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4-H Welcomes New Members to Join – Learn more at Kick-off Event Oct 1 at Niabi Zoo

4-H offers a place where kids can belong, lead, and “learn by doing” with fun, hands-on activities. 4-H is open to youth ages 8 to 18 who are brought together in clubs led by caring adults who welcome them as a part of the larger 4-H family. September is the beginning of the new 4-H year. If you are looking for a program that gives youth and teens the chance to learn about topics that interest them - like how to cook, build a robot, or care for the environment, and gives them opportunities to build their leadership, citizenship and life skills, 4-H is the place!

University of Illinois Extension 4-H programs serving Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark Counties offers a variety of 4-H community clubs that meet in different towns and cities in each county that youth can join, plus special interest clubs, workshops, camps, conferences, 4-H events at the county fairs, and many other opportunities for its members. The cost to join 4-H for the year is $20.

Attend the 4-H Kick-Off Event Oct 1 at Niabi Zoo

Learn more about 4-H at a special 4-H Kick-Off Event on Saturday, October 1 at Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley. Youth and families will enjoy a fun morning at the zoo to learn about 4-H and how to join! 4-H activities run from 10 am –noon, followed by time for you to explore the zoo with your family as you do complete a zoo scavenger hunt.  At the event you’ll hear from current 4-H members about the program, see demonstrations of 4-H projects and displays, explore hands-on activity stations, get free snacks and some cool 4-H swag, and learn fascinating facts about animals as Niabi Zoo educators will lead interactive programs for event participants on: "Where the Wild Things Are" & "Animal Superpowers".

The 4-H activities are free with your prepaid zoo admission which is: $9 adults & youth 13 and older, $6.50 youth 3 – 13 (Zoo members can use their cards for free admission.) You'll pay your zoo admission upon registering for the event. Sign up at or call the office at (309) 756-9978.

Sign up for a 4-H Special Interest Club
4-H also has several special interest clubs youth can join to explore more about a specific topic. Current offerings include the following:
4-H Robotics Club | Sept 29, 6 pm Rock Island Extension, Milan, IL Robots are everywhere in everyday life. Learn to design, build, and program robots in this exciting hands-on club. Join us for our first meeting of the new year. Sign up at

4-H Archery Club | Fridays in Bettendorf Build your skills in target practice and learn safety in this weekly archer club. Meetings are every Friday at 6:30 pm at Devils Glen Park, Bettendorf, IA. $20 material fee (covers 6 weeks of classes) Open to youth 8 to 18. Equipment is provided. Register at

4-H Shotgun Club | Thursdays in Colona Build your marksmanship skills and learn firearm safety. Meetings are every Thursday at 5 pm at Bi-State Sportsman Association Inc 571 Cleveland Rd, Colona, IL. $50 material fee (covers 6 weeks of classes) For youth 10 to 18. Equipment is provided. Register at

October “I Made That: Pumped for Pumpkins” Educational Cooking Kits Sign up to get your DIY educational cooking kit that helps youth build skills in the kitchen. The October kit is designed to get you pumped for National Pumpkin Month. Learn all about pumpkins - how to select, store and carve them. Try one of the many recipes included in the kit such as pumpkin bread, pancakes, and pumpkin sandwiches. Find out fun facts in the October booklet, full of fun activities. Each kit is $5 and includes the booklet, selection, storage, and carving tips, pumpkin recipes and explorations, select ingredients for your recipes, pumpkin activities, and sensory evaluation. Pay before pickup at our offices in Milan, Galva, or Viola. Register by September 27 at

To learn more about 4-H clubs and programs in your county, fill out an interest form at or contact your local 4-H coordinator:

Rock Island County 4-H, McCala Crawford at 321 W 2nd Avenue, Milan, IL | Phone 217-300-8321 | Email

Mercer County 4-H, Tracy Fowler-Pestle at 910 13th Street, Viola, IL | Phone 217-300-9116 |

Henry County 4-H, Teresa Kirwan at 910 13th Street, Viola, IL | Phone: 309-871-5034 | Email

Stark County 4-H, Jennifer Peterson at 358 Front St. Galva, IL Phone 217-300-7348 | Email

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, contact our office at (309) 756-9978.