In 4-H, we celebrate the new year on October 1st, as in the start of the new 4-H year. This week, I wanted to provide everyone with a few tidbits of information about 4-H. Some of the following information comes from a Tufts University study on positive youth development.
According to Tufts University, 4-H’ers are nearly 4 times more likely to make contributions to their communities. Community service is a large portion of what 4-H promotes. On a local level, one particular Liberty County youth put in well over 200 hours of community service over the past year. That was on top of carrying a full academic load, sports schedule and family life. Related to service, 4-H’ers are also about 2 times more likely to be civically active.
4-H youth are nearly 2 times more likely to participate in Science, Engineering and Computer Technology programs during out-of-school time with 4-H girls being 2-3 times more likely compared to girls in other out-of-school time activities.
Here in Montana, over 19,000 youth take part in 4-H. Accompanying those 19,000 youth are nearly 4,000 volunteers that step forward and contribute of their time and talents to help lead project meetings, club meetings, and run local 4-H councils among other things. Our local fairs would also cease to exist as they are run with the support and efforts by our 4-H volunteer leaders.4-H youth have the opportunity to take part in 200 different projects. Traditional 4-H projects such as beef, swine, cooking and sewing are popular among youth, as well as more recent additions such as shooting sports in all its varieties and robots, among others.
The 4-H year runs from October 1st to September 30th of each year and next week, Oct. 7-13th is National 4-H Week, when you’ll see displays around your town, 4-Hers wearing 4-H t-shirts to school and other promotional activities.
For further information about 4-H or how to join 4-H, I would encourage you to contact your local county Extension office.