National 4-H Week coming up

More than 6 million young Americans will celebrate National 4-H Week the first week of October. Young Kentuckians will demonstrate their skills in various activities throughout the week. Not only will 4-H’ers showcase their skills, they will grow and learn with their peers to be leaders in their communities.

The 4-H program began more than 100 years ago with a focus on meeting the needs of rural young people to learn about their community outside normal classroom settings. In 1902, 4-H began as an after-school agricultural program. The program gave young people hands-on learning experiences about soil, livestock, tools, cooking and housekeeping. The official clover emblem caught on in communities around the country, and clubs formed in large numbers. By 1924, Cooperative Extension partnered with 4-H and brought resources from federal, state and local governments which helped fund ways to help enrich the lives of student leaders.

Through the years, the 4-H program has transformed rural, urban and suburban communities throughout the country. Youth tackle topics in a variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs. They participate in school programs, clubs, fairs and camps. 4-H members have safe environments in which to work, positive role models to look up to and numerous leadership opportunities. Kentucky 4-H is a rewarding experience that helps guide youth in life skills.

Research shows that 4-H participation has a significant positive impact on young people. A recent study from Tufts University showed that youth involved in 4-H Youth Development programs were four times more likely to contribute to their communities, two times more likely to pursue healthy behaviors and two times more likely to engage in STEM programs outside of school.

During National 4-H Week, join Harlan County 4-H in the celebration by participating in 4-H activities at Tractor Supply Paper Clover Event Oct. 5. Harlan County 4-H will provide fun and games at the annual Swappin’ Meetin’ and Black Bear Festival on Oct. 6.

For more information about National 4-H Week, contact your Harlan County Cooperative Extension Service 4-H agent.

Raymond Cox is the Harlan County extension agent for 4-H/youth development. Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.