Offering an online 4-H SPIN club

Have you considered offering a 4-H SPIN club online?

Michigan State University Extension is known for connecting children, youth and families and one of the ways we do that is through 4-H SPIN clubs. While they are typically offered in a face-to-face format, there are several creative options for offering them online too.

If you aren’t familiar, 4-H SPIN clubs are a delivery model where the “SP” from “special” and the “IN” from “interest” are combined to make SPIN or “special interest.” These types of clubs typically meet for a short amount of time and focus on a particular topic or set of topics. Let’s take a look at some tips for offering these clubs online.

The delivery model of 4-H SPIN clubs is meant to be simple and uncomplicated for participants and families. Consider that families aren’t looking for a mound of paperwork to complete before they can participate or at the conclusion of their experience. Also, connection information should be simple. Anything more than two to three steps and it’s likely families won’t participate.

For example:

  • Step 1: Download app.
  • Step 2. Click on link to connect.

You can also consider collecting information from participants using a poll feature within Zoom or Skype. Information you might want to collect includes how many people are participating in this club? How many adults are watching and how many youth are watching? It can be difficult to collect this information because some participants might not want to give it over the internet. Catching participants before they log off or as they are coming into the Zoom or Skype room can also be a challenge.

In the next article “Ideas for an online 4-H SPIN club,” we’ll explore some fun and easy ways to offer SPIN clubs in a virtual format.

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