National 4-H Week starts Sunday


October 4, 2012

MASON COUNTY — National 4-H Week kicks off on Sunday, Oct. 7 with Mason County holding its own celebration.

Local clubs will be celebrating 4-H by attending a 4-H Game Day. The event will take place 2-4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7 in the Junior Building at the Mason County Fairgrounds. Game Day is open to all 4-H and Cloverbud members or any youth interested in joining 4-H.

Across West Virginia, young people involved in 4-H are making a lasting impact. According to the WVU Extension Office, local 4-H’ers are building robots, helping the environment, exploring math and science, traveling to new places, getting healthy and becoming leaders in their communities and beyond.

While many parents might be scratching their heads, wondering how one organization can do all this, the answer is simple: 4-H makes learning fun. As kids learn, they acquire skills and build confidence and become better citizens, according to 4-H supporters. Supporters go on to say, in fact, a recent national study of the 4-H “learn by doing” approach shows 4-H’ers are nearly twice as likely to get better grades in school and twice as likely to plan to go to college.

However, for any youth-based organization to thrive, it takes the collective efforts of the children and families in communities. There are opportunities throughout the year to become involved in Mason County 4-H but there’s no better time to enroll than October, according to local 4-H leaders.

Again, Oct. 7 kicks off National 4-H Week, when young people can join the 4-H program in our area. There’s no charge to join and minimal charges for any activities.

4-H is the largest youth development organization in West Virginia, and the nation. Nearly one in four West Virginia youth belong to the 4-H program.

Part of the program’s appeal is that it provides a safe and welcoming environment for children from various backgrounds to thrive. That same national study also found that girls in 4-H are more than twice as likely to participate in science, engineering or computer technology programs as their peers.

It isn’t a stretch to say that 4-H changes lives and opens the door for new opportunities.

A new 4-H program year is about to start. For information about 4-H opportunities in Mason County, contact Lorrie Wright, WVU extension program assistant, in WVU Extension’s Mason County office by calling 304-675-0888.

The Mason County Commission recently signed a proclamation declaring the week of Oct. 7 National 4-H Week.