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My 8 year old daughter loves animals and would love to volunteer with them in
I do know there's a Montclair 4H and did a little online research into it, but
would love to hear anyone's recent experience. I'm worried 4H may be too much of
a time commitment. Also, from what I read, at least when it comes to the pigs,
they end up in the slaughterhouse. I don't think she'd be into that as a final
So am wondering if there's another program that involves feeding chickens or
goats once a week, for instance. It would be great if there were some education
involved as well as some hands-on experience.
We live in Berkeley.
Thanks for any ideas!
my kid loves animals
My husband and I and our daughter have had a wonderful experience with
4H. Our daughter started out in the Rabbitry Project with one little
dwarf rabbit. Amy-bunny didn't require a huge time commitment on our part and
our daughter learned to be responsible for her care. She learned to show
Amy-bunny in rabbit showmanship at the Alameda County Fair, did bunny dress-up
at the Fair for a few years and as she became more knowledgeable, participated
in ''Rabbit Bowl'' (think old ''College Bowl'' only about rabbits). This
worked at the Fair in the Small Animal Barn. She learned so much about how to
work with rabbits and with people, too.
She was also involved for a year in the Goat Project and learned a lot in that
project, as well.
4H is part of the UC Cooperative Extension and has a very good curriculum for
their various projects. Project leaders are typically parents in Montclair 4H
(though you don't have to be a leader to join). All leaders must go through a
security and background check before they can become a project leader.
In addition to animal projects, there are science, cooking-related and
textile-related (knitting/sewing) projects, as well. The types of projects
offered in any given year depends on what expertise an adult has and who has
time to lead a project. Yes, in the Swine Project the pigs make a one-way trip
to the Fair but you and your child do not have to be a part of this project.
4H also provides fabulous leadership opportunities that provide enrichment
outside school. There's Presentation Day, when children make a short
presentation on a topic that's typically related to their project (but isn't
limited to that). In projects, the older kids typically either lead or co-lead
projects along with the adults and act as mentors to the younger children in
that project. Our daughter benefited from that mentoring and learned about
giving back as she grew older. 4H teaches children more than about a specific
animal or subject area, it teaches children what it means to be a responsible
team player and good citizen.
Meetings are once a month at the Montclair Rec Center and they are very
organized and well-run by the elected student officers. The adult leaders
and Tina spend a lot of their time) meet w/ the officers a week before the
monthly meeting to set the agenda and help ensure the organization runs
smoothly. There is typically a community service project, as well, e.g.
at the Alameda County Food Bank, donating gently used warm jackets, etc.
We became involved with 4H since our daughter was 10 (she is now 18) and found
it a very rewarding experience.
Peggy K T
Editor note: replies were also received for Volunteer Jobs Working with Animals
Wondering if there is a 4H group near Alameda. Either Oakland or
Alameda. My 13 y/o daughter is interested in joining.
There is a 4-H group in Montclair. Unfortunately, the deadline to
register for this group was at last night's meeting. There is another
group in San Leandro, East Hills 4-H, google them.
Montclair 4H - the meet at the Montclair Rec. Center. We have not been
personally involved but a huge group of my kids friends participate and
love it! Maggie
About 4H, my daughter did the Montclair group for a couple of years,
and as a family with a single, working parent, it just didn't work
for us. It is a great group with hard-
working, engaged, lovely members, but it is very much geared to
those with a SAHP; meeting times can vary and often one gets short
notice for meetings and events, many of which happen during
after-school hours (aka work hours). It's all volunteer, so I'm not
dissing, but our experience was that it didn't work without a SAHP.
I hear the club in Marin (San Rafael?) confines its meetings, even
project meetings, to Monday nights. That is second-hand info, but
it might be worth a look. Have fun! Nancy
I met some nice young women from the Montclair 4-H club at
this weekend's Maker Faire:
Montclair 4-H Club
Location: Montclair Recreation Center, 6300 Moraga Avenue,
Piedmont, CA 94611
Meeting: 1st Monday @ 6:30 pm
Contact: Carla Bossieux and Tina Popenuck at 525-4156 and
339-7077 firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
If you just Google 4-H and put in your zipcode you will get
a listing of all of the clubs in Alameda County. I took the
time to look this up for you because I was in 4-H in
Wisconsin as a kid - great experience. Mary in Oakland.
My son just joined the Lamorinda 4-H club. I believe the cut-off for
this year was the end of last month but you may still be able to join.
They meet once a month every 3rd Thursday from 7-8pm in Lafayette. In
addition your daughter will participate in 1 or more projects of her
choosing. The project meetings are usually once or twice a month, often
on weekends where they do a hands on activity. May be too far for you
but check out their website http://www.ca4h.org/ - there are several
clubs in the bay area.
this page was last updated: Feb 27, 2013
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