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Martin County 4-H staying busy

FAIRMONT — Last week was National 4-H week, a time that allows 4-H programs across the country a chance to celebrate everything going on in 4-H. Like everything else, 4-H clubs and meetings are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Martin County 4-H coordinator Kristie Gaalswyk-Pomerenke shares some of what Martin County 4-H has coming up in the future, as well as how events are being planned with COVID guidelines in place.

“We have our 4-H Ambassadors program, which is our youth leadership program,” she said.

“We just finished our 2019 to 2020 year and we’re looking forward to our 2020-2021 year.

“The ambassadors learn leadership skills, team building, and communication skills. Then they complete service learning projects and teach youth around Martin County about 4-H.”

Gaalswyk-Pomerenke shares that, due to COVID-19, 4-H will be following the standard safety protocols to ensure safety for participants.

With all of our programs that we’re offering this fall and winter, we’re going to be doing a mix. We will have small, in-person, events following the safety protocols of wearing masks, sanitizing, and physical distancing. We want to follow all the safety requirements for providing safe, in-person, programs, and then we’ll do some virtual programs as well.

“With COVID, we’re doing our best to offer what we typically do, but it’s just going to look a little different.

“Along with that, we are offering 4-H take home kits,” she continued. “We will be putting together kits that contain most, if not all, of the supplies needed for the youth in our program to create fun projects at home. Those will include lesson plans and instructions for how they can complete the activities in each kit.”

Gaalswyk-Pomerenke also shares that there is a new 4-H offering this fall.

“We’ll have a regional virtual program,” she said. “All of the 4-H educators in the southwest region are teaming up into different programs to provide programing for youth across the region. That gives our youth members a chance to learn about a variety of different topic areas as well as connect with peers across the region.”

Gaalswyk-Pomerenke wants the public to know that 4-H is still providing positive development and engagement for youth in the areas, even though that looks a little different. Those interested in learning more about Martin County 4-H can visit the extension office website at www.extension.umn.edu/county/martin or search Facebook for martincountymn4H.

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