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West Virginia youth ready for 4-H Week celebrations

Wood County 4-H Teen Leaders lower flags at the 80th 4-H Camp Reunion held in August. Next week is National 4-H Week. The theme for National 4-H Week in West Virginia will be “Color Your Life with 4-H” and coloring pages are being sent home to every elementary and middle school student in Wood County. Youth are encouraged to join a 4-H club and turn in their coloring sheet at their first meeting for a chance at some prizes. (Photo Provided)

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.

Wood County 4-H All Stars lead camp reflections at Vesper Knoll at the 80th reunion of the 4-H Campground on Butcher Bend Road near Mineral Wells. Next week is National 4-H Week. Clubs in Wood County will showcase 4-H programs at schools, businesses and the Wood County Courthouse where the WVU Extension Service in Wood County is located. (Photo Provided)

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.”

The 4-H Flag displayed during National 4-H Week at the Wood County Courthouse where the WVU Extension Service office is located on the fourth floor. National 4-H Week will be observed Oct. 6-12. A Ox Roast Fundraiser will be held today at the 4-H Campground near Mineral Wells. (Photo Provided)

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.

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