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Innovation Grants Featured in Jan. 30, 2020 Coffee Break

More than a year ago, several teams were selected for innovation grants to develop and carry out innovative programming. This Innovation Coffee Break gave those teams an opportunity to share what they’ve done.

We heard from:

  • #adulting – Stacy Wang and Carrie Johnson
  • 4-H marketing videos – Caroline Homan
  • Parent and Family Resource Center cart cards and more – Kim Bushaw

Session Notes:

Three teams that received 2018-19 innovation grants from program leaders shared their projects. 

#adulting  Carrie Johnson, Nikki Johnson, Stacy Wang 

They trained six peer educators (NDSU students) who reached 106 additional college students. This allowed the program to reach more than the three of them could. Their spring pop-up event reached 274 more with six interactive tables. Also, the peer educators set up contact tables in the Union and reached an additional 70 students. 

In addition to the six peer educators, they trained 17 Extension agents and 31 FACS teachers. All reached 616 participants, with 450 by the peer educators. They also developed off-campus partnerships. Social media was a big part of the program with 81,277 reaches and 3,355 engagements. In their survey, 70% said they were confident or very confident in their ability to launder clothing after a lesson, 73% to safely prepare a healthy snack, 58% in their ability to create a budget and track income/expenses, and 60% in their ability to find a rental property that fit their needs and budget. 

This program can be used for juniors and seniors in high school or younger college. The six lessons can be used separately. Caroline used it with high school seniors at an event that already was happening. Nikki learned that chalk really does get out oil stains. 

Training the peer educators was more innovative. Five were FACS ed majors and one ag ed, so they got practice teaching. They went through the program then they went into groups. They were paid a stipend for each activity they completed. The spring pop-up was a fun event and unexpected success. They’d planned for 100 and had 270. Participants had to complete activities to gain knowledge and win prizes. 

4-H Marketing Videos – Caroline Homan, Sue Milender, Cindy Klapperich, Alicia Harstad 

In counties, agents often feel overwhelmed with how to consistently and creatively meet the needs of 4-H families. New families often don’t know what to expect. This team developed four videos and several Powtoons to help onboard new 4-H families. These provide info when families are ready to receive it. 

The videos are linked from the 4-H home page. They had creative names for the videos but went back to clear descriptions. The videos quickly describe what 4-H is and how families can participate to get great experiences. They meet needs of individual children and provide a snapshot of different ways to approach 4-H. The videos are targeted at adult audiences, but they see kids engaged. The Powtoons are more for kids with youth voices and caricatures that dig into how-to’s. The videos help agents have a one-stop shop to share with families – those enrolled and those considering. They’re trying to reach a diverse audience. 

Scott and Caroline shared short segments of one video and one Powtoon. Their challenge was to have the videos educational but not overwhelming. Brad Cogdill added financial support beyond the grant for more videos. The team wrote the scripts then they were reviewed by Brad, specialists, 4-H families and non4-H families. The project was incredibly time consuming. The videos are on YouTube, but please direct people to get to them from the 4-H home page. The videos are voiceovers so they can change out photos as 4-H’ers age without having to re-edit audio. Team members wrote the storyboards then Scott animated the Powtoons. Videos are combo of Scott shooting and agents providing videos and still photos. They’re still finalizing some of the pieces so haven’t revealed widely yet.  

Parent and Family Resource Centers Marketing – Kim Bushaw 

Her grant was for $3,500 to market the six PFRCs in the network. 

They developed cart cards for kids and food fun for families posters with the same content. PFRC staff are distributing cart cards to grocery stores to market the PFRCs where families go – grocery shopping. The cards are printed on the indestructible paper in Print and Copy Services so cost about $16 per set. 

Their grant also funded Setting Bedtime and Screen Limits videos. The first part of each is education and the last minute is marketing PFRCs. Coordinators also have used them with advisory groups, at conferences, etc. After they developed the storyboard, they realized it was too long so split it in half. See www.ag.ndsu.edu/pen though someone said they had trouble finding the PFRC website. 

Kim also refreshed their website with Kelli and Sonja, and with Ag Comm created an infographic to show the importance of PFRCs. A student made two Powtoons. 

They’ve gotten great feedback from advisory board members, and reached both parents and decision makers. 

Notes by Becky Koch

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