AMES, Iowa — Oct. 2-8 is National 4-H Week, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is celebrating 4-H youth who have made an impact on Iowa communities, and are stepping up to the challenges of a complex and changing world. In many Iowa counties, county 4-H programs are hosting celebrations and inviting youth to learn about and enroll in 4-H.
“National 4-H Week is a time to celebrate the contributions 4-H youth make,” said Judy Levings, ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development assistant director. “It also is a time to renew our commitment to strong 4-H youth programs.”
Recent findings from Tufts University's 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate that young people in 4-H are three times more likely to contribute to their communities than youth not participating in 4-H. Notably, the Tufts research discovered that the structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that 4-H'ers receive play a vital role in helping them actively contribute to their communities. In Iowa, more than 85,000 4-H members and 10,000 volunteers are involved in 4 H.
The 85,000 Iowa youth include 24,234 club 4-H members (grades 4-12), more than 3,900 Clover Kids (grades K-3), and youth who attend 4-H camps, school environment and afterschool programs. “The more than 7,000 Iowa youth who participated in service learning through the Reach Out Iowa program are one example of youth making an impact in communities,” said Levings.
Also to celebrate National 4-H Week, hundreds of thousands of youth from all around the nation will complete the 2011 National Science Experiment, Wired for Wind. The experiment will introduce young people to the possibilities of using wind as a clean, widely available and low-cost source of renewable energy.
“4-H youth are a living, breathing, culture-changing revolution for doing the right thing, breaking through obstacles and pushing our country forward by making a measurable difference right where they live,” Levings said. Learn how to Join the Revolution of Responsibility at www.extension.iastate.edu/4h/join/.