Kansas City, MO., October 19, 2020. Meet Emma M., a 3rd year member of Hoover Heroes 4-H Club. She is passionate about increasing her life skills through her interests in entomology (study of bugs). Emma noted that "we need to remember how challenging 2020 was with COVID and what it was like to having to do things online, when we couldn't meet in person. I try to work hard for my club. I attended every meeting and every event and pay attention to what is going on and try to be a good role model for other members."

In response of our nation's pandemic, "our program pivoted for the better", said Laura Evans 4-H Youth Development Field Specialist with University of Missouri Extension, "We continued to strive to meet the needs of all of our youth with the support of volunteers and staff. We recognize the importance of continuing to encourage positive youth development (PYD) practices in our communities." During the blunt of the pandemic, Emma Porting, member of Hoover Heroes 4-H Community Club created educational video that highlighted healthy recipes that was shared on the Platte County 4-H YouTube. This sparked interest of other members sharing life skills with others.

During the pandemic, 4-H (local, statewide, even national) recognizes that youth are currently struggling to find a balance of mental health, education, and employability. Platte County 4-H is striving to meet where the youth are today and provide them an enriched learning opportunity that sparks their interest. The organization pivots to meet the needs of all youth in our county, 4-H member or not, it doesn't matter. 4-H staff and their volunteers recognizes the need for a variety of programming offerings in multiple platforms. Collaborations with programs or organizations like MU Serves, is a great way to expand youth programming. Mizzou students, as 4-H volunteers, launch free virtual educational project meetings around the areas of communicative & expressive arts (Ages 5-8), theater arts (Grades 5-8), paper crafts (Grades K-4) and public speaking (Ages 14-18). For information about this short term program visit

"We want to continue to strive to open all of our programs to everyone, eliminate barriers", says Evans. "We will be launching more educational programs throughout the year for youth to participate fact to face, at home or even hybrid." Platte County 4-H launches a yearlong Virtual 4-H Community Club that continues to build youth leadership, citizenship and life skills while meeting in a virtual format. For information about this opportunity visit

Contact Laura Evans, 4-H Youth Development Field Specialist, for more information, how to get involved, youth and adults. University of Missouri Extension (816) 243-1357 or or visit the office at 11724 NW Plaza Circle, Suite 300, Kansas City, MO  64153. For more information on additional Extension  programs, go to