Area 4-Hers complete SPIN Club events with Lake Land College
The Cumberland County 4-H Club placed first with their Sustainable Community presentation held recently at the Coles County Mall in Mattoon. Competing against other 4-H members from Coles, Moultrie/Douglas and Shelby counties, the Cumberland County group created a sustainable community diorama that incorporated sustainable energy practices, victory gardens and even a bio-diesel refinery.
“We really enjoyed working together on this project,” said Jaylynn Maxey, Cumberland High School senior. “This was a great way for all of the 4-Hers across the county to get to know each other and work together on a project that means a lot.”
The Sustainable Community presentations were the culminating projects for 4-Hers who have been participating in Sustainable Communities SPIN Clubs, which have been meeting monthly since September. Each group presented to a panel of judges comprised of Adra Baldwin, LLC CBJT training coordinator; Brian Madlem, LLC automotive instructor; and Isaac Slaven, assistant renewable energy professor from EIU.
The University of Illinois Extension’s 4-H Youth Development, in coordination with the Lake Land College Technology Division, worked to create the SPIN Clubs in order to introduced area 4-H students to issues related to sustainability. Students participated in hands-on activities in a variety of sustainable topics, including recycling, wind energy, sustainable gardening, solar energy and energy efficiency.
“The last few months have been really fun,” said Dana Homann, extension youth educator. “We’ve partnered with Lake Land over the last few years, and they do things above and beyond, and that has given the kids an invaluable amount of knowledge regarding sustainable practices, which I think shows in the presentations we’ve seen here today.”
Homann also extended thanks to Mark Dyer, Lake Land College program coordinator for the extra effort and time he spent over the last months working with the students.
“I really don’t know who had more fun with these projects and clubs, the students or myself,” said Dyer. “It was a wonderful experience and they were a great group to work with.”
The winners of the Sustainable Communities presentation were awarded with Google Nexuses, provided by the Community Based Jobs Training Program at Lake Land College.
To learn more about the Lake Land College Technology Division and the sustainable projects at the college, visit: www.lakeland.cc.il.us/as/tec/green_jobs/index.cfm. For more information on 4-H Youth Development Programs contact your local University of Illinois Extension office.