Hometown Heroes 4-H Teens as Teachers: Tier 3 communities announced

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — SDSU Extension’s 4-H Teens as Teachers program is designed as a tool to enhance 4-H youth development through service learning projects planned and carried out by local youth.

Within Teens Educating through Advocacy and Mentorship (T.E.A.M), there are three levels of possible participation, explained Karelyn Farrand SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Character Education Field Specialist.

Tier 1 involves school classes or clubs; Tier 2 involves schools teams of 4 to 8 students and Tier 3 involves individual students.

“4-H Teens as Teachers – Tier 3 is designed for the student who would like to focus on giving back to their own school, organization, community or State. The audience is determined by the school, teacher, leader, or association,” she said.

Farrand added that the selection process for Tier 3 is a competitive process in which the student is selected according to content guidelines and through application and interview process. The process mirrors that of a job application and interview which provides the student with life skills that will aid them in future job searches.

Students selected for this year’s Hometown Hero Teens as Teachers – Tier 3 program will be using the CHARACTER COUNTS! Six Pillars of Character to teach character lessons in their elementary school. This year’s program will be offered in three communities across the state, including: Arlington, Belle Fourche and Brookings.

Students will attend a 6 hour training session in order to be able to design and carry out lessons in conjunction with local teachers. They will write newsletters, plan activities, and complete a Community Challenge or Reflection Video as well as various evaluations. The program lesson topics will focus on the Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. These lessons align with the SD Health Education Standards.

Upon completion of the program the students will receive a $500 scholarship that will be established in an educational account at the South Dakota 4-H Foundation. The scholarship will be directed toward the post-secondary institution of the student’s choice, upon payment of fees to that institution.

This SDSU Extension 4-H program partners with the SD 4-H Foundation, SD School Districts and a number of valued sponsors who have made the Teens as Teachers program possible. The sponsors include: Midcontinent Communications, Joe and Elaine Floyd, Sioux Falls Kirby families, Rob and Miriam Broin, Touchstone Energy, Al Schoeneman, as well as 3M.

“These partnerships have created learning communities that allow youth the opportunity to excel and grow their leadership skills while at the same time make a difference within their communities and schools,” Farrand said. “The program allows youth to practice their self-initiative and leadership; problem solve and plan by developing and carrying out lesson plans for grades 3-6. These leadership skills are what 21st century employers are looking for in viable employees.”

For more information about this program and its benefits to youth contact, Phil Olson, Hometown Hero Coordinator at 605-212-6175 or or Farrand, 605- 626-2870 or