Positive Partnerships for Youth Development

September 20, 2023

Laura Haddon
4-H Youth Development Agent
Spartanburg County

Young boy from Kids Club enjoying a healthy afterschool snack.

Kids Club member enjoying a healthy snack.

A healthy snack made of bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, and tomatoes.

A healthy snack!

Spartanburg County 4-H has partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Upstate, now called Kids Club of the Upstate, for many years.  Through 21st Century grant funding the Kids Club contracts with Spartanburg 4-H to provide Healthy Lifestyles, STEM, and Ag in the Classroom lessons.


During the school year the 4-H Agent offered Healthy Lifestyles lessons to fourth and fifth graders using the Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness curriculum developed by Cornell University.  Youth learned about the importance of eating the recommended servings of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  They also read nutrition labels and practiced choosing snacks that were lower in fat and sugar.

Kids Club participants used the engineering process to build tall index card towers.

Kids Club participants used the engineering process to build tall index card towers.

One of their favorite lessons was about “Go, Slow, and Stop Drinks”.  They were very surprised by some of the drinks that ended up in the “Stop” category.  After each lesson the youth made a healthy snack.  Everyone’s favorite was the fruit and yogurt parfait!


Kids Club members enjoying smoothies.

Kids Club members enjoying smoothies.

During the summer months 4-H was able to provide STEM activities to the older students and Ag in the Classroom activities to the first and second graders.  STEM offered students the opportunity to solve problems using the Engineering Design Process.  They created “Pom-Pom Poppers”, “Index Card Towers”, and “LEGO Mazes”.  In addition to problem solving skills, they developed their communication skills and practiced working together as a team.


Ag in the Classroom lessons provided youth hands-on opportunities to learn about popular South Carolina commodities through read-alouds of the Accurate Ag Book of the Month from South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation. The books were accompanied by an activity. The June lesson was all about strawberries.

Kids Club kiddos dissecting eggs.

Kids Club kiddos dissecting eggs.

The first and second graders enjoyed the book, I Love Strawberries, by Shannon Anderson.  Then they made a strawberry plant life cycle craft and mixed up a strawberry smoothie.

July’s lesson focused on chickens and eggs.  The classes read Hatching Chicks in Room Six by Caroline Arnold, dissected unfertilized chicken eggs, and petted real, live baby chicks.


Spartanburg 4-H looks forward to continuing to partner with the Kids Clubs of the Upstate as the 2023-2024 school year begins.  Together we will continue to “make the best better”!


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