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Johnson County

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Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
Suite 1500
Olathe, KS 66061

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday,
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax

Map to our office

K-State Research and Extension is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Johnson County Extension at (913)715-7000. Notify staff of accommodation needs as early as possible.

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

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4-H Partners with Educators

woman teachingIn honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we are highlighting some of the wonderful partnerships that Johnson County 4-H and Johnson County Extension have had the privilege of building with local educators!

From the decades long relationships that Nancy Carr, School Enrichment Coordinator, has cultivated, to the budding programs that agents throughout Extension are creating, we are so appreciative of all the opportunities that local educators allow to bring 4-H and Extension resources into the classroom! 

Thirty-four years ago, Nancy Carr and the 4-H Extension Agent at the time started Johnson County K-State Research and Extension’s school enrichment program to supplement elementary classroom curriculum. Teachers in Johnson County can check out the enrichment kits to use with their students. The two most popular are Chicken Embryology and Butterfly Garden.

“The excitement with the baby chicks is contagious for the whole school,” says Laura Ostertag, who teaches third grade at Havencroft Elementary School. “My students always include hatching chicks as a highlight in their end of year stories.”

Libby McFarland, 4-6 grade teacher at Global Montessori Academy, says her students loved the Forestry kit and wanted to use it for science journaling. She used the kit to prepare for a field trip to Powell Gardens. In a previous year, one student was motivated by the Butterfly Garden kit to research and document an impressive journal with detailed artwork. Nancy’s decades-long partnerships with Johnson County educators have made meaningful and memorable impacts on students’ learning.

Over the past few months, agents throughout all of Johnson County Extension have been working with Santa Fe Trail Middle School in Olathe during their Flex Time on Thursdays. This is a dedicated time that Santa Fe Trail gives students “to explore something new,” said educator Joshua Stock.

kids playingThe school’s mission statement is “Empowering All Learners to Explore” and is perfectly in line with the positive youth development model that 4-H prescribes for youth to thrive. Agents used this Flex Time in a variety of way to engage youth, from healthy eating to horticulture jeopardy and even a zombie survival program that allowed youth to create a water filter and work as a team to get to the other side of “Zombie River”. Each program with the same goal in mind, to allow youth to see the possibilities of working with their local extension office as well as being introduced to the 4-H principles throughout the activity.

These principles are exemplified in the 4-H Thrive Model, which details how youth can be set up for success. 

zombie bottle

As agents we primarily work with youth to establish those seeds of belonging, sparks, relationship and engagement. It is important as parents, grandparents, coaches and citizens to be familiar with this model so that we all can participate effectively in positive youth development.

We are honored to work with educators that develop the future leaders of tomorrow, that join us in developing our local youth. We can’t wait expand this reach to ensure that the youth of Johnson County thrive!

4-h developmental priincples