Last updated: April 02. 2014 12:46PM - 150 Views
By Lenny C. Lepola newsguy@ee.net



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4HatBWE.jpg: Each year 4-H Awareness Teams 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. Kountry Kids 4-H Club member Maria Burger, right, speaks with third grade students at Big Walnut Elementary School about joining a 4-H Club, while long time eastern Delaware County club advisor Donna Morton looks on. Delaware County 4-H club members take over 3,000 projects each year. The 2014 deadline for joining an area 4-H Club is April 16.


4-H Awareness Team at BWE


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 4-H Awareness Teams 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 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.


Last week eastern Delaware County 4-H advisor Donna Morton and Kountry Kids 4-H Club member Maria Burger were at Big Walnut Elementary School encouraging third graders to consider 4-H as a fun and educational activity to participate in outside of school.


“Members of 4-H clubs choose their own leaders, and have demonstrations and activities at meetings,” Burger told the third grade students, as she showed them the types of ribbons and plaques that she has won while exhibiting her projects at fairs. “There’s also recreation and snacks at club meetings, and club members also perform community service.”


Burger explained that 4-H projects range from the traditional animal and agricultural related projects, to projects that members living a more urban lifestyle can participate in, like plants, shooting sports, sewing and cooking.


“Children from 5 to 18 years old can join 4-H,” Burger said. “Projects get progressively harder as 4-H club members get older. Younger members who are not in third grade yet are known as Cloverbuds. They do activities, but not projects for the fair.”


Burger and Morton also talked 4-H Camp, where camp participants learn about history, pioneer life and nature; at camp there’s swimming and other wholesome activities, including teamwork games and canoeing.


Delaware County supports about 75 4-H clubs that involve almost 1,200 youths, ages 5 to 19, and over 320 adult volunteers; and 4-H volunteers contribute over 15,000 hours of time to teach life skills such as leadership, decision making and communication skills through project work.


Delaware County 4-H club members take over 3,000 projects each year.


The 2014 deadline for joining an area 4-H Club is April 16.


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 nineteen.
  • · 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 OSU president Gordon Gee and sportscaster Don Meredith.

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