Nicaragua 4-S group visits Texas Tech, New study abroad opportunity unveiled
Two faculty members with Texas Tech's Department of Agricultural Education and Communications are launching an innovative, reciprocal agricultural education program with a special group of young students from Nicaragua. Similar in design to the United States' famous 4-H program, the Nicaraguan effort is known as 4-S.
"I know that these kids being involved in 4-S are going to build a future for those communities that will be stronger, more stable, more secure," said Amy Boren, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications. "It is going to open opportunities and different ways of thinking so these communities can build themselves up."
In early September, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and District 2 4-H partnered with Tech's Agricultural Education and Communication Department to host 20 boys and girls ranging from 15 to 18 years old and eight of their adult teachers who traveled to the United States to examine 4-H programs. 4-H is one of nation's largest youth development organizations, involving 6 million young people throughout the United States.
The 4-S group of students first went to Washington, D.C. where they were able to visit the National 4-H Conference Center and the Cal Ripken Foundation headquarters. The Nicaraguan 4-Sers then travelled to Lubbock and Texas Tech as their final stop.
Tech's Agricultural Education Department hosted the students for three days. While on the South Plains, program leaders with District 2 4-H also had the opportunity to spend one day with the students, leading them in 4-H project areas practiced here.
"We feel like Nicaragua has the right combination of opportunity, need and readiness for intervention," said Scott Burris, an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications.
Tech's relationship with Nicaraguan 4-S group isn't ending with a stop in the Hub City. Through Tech's study abroad program, Boren and Burris will be traveling with a group of Tech students next spring to rural Nicaragua. Over the course of the trip the college students will have an opportunity to get a ground level view of agricultural education and programs. Burris said the experience is priceless for students, himself and the students in Nicaragua.
"We have to understand the nature of the world together, not independent countries, but how our markets, our systems, our economies are all tied together and this is one way to do that," Burris said. "It's one very small attempt to play our role in a huge mission of the university."
Written by Kayla Wilkins
CONTACT: Steven Fraze, Chair, Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2816 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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