4-H offers youth opportunities to develop life skills such as leadership, responsibility, initiative, confidence, the ability to speak in public, run a meeting, balance a checkbook and so much more through hands-on experiential learning. 4-H delivers experiential learning through more than 200 different projects that youth can choose from as well as through opportunities at numerous camps, livestock clinics and other special events.
A landmark study conducted by Tufts University followed some 7,000 youth from grade 5 through high school and determined that 4-H youth are 2.1 times more likely than other youth to make contributions to their communities and 1.8 times more likely to have higher scores on measures of active and engaged citizenship. Additionally, 4-H youth are 1.6 times as likely as other youth to engage in healthy habits and 2.4 times as likely to delay sexual intercourse. On educational measures, 4-H participants are 1.5 times as likely as youth in other out of school time (OST) programs to report high academic competence and 1.7 times as likely as youth in other OST programs to report high engagement in school. There are many ways you can help 4-H continue to make a positive difference in the lives of youth across Wayne County. You can sign up to be a volunteer club leader, assist with special events such as Skillathon or project judging, or support 4-H by donating to the Wayne County 4-H Youth Development Fund. A great way to support the Youth Development Fund is by attending or sponsoring our upcoming Wayne County 4-H Legacy Dinner on April 12. Tickets are $50 per adult and sponsorship opportunities are available. Reservations are due March 15. We want to thank Certified Angus Beef, Gerber Poultry, Troutman Vineyards, Bowman Beverage and the J.M. Smucker Co. for coming on board early to sponsor this event.
You can also get your kids or grandchildren involved in 4-H. Kids that are age 5 and enrolled in kindergarten through age 18 as of Jan. 1 of this year are welcome to join 4-H. Simply contact the Wayne County OSU Extension Office at 330-264-8722 or visit us on the web at wayne.osu.edu for more information. Our office can assist you in locating a 4-H club in your area of the county. The enrollment deadline for Wayne County 4-H is April 1st but many clubs set earlier deadlines so now is the time to get kids connected with 4-H.
Doug Foxx is an OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.