Most people know that healthy living means eating right and getting plenty of physical activity. But, according to Audrey Allen, a 16-year-old 4-H member from Logan County, many people stop there and don’t consider that emotional and social health is also important.
Allen received a $500 Oklahoma 4-H Enhancement Grant to conduct a workshop with kids in the area called “Feelings Can be Messy.” During the workshop they make tie-dye pillowcases and talk about how feelings and emotions are like tie-dye, they can be mixed up and confusing. And, just like tie-dye ends up being beautiful, so can your feelings and emotions. She goes on to tell kids that they can keep a journal and write or draw their feelings, and even hide their journal in this pillowcase. But, ultimately, find a trusted adult to talk to. “Talking about feelings might be hard but it can help kids understand them better,” adds Allen.
Recently, she conducted a workshop at Kiddie Kollege Day Care in Guthrie for Mrs. Ella Boylard-Lewis’s kids during Thanksgiving Break. Allen attended Kiddie Kollege herself years ago and enjoyed going to work with the kids, ages 3 to 10. “I love that she chose us,” said Mrs. Ella. “The kids had so much fun, and they wanted to use their pillowcases right away, even though they were yet to dry.”
Allen has conducted this workshop eight times so far directly reaching nearly 90 kids in three counties. She has set up three displays and given three additional speeches reaching hundreds more. Allen will be handing out tie-dye pillowcase kits after Thanksgiving at Will Rogers Gardens Christmas Tree Lighting and will conduct the workshop again during Spring Break at an Oklahoma County Healthy Living Workshop, among other opportunities to talk about emotional health.
A Sophomore at Guthrie High School, Allen is also a member and Vice President of the South Logan County 4-H Club, and the Vice President of the Logan County 4-H Teen Leaders. Allen was the 2022 Oklahoma 4-H State Project Winner in the Health and Fitness Program Area and the 2021 Logan County 4-H Hall of Fame recipient.
The 4-H Enhancement Grant is sponsored by the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation.