Diversity in Franklin County 4-H at record 20 percent

Program participation among non-white students has been on upward trajectory over last seven years

     A Franklin County 4-H Data for Decisions Makers report was released this past February, outlining trends of participation and club membership in respective Iowa counties, and state 4-H state data. During the 2015-2016 school year, FC 4-H had 277 club members and 588 total participants.

     While number of club members, and participants, is on an upward trajectory in the county, and above the state averages, that isn’t the only standout from the report. FC 4-H’s outreach to students of color is at a record high of 20 percent as of 2015-2016, a 13 percent increase since 2009-2010.

     “We were facing a dilemma in 4-H enrollment numbers going down for several years,” said County Youth Coordinator Jackie Dohlman. “It wasn’t until I saw stats reported by race and ethnicity between Hampton-Dumont and CAL, that even though enrollment numbers have recently been fairly the same, that has been due to the Latino population, and that’s kind of when the light bulb went on and we said ‘this is the audience we should reach out to.”

     Expanding the diversity of both 4-H members and participants has been a goal of the national 4-H organization, passed down through the states, and further at the county level. Dohlman said that inclusivity was a priority for new director John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas 4-H Youth Development Program Leader.

    Read the full article in the April 20 edition of the Press.