Success StoryCYFAR Uplift Project Year 3

CYFAR Uplift Project Year 3

Author: Tyrone Atkinson

Planning Unit: Family and Consumer Sciences

Major Program: Family Development General

Outcome: Initial Outcome

In the third year of the five year grant project, CYFAR Uplift has Byran Station Middle School has a Career Exploration class where students can learn and plan for their futures. The Uplift team chose to work with 8th graders as we believed it would be more fruitful as they begin to transition and think about going to high school and beyond. We began programming in October as Covid-19 was stiff affecting attendance, and there were students out due to contact tracing in schools. There were three classes of 72 students that we programmed with continuously for seven weeks. Partnering with Crawford Middle school allowed us to facilitate life skills with the after-school program Extra Innings, which hosts 6-8th graders whose parents sign them up to participate. While there, students do homework, research for projects, eat snacks and spend time relationship building with fellow students. This approach is entirely different, being that it is an after-school program. We have the same essence of life skills, but we had to adapt our delivery to make it more energizing and fun for the students. Also, participation is not mandatory, so we are strategizing how to maximize our efforts with the time we give, which is two Wednesdays each month. As we began the summer of 2020 CYFAR grant team and UK Family and Consumer Sciences Extension came together with 4-H Youth Development, the UK College of Agriculture Office of Diversity, to create Critical Conversations. These conversations worked to give youth voice to the issues and injustices happening in the world around us. To further cement the partnership, we sought to make this group a result of creating those conversations. As a result, Kentucky 4-H Youth Development State Office accepted our proposal to begin a Social Justice Leadership Board. By creating the board, we were able to have an inaugural four youth from Fayette and nearby Woodford counties start the work of building a board that will serve 4-H and the greater Kentucky community for years to come. The youth on the board have experienced leadership training, team building, and youth-adult partnership collaboration to help youth and community members understand the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in 4-H and Extension.

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