Last updated: March 05. 2014 12:14PM - 437 Views
By Lenny C. Lepola newsguy@ee.net

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Most folks think of 4-H season as summertime when county fairs are held around the state; but 4-H club members join their respective clubs, elect officers and choose projects early in the calendar year. Also during March while clubs are organizing, current club members and club advisors begin recruiting new members.

Each year The Delaware County OSU Extension hosts an open house where club members and advisors share 4-H experiences and opportunities with members of the community. This year’s 4-H Open House will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 15, at the Willis Government Building on U.S. 23 North in Delaware.

4-H Club members and advisors in the Sunbury-Galena area will also hold a Sunbury-Galena Area Open House featuring Eastern Delaware County 4-H Clubs from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 22, at Galena United Methodist Church, 2777 Sunbury Road, Galena.

Both open house events will feature information about the different 4-H Clubs in the area, project opportunities, project books on display and 4-H Family Guides.

A 4-H Awareness Team will also visit all Big Walnut Local School District third grade classrooms in March to explain what 4-H is and the family-oriented opportunities offered by joining a 4-H Club. During the classroom visits club members and advisors will give each third grade student a 4-H pencil, a bookmark with website address where students and their parents can explore possible projects, an open house flyer and information about how to join 4-H.

Ohio 4-H offers more than 200 projects for youth in kindergarten through age 18, with topics including photography, small animals, health, natural resources, engineering, woodworking, clothing, livestock and much more.

Delaware County supports about 75 4-H clubs across the county, serving almost 1,200 youths, ages 5 to 19. Over 300 adult volunteers Volunteers contribute over 15,000 hours of time to teach life skills such as leadership, decision making and communication skills through project work.

For more information about the 4-H program and finding a club near you, contact the Delaware County OSU Extension office at 740-833-2030 or visit their website at < delaware.osu.edu/ >.

4-H Facts:

· 4-H began in Clark County, Ohio on January 15, 1902.

· Mr. Albert Belmont Graham, the superintendent of the Springfield Township Schools held the first 4-H meeting with thirty boys and girls in the county courthouse basement.

· The first 4-H group was called the “Boy’s and Girl’s Agricultural Club”.

· By 1905, there were over 2,000 youth within 16 counties in programs similar to the original Agricultural Club.

· The 4-H program has since spread to all 50 U.S. States and internationally to more than 80 countries.

· Membership is open to all youth between the ages of five and 19.

· 4-H is no longer only for members of the farming community, but extends into the suburbs and inner cities.

· Last year, more than 28 percent of all Ohio 4-H Club members were living in towns and cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000. More than 16 percent were living in cities and suburbs with populations greater than 50,000.

· Nearly 300,000 Ohio youth are enrolled in 4-H youth development programs.

· One out of every six people in Ohio has been or is currently involved with 4-H youth development programs either as a member, parent, volunteer or donor.

· Approximately 30,000 volunteers will participate in the Ohio 4-H program this year.

· 4-H offers learning experiences in more than 200 subject matter areas, including: health, family life, photography, aerospace science, bicycles, natural resources, safety, horticulture and nutrition.

· There are currently 45 million 4-H alumni nationwide.

· 4-H alumni include businessman Bob Evans, singer and songwriter Johnny Cash, novelist John Updike, Senator Mike DeWine, former Ohio State University president Gordon Gee, and sportscaster Don Meredith.

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