West Virginia youth ready for 4-H Week celebrations
MINERAL WELLS — West Virginia youth will celebrate National 4-H Week Oct. 6-12.
The week will kick off with an Ox Roast Fund-raiser at the Wood County 4-H Campground from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today. The cost of the meal is $12 for roast beef, baked potato, green beans, dessert and a drink. Money raised will go for the upkeep of the 4-H Campground, which is celebrating 80 years.
During the week, clubs in the area will showcase the 4-H program at schools and businesses and at the county courthouse where the WVU Extension Service is located.
The theme for National 4-H Week in West Virginia is “Color Your Life with 4-H” and coloring pages are being sent home to elementary and middle school students in the county.
Youth are encouraged to join a 4-H club and turn in their coloring sheet at their first meeting for a chance at prizes. The top three coloring sheets will be showcased on the county Extension Service Facebook page.
West Virginia 4-H is a free, youth development program of West Virginia University Extension Service that builds leadership skills, strengthens communities and emphasizes a learn-by-doing approach to education.
In West Virginia, one in every five youth is involved in 4-H. Anyone between the ages of 9 and 21 can join 4-H with a parent or guardian’s permission.
Younger kids, ages 5 to 8, who are interested in 4-H can join a pre-4-H program, the Cloverbuds, which focuses more on fun and social activities. Older members can become active in any of the seven collegiate 4-H clubs in the state.
Jodi Smith, WVU Extension Service 4-H youth development agent in Wood County, said 4-H is an opportunity to join an organization helping to empower youth to become leaders in their communities.
“Wood County 4-H empowers young people to take on leadership roles, improve their communities, and become civically responsible,” she said. “Several clubs are available in the county including a club geared specifically toward leadership and service education, the Wood County 4-H Teen Leaders. This club is a county-wide club for youth 12-17 who are in at least the 7th grade and will turn 13 during the 4-H year.”
Numerous benefits are available from involvement in extracurricular clubs and programs like 4-H, such as diversity, self-esteem, making new friends, building relationships with caring adult role models, learning teamwork and more.
While 4-H programs of the past have focused on agriculture and farming, today’s 4-H programs are more diverse, exposing kids to science, engineering, technology, citizenship and healthy lifestyles. Club members also learn about higher-education opportunities and may be eligible for scholarships through WVU Extension Service.
For more information about 4-H opportunities in your community, contact the WVU Extension Service office in Wood County at (304) 424-1960 or visit extension.wvu.edu/wood.