presented Hero Packs to more than 85,000 military youth since 2004.
- Youth are also engaged to develop and deliver presentations through a program called Speak Out for Military Kids, which has conducted more than 360 presentations for 73,236 community members on the issues facing military children and youth.
- Operation: Military Kids has trained more than 10,000 community members in ways they can support military families.
- National partners of the Operation: Military Kids Program include 4-H, The American Legion, U.S. Army Child and Youth Services, Boys and Girls Club of America, Military Child Education Coalition, and the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies.
- National4-H Headquarters relies on the Land Grant University Extension System across the country to build strong partnerships with the Army Air Force, Navy, National Guard and Reserve entities in their state, in order to provide technical assistance and training for military staff and to establish 4-H Clubs for Military youth living on and off installation. In addition, 4-H seeks to serve those children whose parents are serving in the National Guard and Reserve and live in communities with little or no military presence.
- The State 4-H Military Liaison coordinates 4-H support to all military youth in the state and works with county staff to connect military children to 4-H clubs in their communities as well as those offered on installations.To locate your state 4-H Military Liaison, go to http://www.4-hmilitarypartnerships.org/Desktop Modules/ViewDocument.aspx?Document ID=6175.
- For more information, including state-by-state descriptions of work going on now and suggestions for ways you can get involved, visit the Operation: Military Kids website at http://www.operationmilitarykids.org/public/home.aspx