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February 7, 2007
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension faculty members Carol Benesh, state 4-H youth development specialist, and Pamela Powell, Churchill County extension educator, have been awarded a $150,000 grant from the National Geographic Education Foundation.
The 18-month grant will be used to create education modules for trainers to develop 4-H Alert, Evacuate and Shelter projects in 11 southeastern states and District of Columbia. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension faculty are part of a national collaborative team working on the project. The team includes members from University of Georgia, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Idaho, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc., Extension Disaster Education Network, My State USA, and the USDA Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service.
The grant project was designed after a Nevada and Oregon Community Readiness Network pilot program that created partnerships between emergency management agencies, community leaders and 4-H youth and adults. The Nevada 4-H youth teams focused on three emergency preparedness projects – creating a community Web page, training for youth on geospatial technology and developing 96-hour backpacks. Oregon youth teams focused on developing Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). From their experience, Nevada 4-H members presented a disaster drill at the National 4-H Technology Leadership Conference in 2006.
In addition to learning technology skills, youth learned first-hand about community infrastructure and decision-making while developing leadership and citizenship skills. The pilot program was part of the National 4-H Council's focus on Science, Engineering and Technology, which states:
4-H is uniquely positioned to develop America's future generation of scientists and engineers. This program area will be 4-H's national priority for the next five years. 4 H has the ability to draw upon a rich and diverse set of research-based curricula and activities that provide hands-on, real world experiences delivered in both informal and formal settings. Delivered through the 4 H setting, Science, Engineering & Technology offers an extraordinary range of engaging and challenging activities for youth of all ages and abilities.