Panhandle Perspectives - February 28, 2017

4-H Mentoring Grant re-funded, bringing $46,000 to schools in Bayard, Scottsbluff

Kelley Rice, Panhandle District 4-H Coordinator, Panhandle Research and Extension Center

A partnership between the University of Nebraska and Bayard Public Schools has been providing daily programming for about 160 students grades K-6 enrolled in the Pathfinder’s After School Program for the past two years.

Panhandle Perspectives logo
Kelley Rice

The Pathfinder’s Program has also developed partnerships with various entities such as the Riverside Zoo, Wildcat Hills Nature Center, and the North Platte Natural Resources District to provide expanded learning opportunities for youth.

In January 2016 another grant was obtained and provides additional opportunities for the youth enrolled in both Bayard and Roosevelt Elementary in Scottsbluff.

Youth and Families with Promise (also known as 4-H Mentoring) is a prevention program for youth ages 10-14 sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the National 4-H Council. Currently, the grant is in its sixth year at Roosevelt Elementary and in its second year at Bayard.

Coordinators of the mentoring programs are Crystal Newhoff at Bayard and Leo Sierra at Roosevelt Elementary.

Kelley Rice and Jackie Guzman from Nebraska Extension applied for the grant and received $46,000 to split between the two sites. These dollars will be used for site coordinator salaries, training of staff, curriculum, 4-H enrollment fees, and family nights. The purpose of the grant is to reach underserved audiences with three components: Mentoring, 4-H Curriculum, and Family Nights.

  • Mentoring: Youth are matched with volunteer mentors who are positive role models within and around our community. They can be High School students as well as individuals who work within our community. Mentors meet with the youth one hour per week and engage them in a variety of 4-H learning activities.
  • 4-H Curriculum: The premise of 4-H is that students have experiential learning opportunities where they learn new skills and obtain mastery through the practice of the skill.  All students involved will be enrolled in 4-H and participate in experiential and service learning projects.
  • Family Night: Families will be invited to first eat a meal together enjoying family conversation and strengthening their family bond. After supper, the rest of the evening will be spent with their 4-Her highlighting their learning and participating in activities that encourage family cooperation and communication.

While the grant encompasses both communities, the programming varies greatly, depending on the needs and interests of the youth.

As another grant cycle begins, we would like to ask community members to consider being a mentor. We are looking for individuals willing to volunteer one hour per week and help make a difference in the lives of our youth.

4-H Mentoring takes place on Wednesday afternoon at Roosevelt and Thursday afternoons at Bayard Elementary School. Please contact Leo Sierra at 308-632-1480, Crystal Newhoff at 586-1211, Kelley Rice at 308-632-1483, or Jackie Guzman at 308-632-1475 for additional information.

Leo Sierra Crystal Newhoff
Leo Sierra Crystal Newhoff