National 4-H Week Open House
Cass County celebrated the 4-H youth who have made an impact on the community, as well as all youth that could benefit from positive youth development programming on October 10 at their National 4-H Week Open House. They opened up the community center to anyone in the Cass County Community to celebrate with food and activities. The event ran from 2:30-5:30 PM with hands-on activities and light refreshments.
The planned activities allowed 4-H members and staff to showcase some of their project areas with hands-on activities designed to encourage new membership. Atlantic Go-Getters represented their 4-H club and Clover Kids program, as well as one member’s working exhibit from fair. Participants that day enjoyed learning from an actual 4-H member how to create their own puzzle. “I love watching 4-H’ers in action. Our youth will amaze you any given day if you let them. 4-H and Clover Kids allow our young people to showcase their skills in a whole new way. Life skills like communication and citizenship are the foundation of our work,” says County Youth Coordinator (CYC) Susan Oliver.
The Go-Getters booth also highlighted our growing Clover Kids program. Cass County 4-H has several groups for youth in grades K-3 to join with other Clover Kids leaders in training for 2012-2013. Clover Kids meets the unique developmental needs of this age group, while allowing them to explore the project areas of 4-H and become part of an organized 4-H group. The groups focus on belonging and choice, educational programs, crafts, songs and snacks.
Other highlights included permanent marker tie-dyeing, cookie decorating and making “Oobleck.” “Oobleck” was part of a special hands-on science station hosted by Regional Youth Program Specialist Jane Hayes-Johnk. There is a growing emphasis in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) within the youth program as part of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “It is important we increase the opportunities for young people to get excited about STEM. This is where the jobs will be in their future and we have to be aware of how we present these opportunities,” says Oliver.
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 Cass County, approximately 250 4-H members and 115 volunteers are involved in 4‑H.
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. To learn more about how you can be a part of 4-H as a member or a volunteer, please contact Susan Oliver, CYC, at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Cass County, at 712-243-1132 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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