By Stephanie Femrite
4-H Youth Development Specialist
BOWLING GREEN—Every year, National 4-H Week sees millions of youth, parents, volunteers and alumni come together to celebrate the many positive youth development opportunities offered by 4-H. The theme for this year’s National 4-H Week, Opportunity4All, is a campaign that was created by National 4-H Council to rally support for Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and identify solutions to eliminate the opportunity gap that affects 55 million kids across America. Pike County’s theme for this year is Pike County Proud Since 1920, as we celebrate 100 years of 4-H in our county!
With so many children struggling to reach their full potential, 4-H believes that young people, in partnership with adults, can play a key role in creating a more promising and equitable future for youth, families and communities across the country. In 4-H, we believe every child should have an equal opportunity to succeed. We believe every child should have the skills they need to make a difference in the world.
Pike 4-H, more than 204 youth and 80 volunteers from the community, will observe National 4-H Week this year by highlighting some of the inspirational 4-H youth in our community who are working tirelessly to support each other and their communities.
“We believe youth perspectives are so important and a solution to eliminating the opportunity gap, because young people come with new ideas and new ways of seeing the world,” explains Jennifer Sirangelo, president and chief executive officer of National 4-H Council. By encouraging diverse voices and innovative actions, 4-H believes that solutions can be found to address the educational, economic and health issues that have created the opportunity gap.
Missouri 4-H is a community of more than 100,000 youth from across the state learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. Members learn by doing under the guidance of adult volunteers who teach projects ranging from aerospace and arts to veterinary science and sport fishing. Clubs also involve children and teens in community service, camping and educational trips. Research has shown that young people in 4-H are almost four times as likely to contribute to their communities, and are twice as likely to engage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs in their free time. For more information, visit 4h.missouri.edu.
4-H, the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now. In the U.S., 4-H programs empower 6 million young people through the 110 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Outside the U.S., independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower 1 million young people in more than 50 countries. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.