Junior Master Gardening Internship Program

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Program Highlight
San Carlos Extension
FRTEP - 1862

One of the San Carlos Extension's 4-H youth development programs is a Junior Master Gardening Internship Program called  Building Bridges.  Last school year 2007-08, the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and the San Carlos Diabetes Prevention Program introduced a wonderful program designed to educate Apache youth nutritional and gardening concepts. We used a curriculum from a nationally recognized 4-H program, Junior Master Gardener Health and Nutrition from the Garden, to teach these concepts. With the help of the principal, six high school students were selected to participate in the JMG Internship program.

The first phase of the internship began by training the six interns a series of ten, hands-on nutritional and gardening lessons and activities. Upon completion in mid October, the interns moved on to the second phase, by putting into practice their new skills with Mr. Sanders’ students (a high school class) and planting a school garden. This portion of the internship would
be vital in developing their communication and comprehension skills to prepare them for the next phase. The third and final phase, under our supervision, the interns taught four classes of 1st grade students and six classes of 4th graders at the local elementary schools using the same format implemented in Mr Sanders’ class.

The exchange in communication between the high school students and the 1st and 4th grade students set the precedent to repeat such a curriculum this school year. Students and teachers gained new perspectives on nutrition and gardening and enjoyed interacting with different age groups. The goal of our program is to build essential life skills and provide nutritional education that will promote healthier lifestyle among native youth especially because diabetes is rampant in their community.