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Celebrate 4-H youths, volunteers (Editorial)

by | Oct 4, 2019

Across the United States, counties and clubs will celebrate National 4-H Week on Oct. 6-12.
The theme of this year’s National 4-H Week is “Inspire Kids to Do,” which highlights how 4-H encourages kids to take part in hands-on learning experiences in areas such as health, science, agriculture and civic engagement.
It also marks the seventh year of our special supplement, Maryland 4-H in Action, working in cooperation with the Maryland 4-H Foundation.
Each year, 4-Hers have told their own stories of their projects, travels and other learning opportunities, showing the width and breadth of the youth development program.
This year is no different. Youth traveled internationally, enjoyed success at county and state fairs, started and executed numerous service projects as individuals and in groups and expressed the great fun they had along the way.
“After reflecting on this past year, I know that becoming a 4-H member was the best decision for so many reasons,” Cecil County 4-H member Elizabeth Rose Doerr wrote in her submission for the supplement. “I have spent time with some awesome friends, participated in great activities and helped in our community.”
While these featured youth are doing unique things, it’s not unique to Maryland.
For certain, 4-H youth in other states are doing great things as well to prepare themselves for the world that awaits them.
Volunteer leaders and Extension agents plant the seed with encouragement and set the example of service.
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.
The training and learning environment provided by 4-H mentors ensures that kids throughout the country are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles and are empowered with the skills to lead in life and career.  
4-H youth are four times more likely to give back to their communities, according to the National 4-H Council, twice as likely to make healthier choices and twice as likely to participate in activities in the science, technology, engineering and math fields — the famed STEM areas.
While National 4-H Week — and the 4-H program year round — asks us to inspire kids, let them also inspire us with their pursuits.

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