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4-H grant program to fund urban outreach

The Canadian 4-H Council has put up a new program which it expects to help fund new clubs in both urban and rural areas across Canada, and to help expand existing clubs.

The RBC 4-H Rural-Urban Youth Outreach Program, announced Wednesday, is to be available to “anyone who would like to join 4-H” and provides grants for clubs or organizations planning to start a new 4-H club in their communities.

The goal of the program, the council said in a release, is to encourage youth, volunteers and organizations from all backgrounds and communities across the country to apply and get involved with 4-H. Historically, 4-Hers are from rural communities.

Existing 4-H clubs, regions and provincial agencies as well as non 4-H organizations and communities are eligible to apply for grants under the program.

Projects eligible for funding could include setting up 4-H in schools, developing urban gardens or ag projects, setting up “inner-city” 4-H clubs, twinning rural 4-H members with urban or suburban youth, adding a 4-H component to an existing organization, or creating resource materials to start or develop a 4-H club.

Grants will run to a maximum of $4,000 to implement projects, train leaders, offset membership costs, buy “consumable” materials and so on, the council said. One project will also be selected to get an additional $2,000 “award of excellence.”

“Country and city”

“We believe the new RBC 4-H program is an excellent way to reach out to non-traditional areas, and bring the 4-H experience to youth who may not have otherwise had an opportunity to be a part of 4-H,” said Bob McAuley, president of the Canadian 4-H Council.

Submissions to the program are due by Feb. 2 and selections are to be made by April, the council said. More information and application forms are available online.

“This program is a tremendous way to introduce 4-H to youth across Canada,” McAuley said. “It is also a way to re-introduce 4-H to alumni who want to ‘join again’ as volunteer leaders and share their 4-H values with young Canadians.”

Brian Little, national manager of agriculture and agribusiness for program sponsor RBC Royal Bank, noted in the council’s release that many of the bank’s commercial agriculture account managers and vice-presidents are former 4-H members “and remain committed to the program today.”

The bank, he said, believes the new program complements the 4-H approach “and brings Canadian ‘country’ and ‘city’ together.”

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