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AmeriCorps 4-H Outreach

Contact Information

1259 Stange Rd
Ames, IA 50011

(515) 294-8013

Focus Areas

  • Education & Youth

The mission of AmeriCorps 4-H Outreach is to offer support and training to members throughout Iowa who will actively engage communities in empowering youth to reach their full potential through youth-adult partnerships and research-based experiences.

  • About Us
    The Iowa AmeriCorps 4-H Outreach Program is a unique partnership between AmeriCorps and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The vision of ISU Extension & Outreach 4-H is to prepare Iowa’s youth to be successful, contributing members of society.
    In order to achieve this vision, Iowa 4-H’s mission is to “empower youth to reach their full potential through youth-adult partnerships and research-based experiences.”

    We are an intermediary organization that collaborates with some of the most severely under-resourced areas in the state. Our partner agencies have a commitment to evidence-based programming, however, each site has different needs based on its location, the resources available, the population and population characteristics, and its history. We believe it is important for partners to tailor their programming to meet their specific needs. So, rather than limiting participating sites to only certain programs or curricula, the AmeriCorps 4-H Outreach program is multi-focused and allows host sites to drive their own program success.

    We provide resources and development opportunities to our members who are placed at sites across the state. Members are trained to combine positive youth development tactics and a research-based curriculum to solve the needs identified by their host organization. Using Iowa 4-H's program priority areas; STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Healthy Living, Communication and the Arts, and Leadership and Civic Engagement, our members facilitate and develop educational opportunities that empower the youth in their communities.
  • Our Impact
    Youth residing in rural or economically disadvantaged areas are more likely to be disengaged from school. Disengaged youth typically show a lack of motivation, poor school attendance, and drop out of school at a much higher rate. Approximately 17% of Iowa's population is between the ages of 5 and 18. A quarter of those youth live in poverty and 6% are living in deep poverty (50% below the poverty threshold, i.e. 4 person family unit with an annual income of <$13,250).

    Student engagement has been shown to correlate positively with attitudes toward school, academic achievement, and performance on standardized tests. Youth who spend out-of-school time in enrichment activities - before- and after-school programs, day camps, summer programming, and tutoring - have better grades, better work habits, and increased civic engagement. Since 2005, our AmeriCorps 4-H Outreach members have provided at least one type of enrichment activity for youth in their communities.

    In 2018, 37 AmeriCorps 4-H Outreach members provided 6+ hour programs to more than 7,300 youth across the state of Iowa. To determine if student's attitudes toward school changed or improved, an independent evaluation agency reported that 1,443 youth who completed a pre-test and a post-test survey showed improved attitudes in all four 4-H program priority areas as well as academic engagement.

Positions at AmeriCorps 4-H Outreach