By Kevin Tatum
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service
August 1 each year begins a new 4-H year. State Congress typically ends the 4-H year in late July and then it’s time to reboot and start all over again. It is also a time to plan for the new year’s programs. With COVID-19 altering everyone’s plans in 2020, it will definitely change the status quo for the new school year.
As school gets back underway, we are working with our school’s administration and teachers to provide safe educational opportunities for the youth in Coffee County. Plans are being made to hold 4-H meetings and promote events that can be held within CDC guidelines. That will mean some drastic changes for the new year.
There are still a lot of uncertainties about our activities, such as whether or not we will be able to hold Project Achievement competitions face to face, or if they will have to be virtual this year. Regardless of life’s circumstances, the show must go on, however it may have many modifications.
One new option we have this year is for our new 5th grade students to register for 4-H through an online process in lieu of completing traditional 4-H enrollment forms. Our staff is excited about this new option and hope our kids will be just as excited.
Last week, we were informed that the Georgia National Fair Board met and decided to cancel the fair for this year. However, plans are to still hold the livestock shows with some modifications to the schedule.
We know that we will not be able to have activities for the residents of assisted living centers, but hopefully we will be able to hold some other types of community service projects in which our kids can participate.
Our volunteer leaders still have to stay current, which means being involved in 4-H activities or meetings and not going more than four months with inactivity. Those who fail to stay active are required by UGA to complete new application and agreement forms and get certified again as a volunteer leader. So do what you can to stay involved.
If you would like to learn how you can become more involved with the Coffee County 4-H program, please contact the Coffee County Extension office at (912) 384-1402 or visit our website at http://coffee4h.org.
Seeking Americorps Member
Coffee County Extension is accepting applications for a full-time AmeriCorps State member. AmeriCorps is a federally-funded national service program modeled after the Peace Corps. For more information: www.nationalservice.gov. This is a temporary, national service position, not a traditional employment position. A one-year commitment is required.
AmeriCorps State members provide positive 4-H youth development programming under the direction of the County Extension Agent. This is a direct service position that requires transport of youth and some night and weekend hours. Members also assist with program planning, development, and volunteer management. Other activities include required trainings, monthly reports, administration of surveys, and data entry.
This position is available September 1, 2020 – August 31, 2021. This is a full-time AmeriCorps member position. The member is required to log 1,700 hours of service (35-40 hours/week) by August 31, 2021 to successfully complete the term of service.
AmeriCorps members receive a variety of benefits: monthly living allowance ($1,250), free health insurance, education award ($6,195). To qualify for the education award, the member must complete the hour requirement. Other benefits are available based on eligibility (childcare assistance, loan forbearance).
High school diploma or equivalent and valid driver’s license are required. Experience providing youth development programming and a general knowledge of 4-H is preferred.
To apply: http://ugajobsearch.com. Use keyword AmeriCorps to find open positions.