More than 6 million young people across the country will celebrate National 4-H Week, which takes place annually during the first full week of October.
Tanana District 4-H uses National 4-H Week to celebrate the great things that the youth development program offers young people and to highlight the incredible 4-H young people who make a positive impact on their community.
During the week of Oct. 5-11, our 4-H youth and leaders are asked to wear their green and clovers so they are easily recognized. Community members can seek them out and ask them questions about their projects and the program.
On Thursday, Oct. 9, we will hold an open house from 4 to 8 p.m. at our office, at 724 27th Ave. Suite 2. Community members can come in and talk to youth, leaders and me to learn more about the program. We will have a few clubs with tables highlighting the clubs and what they do. There will be Cloverbuds (K-2), sewing, cooking, livestock, horses, exchange and teen clubs there. We will also participate in the National Science Day experiment at 6 and 7 p.m. that evening.
Here’s one example of the impact of 4-H. Taylor Armstrong, a recent high school graduate, said her involvement in 4-H and FFA has kept her working with animals and steered her career choice of veterinarian. “They have helped me develop leadership skills exponentially,” she said. “And helped me branch out and become better organized.”
Taylor raised a reindeer for one of her final projects through the program. Along the way, she has raised almost every animal that is available through the 4-H program, with the exception of a horse. She also did some gardening and food preservation 4-H work.
Livestock and equine are always the most popular projects 4-H offers. However there is so much more, if a youth wants to learn about it and we have a leader who is willing to teach it. We are excited to have a dog club starting this year and have some supplies for a robotics club if there is a leader willing to take it on. We are also looking for a leader to work with our international exchange program.
Research has proven that participation in 4-H has a significant positive impact on young people. Recent findings from the Tufts University “4-H Study of Positive Youth Development” indicate that, when compared to their peers, young people in 4-H are:
• Nearly four times more likely to contribute to their communities
• Two times more likely to pursue healthy behaviors
• Two times more likely to engage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs outside of school.
In Tanana District, more than 300 4-H youth and 100 community members are involved in 4-H.
During National 4-H Week, hundreds of thousands of youth from all around the nation will complete a single, innovative experiment on the 4-H National Youth Science Day, which will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 8. The 2014 National Science Experiment, “Rockets to the Rescue,” will task youth to design and build an aerodynamic food transportation device that can deliver a payload of nutritious food to fictitious disaster victims. Youth will learn engineering concepts, develop math skills, learn about nutrition and help solve a relevant global issue. To learn more about National Youth Science Day, please visit http://www.4-h.org/nysd/.
4-H, the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower 6 million young people through the 109 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower 1 million young people in more than 50 countries.
National 4-H Council is the private sector, nonprofit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4-H, and Twitter at https://twitter.com/4H.
To learn more about the local 4-H program, contact Marla Lowder, Tanana District 4-H agent, at 474-2427 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Kathy Kurtenbach, 4-H program assistant, at 474-1914 or email@example.com. You can also check out our web page at www.alaska4h.org/fairbankstanana-district.html.