For a group that is known for their hands-on type of service and work, West Virginia 4-H’ers demonstrated an impressive example in its seamless shift to online programming this past year. National 4-H Week will follow suit with its virtual celebration.
From virtual camps and STEM activities to online clubs that foster lifelong connections and learning, West Virginia University Extension Service brings unique experiences and opportunities to cultivate curiosity and encourage innovation through youth programming in West Virginia — even during a pandemic.
As part of National 4-H Week (Oct. 4-10), WVU Extension Service’s 4-H Youth Development program will be celebrating virtually with activities focused on this year’s National 4-H Week theme, “Opportunity 4 All.” During the entire month of October, WVU Extension Service plans to celebrate 4-H’ers across the state and nation on their social media platforms.
“Our 4-H programming offers an array of learning experiences that focus on leadership, civic engagement, health, science and agriculture,” Brent Clark, director, WVU Extension Service 4-H Youth Development said. “Nationally, 4-H has always provided hands-on activities to youths, but during the past year, those programs evolved into a virtual format to ensure youths are still getting the opportunity to grow and learn. This year, more than ever, we are truly impressed with our 4-H’ers who are inspired to do more to help their communities and their state.”
This past summer, 4-H’ers across the state participated in Camp URL (You are Linked). Students, staff and faculty worked diligently to provide virtual programming for youths. From STEM challenges and Cloverbud Clubs, programming was delivered into the homes of youths in West Virginia. Dedicated agents helped create lessons and activities that 4-H’ers could attend virtually and complete in their homes.
Clark said there will be some limited in-person activities this fall for some counties, and they must meet all required guidelines.
“4-H showed me how to lead with love and humility, and I’m incredible grateful for the morals and values that I have learned from the organization,” said WVU student and 4-H'er, Kyle Roberts.
West Virginia 4-H is a free youth development program that builds leadership skills, strengthens communities and emphasizes a “learn by doing” approach to education.
In West Virginia, one in every five youths is involved in 4-H. Anyone between the ages of 9 and 21 can join 4-H with a parent or guardian’s permission. Younger kids, ages 5 to 8, who are interested in the practices of 4-H can join a pre-4-H program called Cloverbuds, which focuses more on fun and social activities that set the stage for future learning. Older members can become active in any of the seven collegiate 4-H clubs in the state.
The scope of 4-H’s programming expands beyond the traditional focus of agriculture and farming. Today’s programs provide a diversified approach to expose kids to a variety of topics like STEM, career readiness, healthy living and more. Club members may also learn about higher education opportunities and even be eligible for scholarships presented by WVU Extension Service.
To learn more about 4-H activities in your community, contact your local county office of the WVU Extension Service or visit extension.wvu.edu. Keep up with the latest in West Virginia 4-H news on Facebook by following @WestVirginia4H and Instagram at @wv_4h.
CONTACT: Haley Moore
WVU Extension Service
304-293-8986 (office) or 304-612-6359 (cell); email@example.com
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