Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Mar 24, 2018

ISU Extension offering extra learning opportunities at FMS

Jan 11, 2018
PHOTO SUBMITTED Ricochet: An Extreme Leadership Adventure participants are moments away from completing the Helium Stick Challenge. The team challenge is to lower the stick to the ground. The catch: Each person’s fingers must be in contact with it at all times; pinching or grabbing the pole in not allowed — it must rest on top of fingers. Plus, the stick has a habit of mysteriously floating up rather than going down. Some groups, after 5 to 10 minutes of trying, want to give up, but they can discusses their strategy and try again. The challenge is one way the Fairfield Middle School fifth- through eighth-graders learn-by-doing through fun, high-energy activities in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach program. Read more about Ricochet on page 2.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Jefferson County has partnered with Fairfield Community School District to offer extra learning opportunities to students in fifth- through eighth-grades in Jefferson County.

According to County Youth Coordinator Rachel Wonderlich, ISU Extension and Outreach in Jefferson County strives to provide educational resources to every individual in the county, and one of the ways it does this is with its youth programs.

Since Nov. 1, a group of 15 to 18 middle-school youth have met weekly after-school at Fairfield Middle School to learn about the meaning of leadership, communication, decision making and stress management through a program called Ricochet: An Extreme Leadership Adventure.

This program is 100 percent learning-by-doing through fun and high-energy activities, such as: Group Juggle, Helium Stick, Galloping Hands, Gyro Ring and Siamese Feet, said Wonderlich.

Additionally, participants had to collaboratively decide on a community outreach project. Together, they brainstormed, planned and implemented their project. During the holiday season, the youth wanted to spread cheer by visiting SunnyBrook Living Care Center. Dec. 13, they played games and made crafts with several of the residents.

“4-H is all about helping youth develop leadership, citizenship, and communication skills,” said Jefferson County Youth Outreach Educator Ashtin Walker. “This has been a great opportunity for these youth to develop all three of those skills.”

A “Welcome Back Kick-Off” was planned after school Jan. 3 at FMS, and the group will continue to meet weekly through May 16.

Computer science and coding will be taught for six weeks beginning this week through Feb. 14. Then, from Feb. 21 through April 4, the group will cover physics, and finally, from April 11 through May 16, the students will learn about money management.

For more information regarding the Afterschool Adventures, contact Walker at 472-4166 or ashtinw@iastate.edu.

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