Growing Strong with 4-H

Children holding plants
Child holding plant

Children, Youth, and Families At-Risk (CYFAR) Sustainable Community Project Grantees represent a variety of communities across the United States and territories. Grantees are selected through a grant application process each year. The funds are used to improve the quality and quantity of comprehensive community-based programs serving at-risk children, youth, and families. The program is supported by the Cooperative Extension System. Alaska's CYFAR Program currently runs gardening afterschool enrichment in three sites: Anchorage's Roger's Park Elementary and Alaska Native Cultural Charter School, Anderson's Anderson School and Eagle Community School. 

Contact Information

For more information contact:

 Marla Lowder
Office Address: 1000 University Avenue (University Park Building), Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-8155
Phone: 907-474-2427

University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Sustainable Community Project – Growing Knowledgeable and Health-Conscious Generation in Alaska

Grant Description:

The Growing Strong Program is a 4-H club designed to improve youth and family physical activity and eating behaviors, nutrition knowledge, and plant science knowledge. The program uses evidence-based curricula, including Learn, Grow, Eat, & Go! and Junior Master Gardener. Youth participating in these curricula have shown a reduction in BMI and improved eating and physical activity behaviors, and families have increased gardening, meal preparation, and family meals. Youth meet weekly for activities including fall and spring school vegetable gardens, student garden journals and blogging, fresh vegetable tastings, easy vegetable recipe demonstrations they can then take home, preparation and participation in 4-H food contests, family stories aligned with Alaska Teaching Standard (English/Spanish), and family nights. Additional opportunities include the Walk Across Alaska program, home engagement activities, and family newsletters. Youth have ongoing opportunities as officers and youth leaders. The program is multilevel, reaching both youth and parents for activities and leadership opportunities.