Search For Excellence in 4-H Programming

Brittany A. Council-Morton
Urban Horticulture Extension Agent
University of Florida/IFAS

Council, B.*1,
1 4-H Youth Development/Urban Agriculture Extension Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Richmond, VA, 23223

The purpose of the RVA 4-H Embryology program was to educate urban youth and foster the development of quality life skills and character development via the animal science career pathway. Richmond Public Schools services over 25,000 youth from varying socioeconomic backgrounds that are limited in their agri-science knowledge. RVA 4-H Embryology correlates with the Virginia Standards of Learning LS.1-LS.13(VA SOLs) with life science implementation creating a target audience of grades 3rd-8th. Educators registered their classes to receive an embryology kit inclusive of an incubator, eggs, poultry life cycle chart, incubator temperature chart, and embryology journal. Participants received weekly educational poultry lessons where they learned about the poultry anatomy, poultry products and uses, state poultry industries, and engaged in various egg-speriments to learn about the scientific method. In the midst of COVID19, a virtual RVA 4-H Embryology component was offered that serviced approximately 5,019 youth at 16 schools, and 27 classrooms in Richmond, VA. 25 adult volunteers took the lead on this project to aide in the hatching of 263 chicks. The superintendent and other school board officials were informed of this virtual option created to meet Richmond Public Schools Performance Based Assessments (PBA) requirements for all students. Students from Broad Rock Elementary School were featured on the Richmond Public Schools homepage at Over the course of 2017-2020, the RVA 4-H Embryology program has reached approximately 9,752 youth and hatched over 990 chicks. The program has grown and adapted to offer more poultry animal science-based learning opportunities and accommodate ESL learners by offering programming materials in Spanish.