Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 20, 2018

National 4-H Week starts Monday

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Sep 29, 2017

National 4-H Week 2017 kicks off Monday, and 4-H youth and volunteers are encouraged to highlight the opportunities and experiences the 100-year-old program offers the community.

“4-H is a positive youth development program that is widely known around the world,” said 4-H County Youth Coordinator Rachel Wonderlich. “Caring adults guide youth to develop mastery, independence, generosity and a sense of belonging. [The program] is research-based, and studies show that youth benefit in a number of ways when involved in 4-H.”

According to the national 4-H website, since the program’s inception a century ago, it has become the nation’s largest youth development organization. The idea behind the 4‑H program, which is administered by Cooperative Extension of more than 100 public universities across the nation, is to provide experiences where young people learn by doing.

National 4-H Week gives participants and volunteers an opportunity to get the word out to the community.

On Sunday, youth and volunteers are invited to “Share Your 4-H Story” on social media using #JeffersonColA4H.

The 4-H Teen Council will host an appreciation meal (invitation only) from 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, for all Jefferson County 4-H volunteers.

All youth and volunteers are invited to wear their 4-H shirts for T-shirt Tuesday.

“Share a selfie with us via email at rachel4h@iastate.edu or by using #JeffersonColA4H on social media to be entered to win a ‘Keep Calm and Join 4-H’ T-shirt,” Wonderlich said.

The theme for Wednesday’s 2017 National Youth Science Day challenge is “Incredible Wearables,” which encourages youth to use the engineering design process to build a prototype wearable technology that will gather data to help solve a real-world problem.

“We at 4-H love National Youth Science Day, because it’s a great chance for youth to immerse themselves in another opportunity with [Science Technology Engineering and Math], which is one of our program priorities,” Wonderlich said. “These youth will find many of their future career paths revolving around STEM, so we seize any opportunity to offer them hands-on activities to build and develop their STEM knowledge and skills.”

Between 4-7 p.m. Thursday, interested youth and parents can learn more about program offerings during “4-H Find Out.”

The event will be held in the activities building at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Participants are permitted to come and go between 4-7 p.m.

Friday offers a host of prizes for those who participate.

“Make sure you have liked our Facebook page @ISUExtensionJeffersonCounty, so you can have your chance at our 4-H Facebook Friday event,” Wonderlich said.

Those who answer trivia questions correctly, will be entered to win several prizes, including tickets to an ISU wrestling meet.

Families are invited to 4-H Night to enjoy the Iowa Wild Hockey season opener at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

“We only have a few tickets remaining, so contact us soon to get in on the fun,” Wonderlich said.

Wonderlich said Jefferson County 4-H is growing leaders that would continue to positively contribute to their society for years to come, but volunteers are needed.

“Our volunteers are one of the most valuable assets to the Jefferson County 4-H program,” she said. “You can have money, structure and dreams for a program, but without volunteers, that program goes nowhere.”

Wonderlich said the program relies heavily on its volunteers, and last year more than 7,100 adults volunteered in some capacity with the 4-H program throughout the state of Iowa.

According to a 4-H news release, in Jefferson County, 61 volunteers currently serve in many roles, such as club leaders, project leaders and committee members.

“As we continue to grow the 4-H program, the need for more volunteers increases,” she said.

Currently, ISU Extension and Outreach in Jefferson County needs volunteers for a variety of youth programs including 4-H learning communities, Lego League and the after school program at the Fairfield Middle School.

“Every day, 4-H volunteers lend a helping hand to make 4-H programs more beneficial to the youth of Jefferson County,” Wonderlich said. “Those interested in joining our team are invited to contact us at 472-4166 or email rachel4h@iastate.edu.”

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