Joining 4-H Provides Youth with Life-Long Skills
The 4-H Motto is, "To Make the Best Better" and this week, Blue Earth County is celebrating 4-H youth who have made an impact on their community.
To the outsider, 4-H may appear as a farm kid only organization, but being a part of it is so much more than livestock. 4-H provides life-long learning skills that youth don't necessarily learn in school. The project based organization encourages youth to experiment, innovate and think independently.
"4-H is really self-directed learning so they can take on a project they may never have had any interest in and really grow over with those years and of course one or two years in 4-H is even beneficial so of course we say, join 4-H because it's really, really great and they can learn a lot of those skills," 4-H program coordinator Amanda Sommers said.
Most 4-H projects today include the traditional agriculture and animal science projects. But, to be a part of 4-H you don't have to come from a farm background.
"Of course our livestock projects are our traditional projects but, 4-H is so much more than that now. The science and STEM based activities are really big right now, photography, creative arts, robotics all sorts of things that of course anybody can be involved in," Sommers added.
A recent study from Tufts University indicates that young people in 4-H are three times more likely to contribute to their communities than youth not participating in 4-H.
"It's really neat to see a 4-Her join us in kindergarten, they're really quiet they don't say a lot and you see them when they graduate out of 4-H and they are giving speeches at college and the teachers always say, 'oh, you can always tell which kids have been in 4-H because of how they can communicate and share," Sommers said.
This week marks the start of the 4-H year. It's open to any youth in Blue Earth County, kindergarten through one year post high school. To learn more, visit http://www3.extension.umn.edu/county/blue-earth/4-h
--KEYC News 12