Youth Development and 4-H

Sikeston, Missouri

Program Location
: Southeast Missouri


  • To implement an after school program in the Sikeston community
  • To implement a parenting class utilizing the Building Strong Families Curriculum
  • To implement a fitness program utilizing Tae Bo and the presentation of health/fitness and diet related information
  • To implement a summer camp program in partnership with area agencies
  • To implement a Self-esteem building program utilizing arts and crafts

Summary Over 650 contacts were made to children grades kindergarten through 5th in the LUCE/Mission Missouri After school Program. The program has three components: strengthening math and reading skills utilizing computer software, character development and individualized tutoring.

Five parents participated in three parenting classes. They completed three lessons including Family Strengths, Communication and Managing Stress and Balancing Responsibilities.

According to the American Obesity Association, obesity is the second leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Approximately 127 million Americans are overweight, 60 million obese and 9 million severely obese. The Fitness Program was developed to help adults lose pounds and inches, increase their energy level, feel better about themselves and increase their knowledge of healthy eating and positive life style choices. The exercise program begin on May 24th and ended on July 21st. Over 115 contacts were made to 7 adult participants.

The Summer Camp Program was a partnering adventure with the YMCA, Mission Missouri, and DAEOC. The program served 40 youths from grades Kindergarten through 5th. Over 450 contacts were made during the 5 week program. The program components for summer camp included:

  • Fitness and health
  • Character development
  • Arts and Crafts/Self Esteem Building
  • Recreation/Weekly swimming at the YMCA
  • Field trips, including a visit to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee

The Self Esteem Program utilizing arts and crafts was implemented at a local vacation bible school program. The purpose of the program is to build self esteem in participants. The goal is to help students discover gifts and talents, to accept themselves for who they are and to develop basic life skills such as sharing, team building, learning to follow directions, etc. There were 110 students enrolled with over 350 contacts in this four day program.

Impact: After-school Program - Six parents were randomly selected to complete surveys designed to measure impact. The frequency of attendance, attitude towards learning, behavior change that was recognized by school personnel and grade improvement were targeted to document impact. Four of the parents sent their children every day. Two of the parents sent their children 2 times per week. This was a 4 day per week program. 100% of the parents said that the child/children’s attitude toward learning had improved. This was measured by the child’s desire to do homework and to ask for help with homework when not in the after-school program. 100% of the parents said that teachers had positive comments about the attitude and behavior change. One teacher sent a note home to the parents commending the student for newfound attitude towards learning. 100% of the parents said that there were some improvement in grades.

Parenting Class - Participants in the parenting class acquired new knowledge while knowledge already acquired was re-enforced. The class also afforded the parents and opportunity of socialize and be supportive of one another.

Fitness Program - At least 3 of the participants had dramatic weight loss(10 - 15 pounds) and 2 moderate weight loss. At least 3 reported losing pounds and inches. Those who started late in the program and had not yet experienced weight loss reported feeling better physically, being able to climb stairs without experiencing shortness of breath, etc. One participant who were experiencing marital difficulty made the following statement. “If it were not for Tae Bo and…. I would lose my mind.” The Fitness Program is a success. Due to vacations, summer schedules and the start up of school the next sessions of classes will be held in the evening instead of 6:00 in the morning.

Summer Camp - 17 children were randomly selected to fill out program evaluation forms. The intent of the survey was to see how the youth participation in summer camp benefited them.

  • 88% of those surveyed said that they made new friends and/or became better friends with children they already knew.
  • 100% reported learning how to do new things and learning or acquiring new information.
  • 76% of those surveyed reported that they learned how to do things on their own 
  • 94% reported that summer camp had helped them see the world beyond Sikeston, Missouri.

Self-Esteem/Arts and Crafts - 36 students were randomly selected to participate in a survey designed to demonstrate impact.

  • 78% of those surveyed were excited about their participation in the program.
  • 56% discovered that they liked making crafts.
  • 47% discovered two important things. They learned that they enjoyed working with others and they discovered that they are all gifted and talented in different ways.

When asked how they felt after the completion of a task

  • 56% were happy;
  • 39% were ready to take on new tasks.
  • None of the students reported feeling frustrated.

At the end of the program

  • 51% expressed joy at being a part of the program; and
  • 39% were ready for more sessions.

Future impact is to expand the after school program; to work closer with the schools so that we can re-enforce what they are teaching as they are teaching. The parenting program will target female headed house holds with pre and early teenage boys. A big brothers program will be implemented in conjunction with the parenting class. The Fitness Program is at capacity in terms of space. The program will be continued at a different time. At this point there is not a definite or clearly define direction for the summer camp. The self-esteem program will be implemented as requested.


For more information contact:

Emma Walker
Area Youth Specialist
Lincoln University Cooperative Extension
Sikeston Office
201 N Stoddard
Sikeston, MO 63801
Phone: (573) 471-3059