How will you celebrate National 4-H Week?

You can join 4-H friends as we celebrate everything that makes 4-H great during National 4-H Week, Oct. 4-10, 2015.

Get out the green frosting, it is time to celebrate National 4-H Week, Oct. 4-10, 2015! You can join 4-H friends across Michigan and the nation as we celebrate everything that makes 4-H great!

As a proud 4-H staff member, volunteer, parent and alumni, I love to celebrate National 4-H Week with something green every day. I will take time to reflect on what 4-H really means to me that week, and be thankful for all that 4-H has helped me achieve. I will remember the leaders that carefully guided me when they could have been doing something else. I will think about why I am so excited to be a 4-H archery volunteer and how being involved in the archery program provides an opportunity for me to connect with my sons in a really unique way. I will think about all the volunteers I have provided training to and worked alongside. I will think about the amazing staff I work with across the state and how much they have taught me. But most remarkable will be my thoughts of the members past and present, those that make us smile at their accomplishments, those that teach us the lessons as they grow in their projects and those that we now see giving back to the program that gave them so much when they were young. As the cycle of the clover continues for some families, other families enter the 4-H program for the first time, but all experiential learning.

In my role, I have the opportunity to hear how 4-H is making a difference in our communities and changing the lives of adults and youth across the state. Here in Michigan, we have so many great programs including robotics, performing arts, rockets, mentoring programs, horses, public speaking, baking, tech wizards, gardening and more. Many counties across the state will celebrate with leader banquets, recognition programs, treats at meetings, special promotional programs and community service events.

National Youth Science Day is Oct. 7 and may be part of their celebration; check with your local Michigan State University Extension county office to see if they will be conducting the national science experiment in your county. You might find others partnering with their Tractor Supply Company (TSC) stores Oct. 7-18 as they celebrate with the Paper Clover Promotion.

The Positive Development of Youth: Comprehensive Findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development,” a study from Tufts University, indicated that young people involved in 4-H are four times more likely to contribute to their communities, and two times more likely to pursue healthy behaviors and engage in science, engineering and math programs during out of school time. 4-Hers learn a variety of life skills through their projects and have a great time with their peers in the process.

Just look around and you will be impressed by 4-Hers taking the lead in addressing today’s challenges in Michigan’s urban, small town and rural communities. 4-H operates on the principle of learning by doing, or experiential learning, which takes research-based information from the country’s land-grant universities to 5- to 19-year-old youth and the adults that support them. In 4-H, through a wide range of hands-on program areas, young people develop critical life skills such as self-discipline, goal-setting, teamwork and conflict resolution. Trips, workshops, conferences, meetings, service learning opportunities, speakers, camps and amazing programs fill the schedules of members and leaders across the state and help prepare them for the challenges that life may bring their way. Critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork skills are developed while their leadership skills are put to the test.

You may see friends and family members sharing their 4-H face on social media as part of the Show Your 4-H Face campaign. Celebrate National 4-H Week with us on your social media accounts as well by sharing one of our ready-to-use 4-H profile pictures or cover photos to your social media accounts. By doing so, you will help raise awareness of 4-H and encourage others to learn how 4-H can impact their lives too.

It’s not too late to consider how you will celebrate National 4-H week. Wondering if 4-H is right for you and your family? Take some time to check out our programs or connect with your local MSU Extension county office for more details. 

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