LEE COUNTY — 4-H members in Carroll, Lee and Whiteside counties will join the 6 million youth across the country in celebrating National 4-H Week, Oct. 6 - 12. The theme is “Inspired to Lead Called to Serve.” 4-H youth development programs provide hands-on learning activities for youth in Illinois and throughout the country. 4-H youth programs focus on leadership, citizenship and life skills. 4-H members are four times more likely to contribute to their communities, two times more likely to make healthier choices and two times more likely to participate in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.
Every county in Illinois has a 4-H program which is operated through University of Illinois Extension. 4-H club membership is open to youth aged eight to 18. Youth five to seven years of age may join the 4-H Cloverbud program.
There are several ways to participate in 4-H. Youth may join 4-H clubs, coordinated by local screened adult volunteers. Each club decides how often it meets, the location of its meetings and the activities held during the meeting. Members may select from dozens of project areas to study while they build leadership, teamwork, cooperation, decision-making and communication skills.
Youth may also choose to focus on a very specific project area and join a club specifically related to that one project, said Martha Ebbesmeyer, University of Illinois Extension Educator. Robotics, horses and visual arts are just a few of the popular topics for special interest clubs.
4-Hers may also participate in short term projects held during school or at after school youth organizations.
Some of these popular groups teach youth about caring for the environment, preparing for a career, making healthy choices or other priority issues which build a person’s life skills.
To learn more about 4-H and enroll your child in a local club, one may contact Martha Ebbesmeyer at the University of Illinois Extension office at 815-244-9444 or visit our website at go.illinois.edu/clw.