4-H Enrichment Program Helps Students LEAP Ahead

Beverly A. Bailey, Faul, Terril D., Williams, Sarah E., Morgan, Johnny W.  |  10/10/2006 12:45:34 AM

LSU AgCenter 4-H agent Beverly Bailey shows these Slaughter Elementary fourth graders the finer points of catching butterflies and other insects. The Identify An Insect lesson and activity were part of a school enrichment program offered by the LSU AgCenter, which is designed to help students be better prepared for the mandatory LEAP test they will be taking later this year. Other lessons taught in the program include electricity, agriculture and natural resources and wetlands conservation.

News Release Distributed 11/19/2003

Fourth graders in the East Feliciana Parish schools are getting some hands-on experience to help them to pass the science section of the mandatory LEAP test.

LSU AgCenter extension agent Beverly Bailey is using existing AgCenter educational material and activities to help them prepare.

But Bailey isn’t alone. What began as a local project more than five years ago after Bailey took a group of students to the LSU AgCenter’s Sci-Tech Camp in Pollock has grown into an effort AgCenter agents are implementing in various schools across the state.

"After we experienced the curriculum at camp, we came back with the idea that hands-on is a great way to teach the science curriculum in the schools," Bailey said.

The LSU AgCenter agent uses the information found in the Discovering 4-H project book to teach the science lessons to the students.

Bailey’s most recent training session was at the Slaughter Elementary School where she presented November’s lesson on different types of insects and how to identify them.

"I go into each of the fourth-grade classes each month with a lesson related to the science concepts they will need to know," she explained. For example, during November, students are covering the Inspect an Insect section of the book.

"They get to draw a picture of the insect, label the parts and then learn the parts," Bailey said of the lesson. "Then we go outside to catch some insects with nets and killing jars."

Bailey said although the lessons come from the curriculum of the LSU AgCenter’s successful 4-H youth development program, the students aren’t required to join their local 4-H Club to go through the training.

All fourth graders in the parish are involved in the school enrichment program, she said.

LSU AgCenter 4-H and youth development associate Sarah Williams said schools throughout the state have access to the LEAP benchmark lessons, which will help teachers to better present such information to students.

"We have the information available to teachers in the form of CDs, as well as portable displays," Williams said. "It’s all in a format that teachers can make copies of for use in their classes."

Terril Faul, director of the 4-H youth development program for the LSU AgCenter, said after Bailey initially piloted the program, LEAP lessons have been available to agents across the state for the past two years in parishes across the state.

"All of our agents are required to identify the benchmarks of LEAP for programs that will be presented in 4-H," he said.

Bailey said local donations also help with the programs. For example, some of the money used to buy supplies and to pay for field trips for the students in East Feliciana came from a grant through state Sen. Kip Holden’s office.

"Some of the money helps to pay for the items we need to teach the sessions on agriculture, insects and the wetlands field trip where we will be going to Alligator Bayou," she explained.

Another fun learning activity for the students is when they study the properties of matter and they get to use some ideas from Dr. Suess.

"When we did this lesson, we made Glurch and Oobleck, which are suspensions that behave like liquid in some ways but also have properties of a solid," Bailey explained.

Other areas fourth graders participating in the programs will be studying in the coming months include electricity, weather and natural resources.

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Contacts:
Beverly Bailey at (225) 683-3101 or bbailey@agcenter.lsu.edu
Terril Faul at (225) 578-2196 or tfaul@agcenter.lsu.edu
Sarah Williams at (225) 578-2196 or sawilliams@agcenter.lsu.edu
Writer:
Johnny Morgan at (504) 838-1170 or jmorgan@agcenter.lsu.edu

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