Youth are invited to join a 4-H club in their community or on their installation! Youth who are eight years old and in third grade through 18 may join. 4-H opportunities are available on Texas installations including Fort Bliss, Fort Hood, Fort Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, Laughlin AFB, Goodfellow AFB, Sheppard AFB, Randolph AFB, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and Naval Air Station Kingsville through their youth/teen programs office. Making new friends and getting involved in 4-H project areas such as food & nutrition, health, gardening, photography, fine arts, community service/leadership, dog training and other project areas are key to success in 4-H. NOTE: Projects vary at each installation. Activities may include club meetings; educational workshops, camps, county or project fairs, leadership conferences and many opportunities for recognition.
Texas Military Programs website – link
Texas has one of the largest number of military youth in the nation, as well as the largest military installation in the world. The fact that many military youth are being affected by deployment is inevitable in today’s world. Operation: Military Kids (OMK) provides support to military youth by helping them connect with other youth in similar situations by providing activities and outlets to help them cope with deployment. Operation: Military Kids has established partnerships throughout the state so that thousands of youth can be impacted by our mission:
To build community partnerships to increase capacity for youth, families,
and build communities to support youth of military families.
Operation: Military Kids is the U.S. Army’s collaborative effort with America’s communities to support children and youth impacted by deployment. Regardless of whether families are experiencing deployment for the first time, the second time or another in a series of multiple deployments, OMK offers support and programming efforts to engage youth and the community.
Operation: Military Kids’ goals:
- Create community support networks for military youth “in our own backyard” when Soldier/parents are deployed.
- Deliver recreational, social, and educational programs for military youth living in civilian communities.
- Support military kids who are coping with the stress of knowing their deployed parents may be in harm’s way.
- Collaborate with schools to ensure staff are attuned to the unique needs of military students whose parents are deployed.
- Educate the public on the impact of the deployment cycle on soldiers, families, kids, and the community as a whole.
April Marks the Month of the Military Child
Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger in 1986 designated each April as “The Month of the Military Child”. Recognizing the contribution that the military child makes as their parent or parents serve our nation, it is during April of each year that all branches of services provide special days and events to honor the family and their children. See how we are supporting our military kids in Texas:
4-H Tech Wizards
The mission of 4-H Tech Wizards is to provide a cultural responsive after school, small group mentoring program. Tech Wizard capitalizes on youths’ ages 8-18, interested in emerging technology as a way of involving underrepresented youth and their families in learning basic life and workforce skills and aspiring to post-secondary education, productive jobs and careers, and community engagement. 4-H Tech Wizards enhances learning by providing the targeted student group with technology training the students request, delivered in partnership with 4-H, schools, volunteers, libraries, non-profits, and other community partners. Students learn STEM related skills from adult mentors who provide positive role models for the students to emulate. Also, students learn life skills such as goal setting, problem solving, presentation and public speaking skills and decision-making.
- Encourage youth to complete high school
- Provide youth with the experience of being a community resource through their community service projects.
- Encourage family and community support for youth participants by increasing understanding and informed use of technology by family and community members at service learning sites.
- Encourage participation in a community driven collaboration that addresses developmental needs of at-risk youth.
- Recognize and value all collaborating organizations for providing resources for youth development.
- Provide long-tern, sustainable organizations, relationships and programs focused on youth life-skills development (i.e. presentations, goal setting, and work place standards).
- Encourage youth to consider careers in technology, math and science.
- Create and deliver high quality experiential learning opportunities that enable youth to develop IT/STEM competencies and life skills through involvement in real-world projects.
- 4–H Tech Wizards Compete in FIRST Lego League – PDF
- Fort Hood Sentinel – PDF
- Texas Tech Wizard logo – Word
- Recent camp that took place – PDF
- Texas Tech Wizard brochure – PDF
Welcome Home Garden
The Burpee Seed Company has an initiative called “Welcome Home Garden,” 10 packets of seeds (8 vegetable and 2 flower) they want supporting veterans, service members and their families. The physical packet includes Zinnia, Marigold, lettuce, tomato, spinach, sweet pepper, radish, cucumber, carrot and squash and growing seasons for the regions. The packets are already assembled and the recipes included. This project would continue for at least two years.
Please be sure that you are meeting the criteria from Burpee Seed for distribution or use of the seeds. The seeds are for returning military service members and veterans and their families. They want the seed packets to be in the hands of these people or planted in their honor. Victory gardens and welcome home gardens planted to honor service members would meet the criteria as well. Planting gardens and giving the produce to military families is another way to meet the criteria. Giving the seed pouches to military families to plant gardens or helping them plant the gardens works too.
This opportunity could serve as a great community service or service learning project for your youth/adult groups, master gardeners, junior master gardeners and community partners. If your county would like to participate, we would be happy to mail you the seed packets. Please, see request form for ordering information.