Introduction To 4-H — “Clover Kids” — Program Modified Due To Pandemic

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Northwest Iowans are having to come up with new ways of doing things right and left in this pandemic. The program that introduces 4-H to elementary kids is being re-imagined in Lyon County.

Laura Beyenhof with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach tells us about Clover Kids, and how it operates in normal mode.

(as said:)”In a typical school year, Clover Kids is a program for a second and third-grade youth and we meet after school once a month and we do fun hands-on learning activities about STEM and art and a bunch of different themes. And so we meet typically November through May. Like I said once a month and then I do that seven times throughout the county at different locations at the public schools. And it’s a program open — Like I said — to all second and third graders.”

But, she says that’s not an option this year, so they’ve come up with something similar.

(as said:) “We’ve modified the Clover Kids program this year to instead be called Clover Kids Crates so that we can still offer some of the great… really great aspects of the Clover Kids program, but still, you know, follow the guidance for social distancing and prioritizing health and safety for youth and so will be offering these Clover Kids Crates, which will be take-home crates that they’ll pick up at locations throughout Lyon County and then the crates will be filled with hands-on learning activities and each month will have a different theme so families will pick up these Clover Crates and then they can do the activities from home. There will be step-by-step directions in the crates or there’s also the option to do a virtual Zoom. We’ll offer a Zoom once a month so they can do the activities with me virtually. So we’re trying to cater still do lots of different learning styles and families’ availability, but still do — like I said — really fun hands-on learning activities.”

She tells us how you can get your child involved.

(as said:) “There’s a few different options to register. Of course,  families are always welcome to call our office — the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach office in Lyon County. Our phone number is 712-472-2576. Otherwise, we also have all the information on our website. So our website is extension.iastate.edu/lyon. And on our home page, we have a box that you can click to access the 4-H Clover Kids Crates information and then that has all of the details of you know, who, when, where, cost — $20 cost which includes five take-home crates and a Clover Kids t-shirt that participants will receive this spring and then the registration link is also posted there and we are encouraging a registration deadline of October 1st to guarantee the October crate and then first choice of T-shirt size this spring.”

That phone number again is 712-472-2576, and the information can be found at extension.iastate.edu/lyon.

Beyenhof says the four northwesternmost Iowa counties all do Clover Kids, but the program is being handled differently from county-to-county. She tells us one of the counties is still meeting in person. One county is all mail-based. Sioux County is doing the same thing Lyon County is. For more information, call your local extension office.

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