A4-H celebrates their National 4-H Week during October 7 13 this year, kicking it off with their Big Day, an open house event for 4-H members and those interested in joining.
4-H is described as a "community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills." It is one of the largest youth development programs in America involving more than 6.5 million young people, according to Shay McNeil, a WVU Extension 4-H Agent for the Jefferson County program.
The 4-H program is dedicated to idea of the four-fold development of head, heart, hands and health. The program helps youth learn leadership, citizenship and life skills by participating in local clubs, community service projects and completing 4-H projects.
Madison Cogle, Jefferson 4-H'er, prepares to launch a rocket at Big Day 2011. Polly Wharton, 4-H Leader's Association president and volunteer for Big Day is pictured in the back.
McNeil said, "We have over 25 local clubs that meet throughout the county. Jefferson County 4-H clubs meet monthly, and they do a variety of fun activities, as well as engage in numerous community service projects."
Each of the 25 community clubs in the county has at least one club leader. Almost 400 youth are registered as 4-H members in Jefferson County, according to McNeil.
She continued, "We have a very active 4-H Leader's Association that consists of club leaders and other 4-H volunteers. Over 150 adult volunteers help make the Jefferson County 4-H program a reality."
The Jefferson County program is starting National 4-H Week with the 4-H Big Day. The theme this year is "4-H is Everywhere." The 4-H Big Day will be an open house type of event where new members, current members, parents, volunteers or someone that's just interested in learning more about 4-H can come out to the Jefferson County 4-H Fairgrounds and find out what 4-H can do for them
McNeil said, "Every year we celebrate National 4-H Week on the first Sunday in October. Our 'Big Day' event kicks off National 4-H Week as well as our 4-H Year.'
The 4-H Big Day is open to everyone. Current members and their families can attend and enjoy the fun activities planned. People interested in finding out about 4-H and finding a club can attend as well. It will be an open house type event this year.
The 4-H Big will be held on Sunday, Oct. 7 from 2 5 p.m. at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.
McNeil said, "4-H focuses on the Essential Elements of youth development, which are creating a sense of belonging, inclusiveness, generosity and mastery. Being in 4-H means that a youth has the opportunity to belong to a group, feel included, give back to their communities and build leadership skills."
4-H membership this year is open to those youth that are in third grade and will turn 9 before Sept. 30, 2013 through youth that will not turn 22 before Dec. 31, 2013. Younger children may join the Cloverbud portion of the 4-H program. Contact the Extension office for more details or head out to Big Day.