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Spring project planning
michelle beran
Michelle Beran

I’m going to share some information from the Kansas 4-H Office which was provided in a news release last week. For many Kansas 4-H members, the year is chock-full of activity, from summer camps and fairs to fall projects and state contests.

So, 4-H youth development specialist Beth Hinshaw said spring is a great time to breathe ... and think.

“There are some great opportunities this spring to plan for upcoming project work,” said Hinshaw, who is in the southeast region. “Our suggestion is to research your project, or review available curriculum and resources. Another option might be in-person field trips if it’s safe, or virtual field trips.”

The Kansas 4-H program offers 35 project areas for youth to participate in. Hinshaw said Kansas 4-H staff have developed spark pages for nearly all of those projects, helping youth with ideas on things to explore, learn, practice or experience.

Hinshaw noted that the content is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced project members. The spark pages also list resources and events that might be available, including curriculum, record-keeping and project exhibit ideas.

“We also have some project challenges, which provide young people an introductory activity in several project areas,” Hinshaw said.

“One of the things we talk about with 4-H projects is the idea of the project pathway. We are interested in what creates a spark for young people; that is, something that they’re very interested in. Then, we help them gain knowledge and mastery of the subject as they continue in the project.”

She noted that completing a project helps youth build career skills, whether they pursue a career in the given subject area or not, because many skills are transferable.

“We think it’s great for young people to start seeing the possibilities in those project areas. That deeper learning might spark them toward a career,” she said.

Youth who are not current 4-H members can also access these resources and I look forward to visiting with any family about the benefits 4-H can provide. For more information, you can contact me at the Cottonwood Extension District – Barton County office.

Michelle Beran is the 4-H and Youth Development Agent for the Cottonwood District, Barton County office. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth and Development related questions email Michelle at or call 620-793-1910.