The 4-H Youth Development Advisor and/or Program Representative works collaboratively with CE specialists and community members to develop and implement research-based educational programs, in response to issues and needs facing local youth and families. Issues and trends facing youth and a growing number of families in California are simply unable to provide their children with the basics in life - adequate food, clothing and shelter. Stagnant incomes, rising unemployment and inadequate child support have lead to record numbers of children living in poverty. Many families cannot keep pace with the rapidly increasing cost of housing, health care, and child care, which jeopardizes their children’s future. The following statistical information relates to the challenges facing Colusa County families: California Assessment Program scores for 8th graders in the "direct writing section" rank Colusa County 56th in the state. In 1966, thirty percent of all Colusa students were limited in English proficiency. Limited employment opportunities for teens and recent high school graduates. There are 13 job seekers competing for every new job available. This results in an outflow of youth from the community as they enter the job market. Welfare Reform issues such as: time limitations, child care and food assistance affect how families will cope with family economics. Sixty two percent of Colusa’s children are low income, ranking 56th in the state. Colusa also ranks last among California counties for having the highest percentage of mothers with less than 12 years of education.
The following activities are taking place to address the issues facing our local youth and families: In meeting the goals of the North Region 4-H Program to educate youth in Science Literacy, YES uses teens as extenders to teach K-3rd graders about science. Colusa County continues to be active in this program. Ten teens have implemented the projects at events and various activities in the county.