To reach a larger audience and offer more diverse topics, Sussex County 4-H is launching a new program, STEP clubs. (STEP is an acronym for Short Term Exploratory Program). The program is designed is to provide a means for youth to experience a 4-H project in a shorter period while learning about the larger 4-H program. STEP clubs won’t replace traditional 4-H clubs that meet monthly. STEP clubs will begin and end over a three-month period (January-March). These short-term clubs offer the chance to begin exploring a topic of interest using the same foundation as a traditional 4-H club.
What can you learn? While there are any number of projects a STEP club could explore, we’re offering a Discovery curriculum covering more than 60 varied topics. These include subjects in cyber technology and science as well as health, drama, cultural studies, and many more. The materials include detailed guides for running each meeting along with activities and tips for working with kids. Many of these topics are new to 4-H in Sussex County but before any become active, we need adult volunteers to lead these clubs.
STEP clubs will be run by a minimum of two caring and competent adult volunteers in partnership with 4-H. Parents, teachers, or any adult with the desire to teach and inspire youth to learn new things can become a 4-H volunteer. All volunteers will undergo a youth protection screening and training process.
STEP clubs may be open to youth in grades as young as kindergarten through one year out of high school, though volunteers and subject matter may restrict the ages of those eligible to participate in each club.
STEP clubs will run from one to three months, with one to four meetings each month. Meeting dates, times and location will be worked out with the adults leading each club. The curriculum provided includes activities for each club to hold six meetings.
There will be a base fee of $20 per youth to join a 4-H STEP club. Additional program fees may apply depending on the club’s project.
4-H STEP clubs offer an opportunity for adults and kids to explore and learn new subjects together. The 4-H curriculum for the topics is varied (and free). All it takes is some time and interest.
We’ll be recruiting adult volunteers through the end of October. By November we’ll know what STEP clubs will be available for kids to join. Initial meetings for the clubs will start in January. Updates will be posted on our website.
If you’re interested in learning more, visit the STEP clubs section. You’ll be able to download and complete our volunteer interest form and click to return it via email. We’ll get back to you with information on next “steps”.