By CATHY MOUNCE
Register Staff Writer
Texas A&M AgriLife extension of Texas is putting a new “SPIN” on 4-H activities for youth and families in Texas who may not want to participate in a year long experience under a regular 4-H project program.
Cooke County extension agent Phyllis Griffin said the new SPIN Club, or “special interest” club, is designed to attract new members that might have a limited time to pursue their interest with other like-minded participants. A variety of limited time frames for activities can be tailored by each group.
A SPIN club consists of five or six sequential meetings or activities that can be spread out to meet the needs of the group.
“Whatever their passion, the new program will allow kids from age five to 18 to learn and practice skills under a positive group experience,” Griffin said.
Minimum participation of the new club format consists of at least one adult volunteer and five youngsters with a common interest. The adult volunteer will guide and provide expertise as the SPIN Club youth take an active role in planning their own activities.
“We have had a significant growth in 4-H membership and participation in Cooke County and we think that specifically tailored programs will reach a new audience,” Griffin said. “We hope that as kids become involved with these specific activities, they will become more familiar with other 4-H programs in general and will want to explore and participate in other activities offered.”
In an article in AgriLife today, Texas A&M life extension 4-H and youth development director Dr. Chris Boleman said that as society changes so do people and programs.
“4-H is no different,” Boleman said. “We too have to evaluate our programs and make changes to most efficiently and effectively meet the needs of our ever-changing audiences.”
“Whatever their passion, kids can gain knowledge and enhance their skills within a group as the focus on a specific subject,” Boleman continued.
Griffin said that in Cooke County, there are innumerable activities that kids can participate in.
“Currently we have potential projects including archery, clothing and textiles, consumer education, entrepreneurship, food and nutrition, photography, poultry, rabbits, recreation, robotics, safe sitters, wildlife, safety, taxidermy, shooting sports, sport fishing and many others.” Griffin said.
Griffin said the new club will hopefully attract new members who have not had the opportunity to become involved in the regular 4-H programs that have been in existence for many years.
Currently more than 640,000 youth ages 8-18 are involved in 4-H programs and activities throughout the state of Texas each year.
For more information on the new SPIN club, the 4-H club and membership opportunities, contact Phyllis Griffin at 940 668 5416.