AGRICULTURE: 4-H offers experience, leadership
HOUSTON – 4-H has a history of developing youth potential and providing “hands-on” educational programs.
The Chickasaw County 4-H Chapter includes leadership development, life skills training, developing positive self-esteem and empowering volunteers in all activities. Programs are delivered through local county Extension offices to volunteer leaders.
“We have 190 enrolled in the local 4-H program and they are involved in everything from horses, poultry and dairy animals to robotics and shooting sports,” said Angie Abrams, 4-H Program Director for the Chickasaw County Extension. “Anyone from age 8 to 18 can be a member of 4-H. And you don’t have to live on a farm.”
Abrams also pointed out every program 4-H offers is free.
“4-H is best identified by its green four-leaf clover with an H on each leaf,” said Abrams. “The four Hs on this emblem stand for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health.”
The “leaves” break down into four key points:
Head: 4-Hers focus on thinking, making decisions, and understanding and gaining knowledge.
Heart: 4-Hers are concerned with the welfare of others and accept the responsibilities of citizenship and developing attitudes and values.
Hands: 4-Hers use their hands to learn new skills and develop pride and respect for their own work.
Health: 4-Hers develop and practice healthy living physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially.
4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization and its roots run deep in Chickasaw County.
More than 6 million 4-H youth in urban neighborhoods, suburban schoolyards and rural farming communities stand out among their peers: building revolutionary opportunities and implementing community wide change at an early age.
As the youth development program of the nation’s 109 land-grant universities the Cooperative Extension System, 4-H fosters an innovative “learn by doing” approach with proven results.
The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development, a longitudinal study conducted by the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, show youth engaged with 4-H are:
• Nearly two times more like to get better grades in school.
• Nearly two times more likely to go to college.
• 41 percent less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
• 25 percent more like to positively contribute to their families and communities.
• Moore than two times more likely to exercise and be physically active
But Abrams is quick to point out it is the volunteers working with 4-H professionals and 4-H alumni who make the program work.
Fueled by research-driven programming, 4-H’ers engage in hands-on learning activities in the areas of science, citizenship and healthy living.
Since its humble beginnings more than 100 years ago, 4-H has grown to become the nation’s largest youth development organization.
The 4-H idea is simple: Help young people and their families gain the skills they need to be proactive forces in their communities and develop ideas for a more innovative economy.
As on of the first youth development organizations in America, 4-H opened the doors to for young people to learn leadership skills and explore ways to give back. 4-H revoluntionized how youth connected to practical, hands-on learning expericnes while outside of the classroom.
For more information on Chickasaw County 4-H please call 456-4269.
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