Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) recently partnered with Minnesota 4H for an afternoon of service learning activities. Around 300 youth attended the 4H YELLO! Conference at the state fairgrounds from June 10th – June 13th. YELLO stands for Youth Exploring Leadership and Learning Outloud and is the annual conference for 4H students in Minnesota and the surrounding regions. The students listen to a number of motivational speakers, participate in hands-on activities, and complete a service-learning project. This is where Habitat stepped in!
Twin Cities Habitat spent the afternoon with over 120 students doing a series of activities revolving around building and raising awareness for affordable housing issues in the Twin Cities. The goal for the afternoon was for students to walk away learning more about what Habitat does, learning some new building skills, and understanding the importance for affordable housing.
The oldest 35 students built 6 Adirondack Chairs which will be sold at our ReStore. Those students also got a chance to play Habitat Jeopardy about the need for affordable housing in the Twin Cities.
The other 90 students participated in a series of activities which included building storage boxes, a poverty simulation, and an Amazing Race type game where youth travel through multiple different stations in groups of 5 or 6. During the Amazing Race Game, youth do an activity based on how Habitat picks its homeowners. The students are given 5 different families based on families who have applied for Habitat homes in the past, and a home description. The youth have to pick the “best” family for this home and defend their answer. Many of the youth were really emotionally invested in this activity, and found it hard to pick just one family, when there were so many in need of a decent and affordable home. Many of the youth also related this activity to their own family; a young girl stated “I wouldn’t want to share a bedroom with my younger brother.”
The second activity in the Amazing Race focuses on the return on investment for affordable housing. It’s a game show style game where participants race against each other to answer 6 questions about affordable housing options and how they impact the community. When youth got a question wrong they had to pull 3 giant Jenga blocks.
At the end of the conference when asked what they learned from the afternoon, one of the girls stated, “Housing really affects all aspects of a person’s life.” One of the chaperones said, “The learning was invaluable, and they hope we can do this event again next year.”
A special thanks to all the volunteers and students that helped organize this event!