4-H to begin 'Clover Kids' pilot at Johnson

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Starting the end of January, Spencer students in grades kindergarten through second grade will have the opportunity to learn interactively during Spencer's "early out" afternoons.

"Clover Kids," a program sponsored by the Clay County Extension, is in its pilot year, and will consist of three monthly sessions in January, February and April.

"A lot of people are seeing it as the beginning of 4-H," Michele Hogrefe, with the Clay County Extension office, said. "It's more just a program to introduce kids to fun and interactive activities."

January's session is called "Play with Your Food," and will feature different activities and experiments associated with healthy food options.

"We want to show the 'fun' side of healthy food," Hogrefe said. "For example, we could have activities about carbohydrates where the kids do jumping jacks and learn about where their energy comes from."

"I thought it sounded like a great opportunity," said Spencer Elementary Principal Lucas DeWitt. "Any time you can expose kids to healthy lifestyle choices, it's a good thing."

The pilot program for "Clover Kids" has about 30 positions, though nearly twice as many students signed up.

Hogrefe noted that in potential future years they hope to expand their reach.

"Hopefully we'll get big enough where we won't have to turn away kids," she said.

In addition to the "Clover Kids" program, the Extension is gearing up for their summer SPIN programs. Chad Elliott will give an exploratory music program for grades kindergarten through third grade. This program is open for all kids who wish to attend.

In addition, SPIN will offer nature and wildlife tours. There are 20 positions available for this program.

"Our goal with these supplemental programs is to have kids interacting with each other and with the volunteers," Hogrefe said. "We want these kids to have a positive experience."

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