Pollinators play a crucial role in our food system, yet a significant number of young individuals are unaware of their importance. Teenagers, given their unique position, can impact their peers through educational experiences, offering essential insights into pollinators and their habitats. The Florida 4-H Pollinator Habitat program emerged from a collaboration with funding from Corteva™ Agriscience and the National 4-H Council. Its purpose is to empower teens to disseminate knowledge, contributing to the enhancement of pollinator conditions throughout the state.
The success of the Florida 4-H Pollinator Habitat Program was achieved through the implementation of diverse teaching methods and programs led by teens. The program encompassed the following elements: active involvement of teens in the National 4-H Agriscience Summit, virtual training sessions, a two-day in-person training program, the establishment of a pollinator habitat, social media campaigns for pollinator awareness, and the hosting of various programs by teen 4-H ambassadors.
4-H teens taught approximately 1400 youth across the state while developing their leadership and communication skills. 86% of teens surveyed reported being inspired to educate younger youth and 75% demonstrated growth in their abilities to teach using experiential learning. In addition, youth ambassador representatives that attended the National Junior Horticulture Association Convention won first place with their pollinator demonstration adapted from the program they offered to youth through this program. The initiative and leadership the youth ambassadors have developed and demonstrated has truly made a positive impact on their local communities, as well as their own personal development.