Opinion

Local clubs celebrate 4-H Week

It’s been said that 4-H is the best-kept secret in Illinois and there’s more than a little truth in that statement. Join us in celebrating National 4-H Week, now through Saturday. We know 4-H is a tremendous success story. We see it in the young people around us – in their growing maturity, poise and self-confidence, as well as in their expanding knowledge of their 4-H projects. Yet, we also know that others in our own communities often are unaware of the wide range of opportunities 4-H is providing to youngsters in their own neighborhoods. It is a great story that deserves to be told.

The main purpose of 4-H is to provide the opportunity for mental, physical and social growth for young people. The informal education offered by the program supplements the training received in the home, at school and from other youth organizations. You can join the 5.6 million youth between the ages of 5 and 18 who are involved with 4-H every year.

4-H uses hands-on learning. This helps young people learn about many different topics. At the meetings, youth will meet new people, make new friends, do community service and fun activities.

Participants in 4-H also learn how to express their own ideas and how to listen to, understand, and respect what others have to say. Group discussions, activities and formal club meetings provide members with the opportunity to practice democratic group action, and to become aware of group dynamics.

4-H also encourages family involvement whenever possible. 4-H can help family members communicate better, help families work toward a common goal, help families develop a feeling of unity, and provide opportunities to discuss goal setting, decision making, and service to others.

4-H is for all youth 8 to 18 years old by Sept 1 of the current year. Youth 5 to 7 years old by Sept. 1 can join a Cloverbud club. Youth can also join SPIN 4-H clubs, which focus on one project area. Currently, we have SPIN 4-H Clubs for archery, shotgun, air rifle, dog obedience, drill team, and quilting.

Here are the top 10 reasons to join 4-H: Develop skills to succeed in the work place. Improve goal-setting and decision-making skills. Become a community leader. Go to 4-H “Citizenship Washington Focus” or National 4-H Conference. Learn to care for and make decisions about the environment. Meet kids from across the county. Participate in project workshops and programs that interest you. Discover how our government works. Learn to speak before a group. Have lots of FUN in 4-H! All this and more is possible in 4-H.

For more information on a 4-H club near you, contact lrahn@illinois.edu or the Carroll County University of Illinois Extension Office at 815-244-9444.Now is the time to get involved.

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