4-H is preparing youth for the challenges of life
October 10, 2013, Logan County youth are joining the more than 7 million other 4-H members across the nation in celebration of National 4-H Week Oct. 6-12. The Logan County program reaches more than 261 youth and 112 volunteer leaders in organized community and SPIN (special interest) clubs operating in all areas of the county.
Last year, 261 young people in Logan County, ranging in age from 5 to 18, were involved in 4-H community/SPIN clubs where, assisted by volunteer adult leaders, they learned about projects, careers, leadership and public speaking. 4-H club members also support their local community through service projects such as making and delivering baskets for seniors, making shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child and collecting dog food/treats for Animal Control.
4-H has concrete, independent research which proves the positive impact of 4-H membership on the lives of young people. 4-H members are nearly three times more likely to spend time exercising or being physically active than non 4-H members and have significantly lower drug, alcohol, and cigarette use than their peers.
4-Hers are nearly five times more likely to graduate from college and nearly two times more likely to pursue a career in science, engineering, or computer technology.
The Tuft University study also showed 4-H youth are nearly two times more likely to actively contribute to their community when compared with non 4-H youth. 4-Hers are two and one half times more likely to participate in civic activities.
Logan County residents only need to look at this year’s 4-H member stories to see the truth in these national statistics.
Logan County native Rachel Skelton, a 4-H Illinois Youth Leadership Team Member, said “4-H is so much more than a club for farm kids. The 4-H image has changed significantly since I joined and now included projects with a focus on community, technology, engineering and health. 4-H has helped me learn life skills given me a change to become more responsible, taught me about leadership and helped me contribute to m community.”
“Being involved in 4-H led both my parents toward their career choices. Now my brother is in college studying something that he initially become interested in during his time in 4-H. Now I am left wondering what will be in my future. Through my work with 4-H Summer Nutrition
Camp, I found that I enjoy working with children. They brought a lot of fun to my summer and I miss them very much I think that teaching could be in my future!” Alyssa Zimmer, Cloverdale 4-H member said.
Cameron Jodlowski is a 10-year member of the Atlanta Town and Country 4-H Club and is studying Agricultural Communications at Iowa State this fall. He said he has seen the progression of himself in understanding responsibility, leadership and the value of hard work through his 4-H dairy goat project.
One may learn more about joining 4-H by contacting University of Illinois Extension in Logan County at 217-732-8289 or emailing Carissa Akpore at email@example.com.