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4-H continues programs for students

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Chilton County 4-H has developed plans to continue offering programs for students in the coming school year.

Registration opened Aug. 1 for this year’s clubs.

Because of social distancing requirements, some of these will be offered in an online format.

However, Janet Lovelady, 4-H Foundation Regional Extension Agent for Chilton County, said there are plans for in-person 4-H clubs starting in October.

These are expected to include Air Rifle/Bb, Archery, Horse, Chick Chain and Rabbit.

Several students have completed poultry and rabbit projects this summer, reporting progress through electronic means.

“Chick Chain and rabbit projects usually run March through August, however, we had to delay the start this past spring because of the quarantine,” Lovelady said.

Students participated in a virtual training through a video conference in April and “picked up their chicks in a ‘drive-thru’ pick up on May 13 or rabbits in a drive-thru on May 4.”

Meetings have been held through videoconferencing and students created videos for their project which can be watched on the “Chiton County 4-H Alabama” Facebook page.

“Normally, I would go to the 4-H’ers house and do a project visit,” Lovelady said. “The videos they are sending in are a substitute for that visit. They’ve been so fun to watch. We hope to have an in-person showcase event for these 4-H’ers and their animal projects in October.”

A few clubs will start online with the hopes of transitioning to in-person meetings. These are Peach Pals, Chilton 4-H Youth Council and Homeschool.

Creative Arts, Dog, STEM, Public Speaking, Poultry & Egg and Cooking & Baking will be offered entirely online.

Registration information and forms for all of the 4-H clubs is available online at v2.4honline.com or by at the Chilton County Extension Office in Clanton.

“We’re still making adjustments as we monitor the coronavirus situation,” Lovelady said.

Some summer activities did have to be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take 4-H’ers to camp this summer,” Lovelady said. “It is one of our favorites and theirs. It was greatly missed.”

However, an online series and contests kept students engaged.

Video conference visits to classrooms to supplement for programs that ordinarily would be offered at Chilton County schools are also in the works.

“Alabama 4-H is the youth development program of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and is open to all youth ages 9-18,” Loveday said. “Enrollment in 4-H programs opens every August for the upcoming school year.”