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By Jessica Jaffry/University of Illinois Extension: Jersey County 4-H
4-H programs empower youth to lead for a lifetime. Through hands-on learning, kids build not only confidence, creativity and curiosity, but all life skills such as leadership and resiliency to help them thrive today and tomorrow. 4-H programs and resources are available through local in-person 4-H clubs and workshops, programs and other opportunities through the Jersey County Extension Office. With the support of adult mentors, youth select from a menu of hands-on project ideas to complete. 4-H projects are available for kids and teens ages 8-18. 4-H Cloverbud projects are available for kids ages 5-7.
4-H programs are grounded in the belief that kids learn best by doing. Kids and teens complete hands-on projects in areas like science, health, agriculture and civic engagement, in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Kids can concentrate on one focus area or they can try a variety of programs throughout their 4-H experience.
Regardless of the project area, all 4-H programs include mentoring and career readiness as core elements. Let’s look at a few of the over 80 projects 4-H has to offer youth:
Entrepreneurship & Financial Literacy – 4-H programs weave entrepreneurship into many different project areas, whether it’s learning about the economics of raising and selling livestock or using computer science to develop new technology. 4-H’s financial literacy programs teach youth to navigate the challenges of the real world, such as understanding credit cards and interest rates and saving for retirement.
Healthy Living – Programming empowers youth to be healthy – mind and body – with the skills to make healthy decisions and lead healthy lifestyles. Having the confidence and skills to lead healthy lifestyles not only improves overall well-being; it enables youth to tackle life’s challenges today and become leaders in their lives, careers and communities as they grow into responsible adults.
Leadership & Personal Development – 4-H is an innovator in developing youth leadership and decision-making skills to prepare young people for the future. Our civic engagement programs encourage youth to share a voice, influence and decision-making authority by equipping them with confidence and leadership skills to be leaders today and tomorrow.
Communication & Expressive Arts – From filmmaking to photography, our creative arts programs emphasize artistic expression and communication. 4-H’s visual arts programs include both print and digital media so youth have the opportunity to use the latest technology.
We can’t wait for you to join the club! Make a difference in the community and for yourself and 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.