Celebrate National 4-H Week Oct. 1-7

Published 9:59 am Wednesday, September 27, 2017

By Kim Adams Leger

Extension specialist for 4-H youth development

More than 6 million young Americans will celebrate National 4-H Week the first week of October. Young Kentuckians will demonstrate their skills in various activities throughout the week. Not only will 4-H’ers showcase their skills, they will grow and learn with their peers to be leaders in their communities.

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The 4-H program began more than 100 years ago with a focus on meeting the needs of rural young people to learn about their community outside normal classroom settings.

In 1902, 4-H began as an after-school agricultural program. The program gave young people hands-on learning experiences about soil, livestock, tools, cooking and housekeeping.

The official clover emblem caught on in communities around the country, and clubs formed in large numbers.

By 1924, Cooperative Extension partnered with 4-H and brought resources from federal, state and local governments which helped fund ways to help enrich the lives of student leaders.

The 4-H program has transformed rural, urban and suburban communities throughout the country. Youth tackle topics in a variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs. They participate in school programs, clubs, fairs and camps.

4-H members have safe environments in which to work, positive role models to look up to and numerous leadership opportunities.

Research shows 4-H participation has a significant positive impact on young people. A recent study from Tufts University showed youth involved in 4-H Youth Development programs were four times more likely to contribute to their communities, two times more likely to pursue healthy behaviors and two times more likely to engage in STEM programs outside of school.

For more information about National 4-H Week, contact the Clark County Cooperative Extension Service.