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University of Illinois Extension

Now Is the Time to Join 4-H

September 12, 2013

More than 60 million youth have belonged to 4-H during the organization's 100-year history. Clubs are accepting new members this month to grow that number even higher.

4-Hers in the state will join the 7 million other youth currently in 4-H worldwide to celebrate National 4-H Week Oct. 6-12. 4-H youth development programs provide hands-on learning activities for youth in Illinois and throughout the country. 4-H youth programs focus on leadership, citizenship and life skills.

Every county in Illinois has a 4-H program which is operated through University of Illinois Extension. 4-H club membership is open to youth aged 8 to 18.

There are several ways to participate in 4-H. Youth may join 4-H community clubs, coordinated by local adult volunteers who receive special training. Each club decides how often it meets, the location of its meetings and the activities held during the meeting. Members may select from over 100 different project areas to study while they build leadership, teamwork, cooperation, decision-making and communication skills.

Youth may instead choose to focus on a specific project area and join a club specifically related to that one project. Robotics, photography, gardening, visual arts, and nutrition, are just a few of the popular topics for special interest clubs.

One may also participate in 4-H short term projects during school or at after school youth organizations. Some of these popular groups teach youth about caring for the environment, preparing for a career, making healthy choices or other priority issues which build a person's life skills.

To learn more about 4-H, look online at www.4-H.Illinois.edu.

Source: Judy Mae Bingman, Media Communications Specialist, 4-H, jmbingma@illinois.edu

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