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The 4-H Afterschool Mentoring Program is busy with STEM activities facilitated in a youth/ adult mentoring format working in groups in the afterschool programs. This is our 7th year of the program supported by a grant from the National 4-H Council- Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Mentoring Program. Each week mentors and small groups of mentees meet to work together on hands- on science activities that focus on STEM skills in a variety of topic areas including Robotics, Recycling, Earth Science, Food Science, Media arts and more. Often the projects have service learning goals that helps the 4-H youth focus their skills by addressing a community need, brainstorming an innovative solution, producing the items, and providing them to community members.
At the Kirk Middle School 4-H Afterschool Program, mentors and mentees in the Recycle Club invented a portable blanket made out of recycled plastic grocery bags. The recycled mats were given to shelter programs for homeless people living in Wilmington.
The Delaware Military 4-H mentoring group held two Day of Service Camps for mentees. They worked on projects for local and national charities. Projects included fleece blankets for Project Linus, survival bracelets and neck gators for Operation Gratitude, freezer meals for local Code Purple locations, placemats and cards for local Meals on Wheels, capes for the Hero Project, quilt squares for Quilts of Valor and Art for Art for Hospice. Mentee families joined in to help with the service projects.
At our new site La Casita in Sussex the mentees are all 1st generation Americans with parents predominantly from Guatemala and Mexico who are enjoying many new experiences. We utilized field trips as family engagement opportunities inviting parents to attend trips to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and the Air and Space Museum in DC to share in the new experiences with their children.
The five mentoring program sites are looking forward to continuing activities in STEM and service learning projects over the summer at day camp programming.