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4-H programs teach life skills

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By Roberta Hunt

Chances are if your young person has an interest, 4-H has a program that explores it. Not only does 4-H provide an opportunity for its members to try something they think they might enjoy, but 4-H’s programs are designed in a way that 4-H’ers will learn many valuable life skills in the process.

With the start of the new school year, it’s time for local youth to join 4-H, the nation’s largest youth organization. 4-H offers experiential learning to youth ages 9 to 18. 

By participating in 4-H, youth develop many essential life skills including responsibility, leadership and self-esteem. 4-H’ers don’t just learn about topics like nutrition or science, they have the opportunity to get their hands dirty by growing a garden, curing a country ham or they can design, build and test rockets. Through these programs, they learn how to experiment with new ideas and concepts and to keep trying if their first idea doesn’t succeed. As they complete activities, 4-H’ers gain confidence in themselves and their ability to complete tasks.
Youths can get involved in 4-H several ways, by participating in clubs or completing projects. Clubs provide youths a chance to practice leadership skills while making new friends. By completing projects, youths not only develop new interests and hobbies but also important skills such as self-confidence, time management and critical thinking.

Washington County offers several project clubs. Most 4-H project clubs will be open to new membership during the months of September – December.  4-H newsletters will announce upcoming opportunities as well as being posted on the 4-H website and through the Springfield Sun.

4-H project clubs that will be meeting soon and open to new membership will be the 4-H Young Riders that meet the third Monday of each month and the 4-H Spurs and Furs (rabbits & poultry) that meet the third Tuesday of each month.  The membership meeting for the Young Riders will be Monday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m. at the extension office and the membership meeting for the Spurs and Furs will be Tuesday, Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m. at the extension office.

The Best Sew-ers in Town 4-H Club held their membership meeting last week and will have their first sewing lessons on Monday, Sept. 30 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

In addition to clubs and projects, 4-H offers numerous in-school and after-school programs for youth. Many times the in-school and after-school programs reinforce subjects youths are learning in school, but they also provide information on topics such as fitness and healthy eating.  After-school programs will begin next week with North Washington on Sept. 17 and Washington County Elementary on Sept. 19.  The 4-H Teen Club will have their first meeting on Friday, Sept. 20 during club time.  Membership forms are available to high school students from school sponsor Mrs. Brothers, or through the extension office.

4-H offers a world of opportunities for youths to explore. For more information on how youth can get involved, contact the Washington Co. Cooperative Extension Service at 336-7741. Registration forms are now available and all youth must complete a new form for the new 4-H club year.

 

CLUB NEWS

The 4-H Young Riders will be sponsoring the Washington County Fair Horse Show on Saturday, Sept. 14, 4 p.m. at the Willisburg Community Park.  Come out and enjoy the horse show and support the 4-H members in their endeavor to offer county fair activities.  The Willisburg Lions Club will be offering concessions.  For more information contact Tana Wells at 481-4545 or Rhonda Brak at 330-428-4665.

Chassity Warner and Cody Thompson represented the KY 4-H Horse Program by showing their horses at the Southern Regional Horse Show held this year in Louisiana. Chassity received fourth place in her Showmanship Class and ninth place in her Racking Class.  Cody placed 10th in his Showmanship Class and made the finals for his Equitation Class.  Chassity and Cody both received the opportunity to participate by winning classes at the KY 4-H Horse Show earlier this summer.

Watch for the results from the Washington County Fair Poultry and Rabbit Show held this past Saturday at the National Guard Armory.  Also the 4-H Sharpshooters will be competing in the State 4-H Shooting Sports Competition on Sept. 14 and 15.  Good luck to all of the members.  
Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.