Search For Excellence in 4-H Programming

James Shannon


Shannon, J.*1,
1 Agent, , Pontotoc, MS, 38863

Each February, a special Arbor Day program is planned for all third grade students in the public schools in our county.  This year (2021), the program was extended to include the 5th grade agriculture classes at Pontotoc Middle School, a local daycare center, and 4H members who are participating in the 4H Make & Take program.  The goals of the Arbor Day program are to introduce young students to the following:  importance of trees, how to plant trees, and the importance of our natural resources.

Due to Covid restrictions, a variety of delivery methods were used this year. A PDF of the book, Be a Friend to Trees, as well as a YouTube video were provided to 3rd grade teachers.  The YouTube video included myself providing a lesson on the background of Arbor Day & Tree Planting Week and instructions on proper seedling care and tree planting.  I provided a Zoom lesson to the 5th grade students at Pontotoc Middle School.  This gave me an opportunity to have more personalized instruction with students about Arbor Day, as well as the importance of trees to Pontotoc County.  Children at a local daycare center, as well as 4Hers participating in the Make & Take projects were given materials, seedlings, and directed to the Pontotoc County Extension Service Facebook, as well as the Arbor Day video on YouTube.

Each child participating in the event was given instructions for planting a tree; a handout explaning Arbor Day and Tree Planting Week; a MSU Extension publication regarding using tree planting as a 4H project (4H Forestry Project 1-Tree Planting); and 2-3 pine seedlings. These seedlings were compliments of the local County Forestry Association.  There were approximately 1,500 seedlings distributed during the event and 550 children served.  As an extension to this activity, I partnered with the high school Agriculture Science classes at the vocation center to provide a hands-on educational activity where they helped to prep the seedlings for distribution.

The url for the YouTube Arbor Day video is: