4-H Tech Wizards
A new 4-H mentoring grant awarded to WSU Ferry County Extension will soon provide youth in Republic and Curlew the opportunity to develop positive relationships with adult mentors. The Tech Wizards grant, from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, is designed to use archery, robotics, and digital media as platforms to engage youth, ages 10-17, in order to build communication skills, conflict resolution strategies, have fun, and develop life-long hobbies and skills.
LEGO Academy experts taught and attendees were given the core building blocks of essential training for robotics, through the use of Lego robotics equipment. Participants of the training learned to help students engage in computer science, technology, engineering, and math with the robotics kits which are exceedingly hands on.
During January and March 2014, groups of adult mentors participated in two day 4-H Shooting Sports Archery Leader and National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Basic Archery Instructor training to prepare to launch archery programs in Republic, Curlew and Inchelium. As dual-trained instructors, these mentors are prepared to develop before-school and after-school archery clubs, as well as offer two weeks of archery instruction through the physical education classes at all three schools.
With the successful completion of the NASP instruction, the Republic and Inchelium Schools, through PE teachers Chris Burch, Republic, and Ben England, Inchelium, were eligible to apply for a matching grant from NASP to purchase new archery equipment for their respective schools. Both sites bought bows, targets, a ballistic curtain, a bow rack, and arrows for up to 10 archers. Schools agree to provide two weeks of instruction in archery for a minimum of three years during the school day. Certified 4-H shooting sports archery leaders may also check out archery equipment from the WSU Ferry County Extension office to use for club activities.
With the recent popularity of the hit movies Brave, The Hunger Games, and The Desolation of Smaug, where archery played a key role, interest is strong in the sport. The science and math that underlie the sport create the connection to the Tech Wizards. Mentors not only work with youth to develop their marksmanship and form, they will help youth draw connections between the discipline, the concentration, and the consistency of effort necessary for a successful archer to other areas of their lives.
If you would like to become involved as a volunteer mentor, contact Buffy in the 4-H office located in the basement of the Courthouse.