During National 4-H Week, Oct. 7-13, 2012, youth throughout Minnesota will celebrate how 4-H helps them make a difference in their lives and communities today, and prepare for tomorrow. Approximately 71,000 young people across Minnesota participated in University of Minnesota Extension's 4-H program in 2011. Blue Earth County 4-H is home to 10 4-H clubs located throughout the county. “4-H is open to any youth in Blue Earth County. 4-H’ers that live in the city and country can be involved in the program. 4-H prides itself on promoting life-long learning skills that youth can use throughout the rest of their life,” said Amanda Somnmers, Blue Earth County 4-H Program Coordinator.
"4-H provides positive non-school learning opportunities that are critical for the development of young people," said Dorothy McCargo Freeman, Extension's 4-H youth development state program leader. "As a result, 4-H youth are able to contribute and make a difference in positive ways in their homes, schools and communities throughout Minnesota."
4-H "learn by doing" experiences encourage youth to experiment, innovate and think independently. 4-H programs are offered through school-based, after-school and camp settings and within community clubs, where groups meet regularly to work on projects, perform community service and develop leadership skills. Through this unique process, youth obtain essential life skills such as problem solving, decision making, coping and communicating.
Today's 4-H projects include the traditional and still-popular animal science projects, as well as community service learning. But 4-H youth also work on cutting-edge technology projects, such as robotics, GPS, and video production; and environmental projects, like testing water quality in area streams for contaminants.
Recent findings from Tufts University's 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate that young people in 4-H are three times more likely to contribute to their communities than youth not participating in 4-H. Notably, the Tufts research discovered that the structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that 4-H'ers receive play a vital role in helping them actively contribute to their communities.
To learn more about joining 4-H in Blue Earth County, contact Blue Earth County 4-H Program Coordinator, Amanda Sommers at (507)304-4325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Minnesota 4-H
Minnesota 4-H is a youth development program provided through the University of Minnesota Extension. The 4-H mission is to engage Minnesota youth in quality learning opportunities that enable them to shape and reach their full potential as active citizens in a global community. Last year, more than 71,000 kids throughout Minnesota participated in 4-H and learned invaluable life skills while meeting developmental needs of independence, belonging, generosity and mastery.