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Kansas 4-H Tip Sheet

December 14, 2018

Lessons Learned from Growing Kansas Leaders: 4-H Program Expansion Grant

By Diane Mack

Kansas 4-H wanted to reach new audiences, engage more volunteers in 4-H, and marshal the resources needed to significantly grow the 4-H program. To that end, the Kansas 4-H Foundation, the Department of 4-H Youth Development, and K-State Research and Extension partnered to create the Growing Kansas Leaders: 4-H Program Expansion grant program.

In a staggered start over five years, three cohorts turned in impressive results. Units involved in the grant included Cottonwood District, Dickinson County, Douglas County, Edwards County, Ford County, Grant County, Johnson County, Pawnee County, Midway District, Reno County, Riley County, Seward County, Shawnee County and Wildcat District. 4-H enrollment and volunteer numbers increased, new partnerships were formed, and new clubs were established. The grant recipients used facilitated community discussions to create plans, monthly calls with cohorts to mentor peer communities, and face-to-face meetings to celebrate learning and success.

The long-term impact of the investment in time, effort, and resources within this expansion plan is seen through increased number of youth and volunteers, enhanced quality and variety of programs, and stronger collaboration through new partnerships. This work will improve the lives of young people across Kansas. Other 4-H programs can apply these principles and best practices to achieve success.

The Growing Kansas 4-H Through Collaboration document lists the principles and best management practices learned through the Expansion Grant. We suggest using this document with your 4-H Program Development Committee. The document is found at http://www.kansas4-h.org/resources/grant-and-expansion-opportunities/index.html

For more information please contact Diane Mack, dmack@ksu.edu.