Southern Region 4-H2O Ambassadors Program
“I think they think of water as what comes out of the water fountain or sink at home. They are realizing that everything we put on the ground ends up in our watershed," Julie Jones, science lab teacher at Russell Cave Elementary School in Fayette County, KY, said in reference to her 5th grade students who piloted the 4-H2O program in Fall 2009 and Spring 2010. See complete video story below featuring Ms. Jones and her class.
The 4-H2O Ambassador Program is part of an ongoing effort in the Southern Region to educate and empower youth to conserve and protect our water resources. The program includes four units each of which focuses on a specific question related to watersheds and water quality. The curriculum was originally developed for ages 8-14, but can be adapted for any age level.
Once youth have completed the first three units, they are considered 4-H2O Ambassadors. As ambassadors, youth are required to develop and implement a community-based service project (Unit 4). The service project must 1) educate community members on local watershed issues and 2) improve the water quality of a local watershed. After an ambassador has completed his or her service project, he or she will receive a certificate and be recognized for his or her efforts. In addition, as a 4-H2O Ambassador, youth will be encouraged to mentor new participants entering the program.
The 4-H2O Ambassador Program is collaboration between the University of Kentucky, University of Tennessee, Clemson University, University of Georgia, Auburn University, and the Southern Regional Water Program. This project is funded by the Southern Regional Water Program USDA-NIFA 406 grant.