Macon County 4-H club transitions to remote learning during COVID-19

  • Published: Thursday, June 4, 2020
Aaron Baker.

ATLANTA, Mo. – 4-H club leader Aaron Baker says transitioning online was easy for 4-H’ers, and adults are the ones playing catchup. “I think that leaders who don’t use or don’t consume social media themselves don’t realize that even if kids don’t have internet to their homes, most kids somehow have access to smartphones,” he said.

Like many other clubs, the Home Pioneer 4-H Club in Macon County, Missouri, has transitioned to remote learning due to COVID-19. The club had already been active online. Its Facebook page is full of updates and virtual meetings.

“I just think it’s really important for people to know what you’re doing and to brag about the things that are going really well and make it look fun,” Baker said. “I think that’s why our club has grown so much—because so many parents have seen what we’re doing online.”

One of the first meetings after going remote featured Baker’s daughter Bella interviewing Lupita Fabregas, director of the Missouri 4-H Center for Youth Development. 4-H’ers could watch and comment live as if it were a meeting.

Baker says his next task is figuring out the logistics of Achievement Day, which provides youths the opportunity to showcase what they have learned in their 4-H projects through exhibits, demonstrations and other activities. “Our kids that haven’t done a demonstration yet will do it on video and be able to submit that for Achievement Day judging.”

By submitting videos, youths can share with the community what they’re doing, he said. He isn’t sure that every leader or volunteer understands the value, especially with everyone consuming so much social media right now.

Baker says leaders have been told to “give the kids assignments, be creative, do things online, have them watch a video, which actually may improve the quality of the education that they’re getting because you can find subject matter experts online.”

Baker believes that the challenges of COVID-19 have inspired 4-H leaders and volunteers to figure out how to creatively update and deliver programs to 4-H youths across Missouri.

About Missouri 4-H

Missouri 4-H is an active, dynamic organization of young people who are learning, growing and preparing to be the leaders of today and tomorrow while making a real difference in their community, country and world. 4-H is the youth development program of the University of Missouri and the nation’s Cooperative Extension System. For more information, visit 4h.missouri.edu.

Images available for this release:

https://extension.missouri.edu/media/wysiwyg/Extensiondata/Pro/4HFoundation/Images/Alumni/BakerAaron291.jpg
Aaron Baker, club leader for the Home Pioneer 4-H Club in Atlanta, Mo.

https://extension.missouri.edu/media/wysiwyg/Extensiondata/NewsAdmin/Photos/2020/20200604-baker-1.jpg
Bella Baker, daughter of 4-H club leader Aaron Baker, interviews Missouri 4-H program director Lupita Fabregas on Facebook Live.

Writer: Jordyn Bensyl

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