HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER SCHOOL
What is a 4-H Wildlife
Stewards Member School? 4-H Wildlife Stewards Schools are Where
it Happens! 4-H Wildlife Stewards Member Schools also:
- work in partnership with
4-H Wildlife Stewards to plan, develop, maintain and sustain wildlife
habitat sites on school grounds that benefit the entire community
by enhancing educational opportunities for students and by saving
a place for wildlife in our neighborhoods;
- are places where students
can develop both their appreciation of nature and the outdoors and
their knowledge about water cycles, food chains, and biodiversity;
- are a place for students
to observe, study, and take action to protect their own environment;
- provide a place for wildlife
– from butterflies to songbirds – and a place where students
can observe, study, and take action to protect their own environment.
4-H Wildlife Stewards Habitat
projects help students and teachers to meet Oregon’s science education
benchmarks by offering learning opportunities right outside the schoolroom
Steps to Become a
4-H Wildlife Stewards Member School
To become a 4-H Wildlife
Steward Member School, interested schools should complete and submit
a 4-H Wildlife Stewards
Member School Application. 4-H Member Schools must also
commit to developing a habitat area that is sustainable over the long-term.
This commitment includes:
- Committing 3-5 years to
- Enrolling participating
students as 4-H Junior Wildlife Stewards;
- Organizing a “habitat
team” of students, teachers, administrators, maintenance staff,
parents and community members;
- Obtaining school district
and principal approval;
- Identifying enthusiastic
teachers to participate in the project;
- Providing a meaningful
volunteer experience for the 4-H Wildlife Stewards team; and
- Certifing the habitat project
through the 4-H Wildlife Stewards Project Sustainability Program;
- Ensuring that the project
is a student project and students are involved in the planning and
creating of the Habitat Education Site.
To continue ongoing participation with the 4-H program, each year participating schools will be asked to submit two documents:
Support for 4-H Wildlife
Stewards Member Schools
The 4-H Wildlife Stewards Program provides a wealth of resources to assist you in creating a wide variety projects. Through 4-H programming children are empowered to make positive contributions within their families, community, country and world as they lead the way in creating the environmental, social and economic success stories of the future.
Oregon State University
Extension Supports 4-H Wildlife Stewards through:
- Curriculum Support: 4-H provides research based curriculum covering a wide range of topics. There is something for everyone. As a 4-H volunteer or member school you will receive free and/or discounted curriculum. You can explore national 4-H curriculum and resources HERE. New lesson, activities and volunteer resources are developed locally each year. All curriculum is tied to the Oregon Science Education benchmarks.
- Education Kits (varies by county): 4-H volunteers and member schools may borrow kits from the 4-H office. These kits provide exciting, hands-on activities perfect for school and club programs. The 4-H office has over 30 kits available. Topic areas include mammals, birds, soils, forests, and seeds. A full inventory will be posted online during summer 2010.
- 4-H Volunteer Training: 4-H volunteers receive ongoing leader training in a variety of topics like group management, first aid/CPR, teambuilding, science discovery and much more.
- On-site 4-H Faculty Consultation: 4-H faculty are available to provide on-site support to our 4-H club and school volunteers. Our faculty are experts in the field of youth development, program design/management, natural resources and more. Faculty have created programs that reach thousands of youth and volunteers in Oregon and across the nation. Whether you are a new volunteer creating your first after-school club or in-school program or a veteran 4-H leader, our faculty are here to support you within your community.
- On-site School/Club Leader Training: If you have 4 or more volunteers and/or teachers 4-H faculty are available to conduct trainings on-site for your school and club. Popular topics include: school garden curriculum, science inquiry, planning for sustainability, youth leadership, volunteer management and fundraising.
- Funding Support: The 4-H staff maintain a database of grants available to 4-H clubs and groups, including grants from the State 4-H Foundation. 4-H faculty are happy to write letters of support for grants your 4-H club or school is seeking.
- Fiscal Management: All 4-H volunteers and youth members can be covered by OSU liability and accident insurance. 4-H is a 501C3 organization. This allows chartered clubs to fundraise and manage their fiscal resources. 4-H faculty provide support and oversight to ensure your success in managing club finances.
- 4-H Member Youth Enrichment: 4-H provides ongoing opportunities for 4-H members to get involved in 4-H programs and activities outside their club. Examples include 4-H summer resident and day camps, leadership conferences, family fun days, volunteer appreciation events and much more.
Access to education/curriculum kits and supplies. All curriculum is tied to the Oregon Science Education benchmarksA quarter annual newsletter
- Public Relations and media
support for promoting your project to your school, parents, and community
- Certification of your
Habitat Education Site with OSU Extension
- School Wildlife Habitat
- Summer 4-H Junior Wildlife
Stewards Camp for students
have found that some of the benefits include:
- a place to learn about
the environment as interconnected series of relationships;
- an opportunity for hands-on
learning in all areas of the curriculum;
- an overall increase in
the diversity of play opportunities;
- a reduction in school
ground violence among students;
- an ecologically and aesthetically
improved and chemical-free landscape; and
- a model for environmental
rehabilitation and community building.
By involving parents and
community volunteers in these school projects local communities also
benefit. The benefits of community naturalization - citizens working
together to create healthier natural areas by planting native trees,
shrubs and wildflowers on public landscapes - include:
- enhancing environmental
health by rehabilitating degraded landscapes;
- providing habitat for
native birds, butterflies and other insects;
- increasing biodiversity
by using native plant species;
- learning first-hand about
the natural world and ecological processes which support it;
- strengthening community
ties by fostering a sense of cooperation and instilling feelings of
pride and stewardship; and
- building a sense of individual
empowerment - people learn that they can make a difference.