Four Youth Become TRY-IT Leaders

— Written By

Salim Oden, Health Living Coordinator, 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences

Scotland County 4-Hers Complete TRY-IT training L-R: ShaToya Covington, Victor Gordon, Jailyn Farmer; Back: Chancellor Byrd

While others were at home, four Scotland County youth attended the Teens Reaching Youth through Innovative Technology (TRY-IT) Retreat in Shelby, NC. The youth departed Scotland County on February 10th and returned February 12th with a lot of knowledge and understanding of how to utilize what they learned to teach Scotland County youth. The 4-Hers, ShaToya Covington, 16, daughter of Vacardo and LaShauna Riggins, Chancellor Byrd, 14, son of William and Precious Byrd, Jailyn Farmer, 14, daughter of Ronald and Lisa Carthen, and Victor Gordon, 14, son of Nyeree Charette and Stanley Carmichael completed the TRY-IT: Youth Voice Youth Choice training.

During the first night, the youth got a lesson of how to use chopsticks and tried sushi and other unique Japanese dishes. The participants enjoyed two evenings at the Hampton Inn and Suites, Shelby, NC bonding with each other over breakfast and playing board games.

At the retreat, the youth were engaged in hands-on activities to gain insight of how to plan and organize lessons that will be fun, energetic and exciting for others. The training included teambuilding activities and identifying leadership qualities of themselves and their team. Knowing the qualities and leadership styles of their teammates will allow them to better work together and allow each to perform tasks that are their strengths. In addition, just as certified teachers, the youth participated in several activities to emphasize the experiential learning model, how to facilitate lessons that will address all learning styles as well as ages and stages, and classroom management. 4-H’s slogan is “learn by doing” and the retreat practiced this to ensure everyone participated and stayed focused.

The youth learned how to capture photos, how to develop a storyboard, creating and editing promotional videos and varying types of videography and photography software to market their classes and the 4-H healthy living program. The Rutherford County 4-Hers visited to share how they prepare to facilitate classes and work as a team to ensure everyone plays a role. After training, the youth visited the mall for some hangout time of more bonding.

As a responsibility, they will return to Scotland County to use the lessons they learned to teach others. One of the focus areas, the youth will begin teaching is health and wellness by partnering with the 4-H Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (4-H EFNEP) and focusing on 4-H healthy living. The benefit of the TRY-IT team to Scotland County is trained and responsible youth utilize researched-based curricula that align with the common core state standards to teach younger youth in their communities. The team may utilize any curriculum and will tend to focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curricula. In addition, the county has an increase of positive and responsible teen role models who develop a passion to help others and teaching skills that they may later use to return to the Scotland County school district. TRY-IT team members, have a higher percentage of graduating high school and attending college, more respect for school staff, more willing to assist with school responsibilities in and out the classroom, as well as compassion and desire to improve their communities.

Also, in attendance were Angela D. Galloway, Extension Agent of 4-H Youth Development and William and Precious Byrd, TRY-IT coaches. The TRY-IT team will meet to organize with Ms. Galloway, Mr. and Mrs. Byrd and Mrs. Hazel McPhatter, 4-H EFNEP Program Associate to contact the schools to teach lessons of becoming a healthier you. Younger youth tend to listen to teens and follow their advice. “I believe this TRY-IT team will be a great benefit to the community as a whole. These youths are trained, energetic and work well together and have a passion to help others; with the support of their parents, coaches, the Scotland County Cooperative Extension Center, and the Scotland County School District, this will be a major benefit to the community,” says Ms. Angela D. Galloway.

The TRY-IT Retreat was made possible by Scotland County 4-H funds attained from the United Way of Scotland County grant as well as the supporters of the Tractor Supply of Laurinburg 4-H Paper clover drives and a 4-H Healthy Living sub-grant which is funded by the Walmart Foundation. This program is geared to facilitate, and improve healthy food choices balanced by physical activity. NC 4-H will be using teen leadership and collaboration with the Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program to conduct healthy living programs for youth in grades 2-12.

For more information and to join Scotland County 4-H and how to request the assistance of the Scotland County 4-H TRY-IT team, contact Angela D. Galloway at (910) 277-2422 or at adgallow@ncsu.edu.