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Partnership offers new opportunity for students

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Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 3:00 pm

Those attending this year’s Elgin Livestock Show and Youth Fair in January saw the beginnings of a new partnership.  

The new ACE (Afterschool Centers on Education) program teamed up with 4H (Texas A&M Agrilife Extension) to have the three elementary schools in Elgin raise and show rabbits in this year’s stock show.  

Each elementary campus, BTW, Neidig and Elgin Elementary brought a rabbit, of the pet variety (rather than the “meat” variety) to a special exhibition showing at the livestock show. Each of the school teams were educated in the proper care and feeding of the animals along with basic agriculture education focusing on growing things, animal care, water conservation and the environment.  

A small team of students involved in the 4H curriculum being offered at ACE got to care for and raise the rabbits. Each of the students, when asked about the experience, spoke about learning responsibility in taking care of the animals as well as the fun involved.

April Kuck, the County Extension Agent for Bastrop County, has been working with the ACE program since it began this year and since the spring of last year, when the program was still Boys and Girls Club. She is excited about introducing such a young crowd to agriculture, especially in a community like Elgin.  

However, it is not only agriculture that the kids are getting exposed to.  

4H is a very large resource of information learning. If there is a subject someone wants to learn about, there is a good chance someone in 4H is teaching a class on it.   

So far, the ACE program has taught subjects from Robotics to Nutrition and Cooking.  

As with FFA, a large part of 4H involves leadership training. Projects give students several opportunities to present in front of people honing their public speaking and developing leadership skills.  

The 4H course length tends to be six weeks, so every six weeks students embark on a new journey throughout the year.  

“It is such a good way introduce elementary aged students to the wide variety of subjects that 4H offers,” Kuck said. 

“We are teaching kids leadership skills along with skills in career exploration and job readiness, helping them become advocates in their communities.”

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