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Crook County 4-H Educator receives national recognition


November 12, 2020

University of Wyoming Extension Educator Sara Fleenor earned the national Excellence in 4-H Communication & Expressive Arts award. The award was presented by the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP) during their virtual national conference in October.

Nominated by the Wyoming Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (WAE4-HYDP) in March, Sara Fleenor’s earned regional recognition and ultimately won the national competition for her 4-H Friday efforts which combine that national 4-H mission of civic engagement, healthy living and science and fine arts initiatives.

In partnership with youth participating in 4-H Fridays, Fleenor coupled community service with arts by using 4-H cooking curriculum to create baked goods and then delivering the items to the local assisted living community. Youth engaged in the Visual Arts 4-H project by creating valentines that were then delivered to the local nursing home.

Youth participants used science and applied mathematics in the design and creation of the arts projects, helping them realize that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are everywhere. “Kids are surprised when you show how they are incorporating math into everyday activities,” Fleenor stated.

One of the most impactful projects was the development of the barn quilt project, which broadened the reach of Crook County 4-H; using the skills gained, young people added their barn quilts to the local trail. Five of the youth created quilts qualified by placement and visibility to be marked on the barn quilt trail guide.

As a result of 4-H Fridays, Fleenor reports that inquiries about donating to the program are up 25% and more exciting was the 20% increase in participation in the Visual Arts, Cake Decorating and Food and Nutrition projects at the 2019 Crook County Fair. Furthermore, Fleenor reports a rise in volunteers and members to the 4-H Program as a result of 4-H Fridays.

Congratulations, Sara!


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