Bienville Parish Advisory Meeting 2017

Elizabeth Bryan, Uzzle, Linda D. (Diane)  |  3/21/2017 2:15:54 PM

Bienville Parish 4-H Advisory Leadership Council Meeting
March 14, 2017
Arcadia Courthouse Police Jury Conference Room

Growing Leaders

Members in Attendance: Timothy Williams, Pepper Lea, Martha Grigg, Tischa Mays, Kim and Tay Moore, Mr Britt, Rev. Don Calloway, Makenzie Waggoner, Kim Bennett, Tara Haskins, Ungreeka and Jasmine Sneed, Elizabeth Bryan, Carol Lynch, and Diane Uzzle.

The annual advisory meeting began with Diane Uzzle giving the welcome before the meal and Rev. Calloway giving the blessing. Part way through the meal Diane briefed everyone on the legislative sessions. Thankfully, we will not have any budget cuts this year. The AgCenter will ensure that there is a 4-H Agent in every parish and has agreed to hire five new nutrition agents. This is great news! The AgCenter has also started a new initiative called “Healthy Communities” as Louisiana is the most obese state in the nation. To get the group thinking Diane brought up a quote from The Heart of a Leader on organizational skills, “a good performance starts with clear goals.” Clear defined goals create a clear focus.

From here Liz gave her update on 4-H throughout the past year. There were 546 youth enrolled in 4-H this year, an increase of 89 members. The focus for 2016-2017 meetings was on Health and Fitness and Liz taught lessons on calories in vs calories out, reading food labels, checking your heart rate, and many others. The focus for 2015-2016 was on communication. Youth greatly increased their phone etiquette and from before Christmas until end of January youth wrote over 1,200 thank you cards. Youth also noted on a survey that they had received several helpful tips on public speaking and proper etiquette.

4-H did only one service learning project this year on veterans with Stephanie Johnson as a guest speaker. Junior Leaders had a veteran video contest where three winners were selected. Youth have also been collecting items for veterans throughout the school year to be delivered to veterans by end of May. School enrichment was done through Youth Wetlands and a health and fitness class taught to Ringgold 8th grade science students. Other programs offered were AgMagic, Jurors and Schools Empowering Teens, Leader training, Waterfest, and 4-H Yoga. There were also 108 total youth who attended camp last year!

Diane continued the updates by discussing her program highlights. Jurors and Schools Empowering Teens started in 2008 and in the past couple years the school board has joined the police jury for funding for this program. JET is a great program that teaches students job preparedness skills and allows many of them to have hands on experience in the work place. This program is offered in the summer to high school students in the parish. “Let’s Eat for the Health of It” was taught to several different schools this year where youth learned the “MyPlateWins” model for proper food portions. Youth were given incentives and healthy food demos during each lesson and parents were sent letters with information from each lesson. There were 32 “Let’s Eat for the Health of It” lessons taught in Bienville Parish this year. AgMagic was a huge success with 2,388 youth who went through the nutrition lesson. There was also an “Eat Well Live Local Grant” done in Bienville on gardening and carrots. Social marketing campaigns have been successful with banners and flyers at all schools and various other locations.

This year’s focus has been directed on the new initiative “Healthy Communities”. The first open forum meeting was held in Ringgold in October. Over 100 people were contacted about the initiative and the first meeting was a huge success. Since then a Healthy Communities Workforce group has been meeting once a month or more with the first upcoming event on March 31st.

Once updates were complete, an inspirational video was played on growing the next generation of leaders. Afterwards, members were asked to split into various groups based on four inspirational words and quotes. Then groups were asked to answer three questions pertaining to 4-H and one group was to answer questions about healthy communities. 4-H questions were, What are some challenges youth face today? What can 4-H do to address those challenges? What educational topic could 4-H provide that would be helpful to youth and the school system? Healthy Communities’ questions: What are ideas for getting groups together in Ringgold to be more physically active? What are ideas for events in Ringgold to encourage family involvement? Groups were given several minutes to discuss ideas, and then were asked to share their thoughts regarding each question.

Group 1: Challenges: Respect of self and others, lack of determination, obesity. How to address: Youth need to learn more about health and not just setting goals, but following them, (making attainable goals).

Group 2: Challenges: Problem-solving skills, communication, social skills. How to address: Youth need scenarios to work through along with setting action steps for achieving goals. Educational Topic: Youth need to be aware of things in everyday life, maybe have programs at camp that split youth up based on age or grade. Younger kids are intimidated by older and do not get as involved as they would if it was just their class.

Group 3: Challenges: Public speaking, nerves communication – teamwork. Learning how to work as a team is something that carries into high education and can affect young people getting a job.

Healthy Communities questions Group 3: More community basketball tournaments to draw in people and families maybe have an event around Halloween to force people to walk but still have fun. Adults coming back for “clinic” or games with previous coaches etc. This would get several different communities involved.

Have an open house or parent teacher conference where parents can follow their kid’s school schedules. At this, there can be a healthy community’s booth and a booth for parents to learn more about and take advantage of telehealth.

From here, members were asked to fill out a brief survey, (also completed by JLC participants,) on the five top subject matters that would be important for youth to learn. The top choice determines the focus topic for 2017-2018. The top three choices were as follows: 3rd place 36 points – Service (community service, service learning, and community youth development). 2nd place 37 points – Fitness, and 1st place 55 votes was Leadership (leadership, respect, understanding, character development). Leadership will be the focus topic for the 2017-2018 school year.

Liz and Diane gave closing remarks, thanked everyone for their time and input and the group was dismissed.

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