Find Your Spark in 4-H!
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By Jessica Jaffry
University of Illinois Extension: Jersey County 4-H
What is 4-H, and who can join? 4-H unlocks the potential in every youth. Dream. Plan. Design. Build. Achieve. 4-H is the largest youth development organization in America! 4-H participation is open to all youth ages 8-18. 4-H also offers a “Cloverbud” program in clubs for youth ages 5-7 – younger members attend the same meetings as older members, but with age-appropriate activities.
Coordinated in Illinois by University of Illinois Extension, 4-H youth learn and grow by using their head, heart, hands, and health to move mountains in their club, community, country, and world.
The 4-H program year begins on September 1 and concludes on August 31 of the following year, but youth can join anytime! 4-H enrollment is easy; stop by the Extension Office for help or check out the online enrollment site at il.4honline.com.
Jersey County 4-H has seven clubs located throughout the county. 4-H staff assists in finding the perfect fit with a club that suits every family’s needs. There are a variety of clubs in our county – all with different meeting schedules, interests, and locations.
In 4-H, members learn about topics that spark them. These are referred to as members’ “projects.” Projects can be anything from learning how to cook, building a robot, caring for the environment, and so much more. One of the most important aspects of 4-H project work is that the 4-H member decides what they want to learn and do as they explore their project. This allows the project to be self-paced and gives children important skills in setting and working toward their goals. 4-H makes learning fun! 4-Hoffers a variety of projects so members can pick the ones that interest them the most. Or they can find other youth with the same interest and study that topic with the help of a volunteer that shares the same interests. 4-H projects help members to learn by doing. 4-H youth exhibit their projects during the summer at the Jersey County 4-H shows in July.
4-H knows that youth are an important resource in our communities. 4-H sets youth up for success, but we also know that one size doesn’t fit all. Talk to local 4-H staff to find out what you can do, such as serve on an advisory council, plan county 4-H events, serve as a club officer, help promote 4-H or teach 4-H programs.
4-H members are encouraged to develop and practice skills to become helpful or valuable in their club, community, country, and world. 4-H community service projects allow youth and adults to work together and help others simultaneously. 4-H members can plan and participate in community service projects individually, with their club, county program, and beyond.
We can’t wait for you to join the club! Contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Jersey County Extension Office at 618-498-2913 to learn more. Visit our website at: extension.illinois.edu/cjmm/4-h-jersey-county or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/JerseyCounty4H.