Faced with the reality of no longer being able to meet in person with their 4-H youth in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington County Extension turned to Facebook videos that as a group have been watched more than 3,000 times – and counting.
4-H Together on Thursdays was a weekly feature on the Washington County Facebook page. The first pre-recorded video announcing the program premiered on March 25. Since then, the videos focus on activities kids can do with their dog, cat, magazines, water, paper, fish, a paperclip, and more.
“We knew it was important to stay connected and keep learning together,” said Alice Phillips, 4-H Youth Outreach faculty in Washington County. Phillips recorded videos in her home that showed kids hands-on art activities – things you can do with magazines and different ways to make a bookmark.
Washington County 4-H staff have expertise in a wide variety of topics. For example, Kristen Moore, a 4-H companion animal program coordinator, recorded videos with her Bernese Mountain Dog, Beau, and Pippin, a 12-year-old domestic shorthair cat.
“With more time at home with our pets, we have new opportunities to build a stronger bond,” Moore said.
To increase engagement, the videos include a system so that kids can earn experience points for each activity they do. Kids who achieve experience point benchmarks earn small prizes.