Cooperative Extension hosts Virtual 4-H Club with exchange students

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 2:09 PM EST
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Travel may be restricted for exchange students, but thanks to the internet, youth from around the world will gather in weeks to come to share ideas and their lives. In this week’s County Ag Report, Kathy McCarty has more on how a 4-H program is bringing teens together.

Looking for a teen-oriented project, Faith Morse, of Greenheart Exchange, reached out to Sara King, of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. What resulted is an international internet 4-H club.

“She told me a little bit about her experience working for Greenheart and hosting exchange students, and she had this wonderful idea of creating a virtual club for teen exchange students. And I was thrilled with the idea, thought it was a wonderful opportunity,” says Sara King, 4-H Youth Development Professional, University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Greenheart works with hundreds of kids annually, but due to the pandemic, travel has been restricted. This will allow students to interact via the internet.

“We can connect our teens here in Maine - because they would normally get to meet these students through their schools, and they can’t - we’ll connect them online. We’ll make - we’ll make a whole new thing that never existed before. And Sara and Sara have been fantastic supports for that,” says Faith Morse, Better Homes and Gardens, the Masiello Group, with Greenheart Exchange.

The youth will share experiences from their respective countries.

Morse says, “One of the girls from Ukraine lives in Kiev now, but she lived in the section of Ukraine that was annexed by Russia in 2014, so six years ago she had to - she and her whole family had to rapidly move out of their home or become Russian. So, you know, it’s just a - it’s an amazing real-life opportunity, and they’re teens talking to teens.”

Presentations are planned with demonstrations of various arts and crafts from around the world.

“Each week we’re gonna have a talk about the country from the youth that lives there, and then they’re gonna do an activity. So we’ve got dyed eggs as one, batik paper, paper chandeliers, calligraphy cards, paper quilling box, and henna,” says Sara Conant, 4-H Community Education Assistant, University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

The free 4-H Virtual Passport Club is for youth from 12 to 18 years old, with the first session slated for January 19th. Registration is required. For more information, visit our website. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

For more information or to register, visit

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