4-H: What’s it all about?
4-H was established in 1902 and is the nation’s largest youth development organization, reaching almost six million young people from ages 5-18 in approximately 90,000 clubs. 4-H serves in rural, urban and suburban communities in every state across our nation with the goal of developing citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills of youth through experiential learning programs and a positive youth approach. 4-H is delivered by Cooperative Extension – a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. (4-H.org)
Because of its origins in the Midwest farmland, 4-H has historically been an organization associated with agriculture. While there is still a large degree of focus on agricultural clubs and projects, in more recent years, 4-H has broadened to include an emphasis on projects and clubs in the areas of STEM, shooting sports, nature preservation, international exchange and community service. Almost anything a youth member or group of youth is interested in can be incorporated into a 4-H project or 4-H club, and here in Alaska, we have approximately 1500 youth members with an additional 600 youth from military families.
We have a unique opportunity here on the Kenai each year to explore what 4-H is all about with local 4-H members and volunteers when they host the annual Kenai Peninsula District 4-H Rally Day. Rally Day this year is being held at KPC on Saturday, February 17 with registration beginning at 9:20 a.m. Classes offered this year are: Backyard Chickens, Alaska State Livestock Contest, Introduction to Taekwondo, Cake Decorating, Fly Tying, 4-H Public Presentations, All About 4-H Shooting Sports, Drone Fundamentals, Sewing, Cloverbud Camp (ages 5-7 with parent chaperone), 4-H Showmanship and a tour of KPC. All community youth are invited to attend and will have the opportunity to sign up to join a Kenai Peninsula 4-H club should they choose! Pre-registration is requested and is as easy as a phone call to the Cooperative Extension Office at 262-5824. See you at Rally Day!
Submitted by Cassy Rankin, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, 4-H Program Assistant, Kenai Peninsula District.