On October 4, Wayne County 4-H members Conner and Benton Hall of the Genoa Warriors 4-H Club, presented gifts of appreciation to the Wayne County Commissioners Bob Pasley, David Pennington, and Kenneth Adkins for their continued support of the Wayne County 4-H and Extension Programs. President of County Commission, Bob Pasley read a proclamation of declaring it National 4-H Week in Wayne County starting October 7 through the 13th. National 4-H Week is a time to recognize the opportunities available through the West Virginia and specifically the Wayne County 4-H program.
West Virginia 4-H is a free youth development program of the West Virginia University Extension Service that builds leadership skills, strengthens communities and emphasizes a “learn by doing” approach to education. In West Virginia, one in every four youths is involved in 4-H. In Wayne County, over 2,000 youth participate in 4-H through school enrichment programs, after school, 4-H camp, and traditional community clubs. 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.
While 4-H programs of the past have focused on agriculture and farming, today’s
4-H programs are more diverse, exposing kids to concepts in science, engineering,
technology, citizenship and healthy lifestyles. Club members may also learn about
higher education opportunities and even be eligible for scholarships given by the WVU Extension
Service. According to Brent Clark, WVU Extension Service’s 4-H Youth Development
program director, 4-H is an opportunity for those in the Mountain State to join
an organization that is helping to empower youths to become true leaders within
“Getting our young people involved in 4-H provides so many opportunities and experiences
that will benefit them inside and outside of the classroom,” said Clark. “Our programs
have evolved to not only provide a strong leadership foundation, but also provide
critical life skills, such as teamwork and relationship building, that will provide
a solid foundation for the future.” A national study of the “learn by doing” approach
shows that on average, 4-H’ers achieve higher grades in school, are less likely
to participate in risky behaviors associated with young adulthood, and are more
likely to pursue careers in science, engineering or computer technology.
In summer camps and programs across the state, West Virginia 4-H’ers are coding computers and building robots, helping the environment, traveling around the globe and becoming more self-confident. “The 4-H program provides long-term benefits for our youths in a fun, hands-on environment. We hope parents and families will take this opportunity to learn more about the great programs and activities and encourage their children to get involved in this outstanding program,” Clark said. For more information on the Wayne County 4-H Program, please contact Julie Tritz, 4-H Extension Agent at the WVU Extension Service Wayne County office at 304-272-6839.