Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
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Nineteen 4th–6th grade Washington County youth spent a full day June 24 engaged in hands-on learning activities, as they participated in On Their Own and OK. This program offered youth the opportunity to reinforce how to act in an emergency, learn how to handle boredom without technology, make their own healthy lunch and snack, make a first aid kit, practice decision-making, along with ways to care for younger siblings who may also be home.
On Their Own and OK not only helped these participants build their skills, but also helped them gain confidence in taking this very important step toward independence.
According to Cherry Sandeen, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Program Specialist and Amy Green, with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, “Youth left home by themselves without self-care skills may find ways to occupy their time that parents or guardians may not support. Some young people may truly be fearful of staying home alone without adequate education from parents, teachers, and community partners. On Their Own and OK builds skills in youth, as well as incorporates ways for parents or guardians in the home to support this step toward independence."
Every participant reported that they would recommend On Their Own & OK to their friends. They were all also able to share important safety tips and the boredom busters they were most excited to try the next time they are home alone.
Washington Volunteer Firefighter, Andy Miller, was the special speaker teaching youth about basic first aid, assisting someone who is choking, fire safety, and severe storms. Miller’s number one piece of advice to youth in any given situation, “stay calm.” Following Miller’s presentation, youth assembled their own first aid kits with supplies donated by Washington County Ambulance Service.
Washington County 4-H Elite members, Grace Coble and Grace Conway, volunteered by assisting with activities and at the end of the day they spoke to youth participants about their own involvement and the benefits of belonging to the Washington County 4-H program.
The day concluded with the presentation of certificates of completion and a time for youth to present what they learned.
For more information about joining 4-H, summer camp opportunities or how to volunteer for Washington County 4-H, contact the Washington County Extension Office at 319-653-4811. Follow “Washington County 4-H – Iowa” on Facebook.
Washington County youth, Cora Miller and Claire Pickens participants of On Their Own & OK, prepare fresh tomatoes for the lunch of tortilla wraps.