CHEVY CHASE, MD (November 16, 2020) - USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) announced last week an investment of more than $10.5 million to support educators at technical schools, community and junior colleges, and youth development programs, including Cooperative Extension's 4-H program. USDA-NIFA will invest in eight regional and national projects, including a $3 million grant to National 4-H Council to support the continued development of CLOVER, Cooperative Extension's positive youth development digital platform on 4-H.org.
CLOVER is designed to meet the growing needs for virtual and non-virtual educational resources that can be easily used by families at home or rapidly adopted by educators and Extension professionals. It is intended to level the playing field and address the widening opportunity gap for youth and families as a result of the pandemic. The platform currently features over 500 engaging, hands-on learning experiences powered by Extension's research-based, 4-H positive youth development programs.
"Since the onset of COVID-19, 4-H educators have been dedicated to ensuring kids, families and communities have the support they need - from educational resources, caring adult mentors and perhaps most of all, a sense of community," said Jennifer Sirangelo, president & CEO, National 4-H Council. "Thanks to this significant grant from USDA-NIFA, our Cooperative Extension network can expand its reach through CLOVER by providing effective learning experiences to meet the needs of young people and families across the country."
Through this award, USDA-NIFA recognized institutions deploying innovative techniques and technologies to continue offering high-quality skill development during these unprecedented times and will invest in eight regional or national projects to support their efforts. Details regarding all award recipients and initiatives can be found here.
This work is supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, Education and Workforce Development Program, grant no. 2021-67037-33376/ Project Accession No. 1024940, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
4-H, the nation's largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for career tomorrow. 4-H programs empower nearly six million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. 4-H is the youth development program of our nation's Cooperative Extension System and USDA and serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3000 local Extension offices. Globally, 4-H collaborates with independent programs to empower one million youth in 50 countries. The research-backed 4-H experience grows young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs.