National 4-H week is just around the corner, October 7-13, and you will have an extra opportunity to learn about 4-H through various media including radio, newspaper and social media. Once you have been exposed to 4-H in the Southwind District, your family will likely want more information on how or where to join. In Allen, Bourbon, Neosho and Woodson Counties, there are a total of 21 4-H clubs to choose from! Usually these clubs meet once a month to plan activities and practice parliamentary procedure…but mostly they come together to have FUN!
In 4-H, youth learn by doing. Much of that learning happens through project experiences. From beef to bicycles … electricity to entomology … forestry to food science … photography to plant science … rabbits to rockets … Kansas 4-H offers 32 project areas designed to develop the wide range of interests that appeal to todays young people. In addition to subject-matter skills, many young people develop interests that last a lifetime.
Kansas 4-H is open to youth between the ages of 7 and 19. The new 4-H year starts in October, so many prefer to join 4-H during this month. To be eligible to exhibit at the County Fair, members must be enrolled by January 1 to get the full 4-H experience. 4-H enrollment, however, is open year round, so youth can join any time and take part in any non-competitive 4-H activity.
So often, community leaders and other volunteers hear from families that they dont have the time to commit to 4-H. This can be a hard statement to accept when 4-H can have such an impact on all kids of all ages from all backgrounds. Families can put in as little or as much time as they have available, and there are no set requirements kids have to meet to be a part of 4-H. Record books are not a requirement, but an option. They are done differently today than most parents remember and can be a great resource for high school seniors who then go on to apply for college scholarships.
What does 4-H stand for?
The four Hs represent:
Head critical thinking, problem solving.
Heart self-discipline, integrity, communication.
Hands serving others.
Health choosing healthy lifestyles.
These four areas are stressed in every project and will continue to guide the 4-H youth throughout adulthood.
In this busy world, schedules often send family members in a variety of directions. 4-H can bring families together. 4-H families learn together. They plan meetings, events, projects and activities together. Family members help out as club leaders, project leaders, meeting helpers, transportation aides and in a variety of other ways. Parental involvement can help ensure the best learning experience for your child. Club participation, projects and friendships with other members become memorable parts of the 4-H Program. Equally important are the skills that last a lifetime. Successful adults often credit their experiences in 4-H as turning points in their lives. They credit planning, organization and public speaking skills as essential to their success.
As part of the 4-H experience, youth are encouraged to learn about and contribute to the betterment of their communities. 4-H also utilizes a variety of community resources to enhance the educational experience of members. Those resources may include meeting places, guest speakers, volunteers and field trips.
If 4-H is something you or members of your family have been interested in, give us a call at the Extension Office and we would be happy to talk to you or answer any questions you might have. Find any of the Southwind District Offices at www.southwind.ksu.edu