4-H Youth Development

Photo: Buffalo 4H

4-H is the youth development branch of Cornell Cooperative Extension.  The 4-H Program gives young people ages 5 to 19 hands-on experiences in the areas of civic engagement, healthy living, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teaching leadership, citizenship, and life skills using research-based knowledge while partnering with volunteers, community organizations, and school districts.  The Urban 4-H Program seeks to deliver relevant programming that focuses on the assets and interests of young people in urban areas of Erie County, especially Buffalo and Lackawanna.  We also offer trainings related to STEM and Positive Youth Development to youth development professionals who work in afterschool and other out of school settings.

Current urban programming includes:

4-H Youth Community Action Network (Youth CAN)

Youth CAN is a teen leadership group focused on developing teens to be community change agents.  Teen leaders meet weekly after school to plan and conduct community improvement projects and build their leadership skills.  The program also involves travel to state 4-H events and summer internships.
Youth CAN groups are currently running at Global Concepts Charter High School in Lackawanna, Tapestry Charter School in Buffalo, and Buffalo Public School #156 Frederick Law Olmsted.

Youth CAN is part of the Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Program, Sustainable Community Projects (SCP), 4-H National Headquarters.  It is supported by Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie, New York State 4-H and Smith Lever funds from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Healthy Youth Positive Energy (HYPE) and Buffalo Farm to School

HYPE is a teen leadership group focused on improving wellness for students and families in Buffalo schools. We meet once a month to develop and plan projects and engage in other wellness-related activities. Program partners include Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Grassroots Gardens of WNY, and the Massachusetts Avenue Project.

4-H is also part of the Buffalo Farm to School initiative which aims to bring more local produce to Buffalo Public School students and educate the school community about the food system. 4-H is involved in community outreach and student engagement.

Robotics Afterschool Club

The 4-H Robotics Club at Buffalo Public School #59 Dr. Charles R. Drew Science Magnet meets weekly afterschool with middle school students to build underwater remotely operated vehicles using the SeaPerch kit (www.seaperch.org).

Tech Wizards

The 4-H Tech Wizards after-school program, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, connects at-risk youth with caring mentors on a weekly basis year-round.  The youth participants, ages 5-14, are engaged in small group hands-on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities at the Seneca Babcock Community Center.  Throughout the year, they put their knowledge and skills to practice through regular community service and service learning projects.