More than six million young people across the country are celebrating National 4-H Week, which takes place annually during the first full week of October. Adams County 4-H leverages National 4-H Week to celebrate the great things the 4-H youth development program offers young people and highlights the incredible 4-H members who each day work to a make a positive impact on their community.
More than 750 of the county’s young people took part in one or more 4-H club, camp, or special interest programs in 2015, reports Carolyn L. Belczyk, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, with OSU Extension Adams County. These youth are enrolled in one of the county’s 28 community-based 4-H clubs or in the after school 4-H Tech Wizards programs at Peebles and North Adams Elementary Schools. More than 145 screened and trained adult volunteers provide leadership to these clubs and activities, mentoring the members and working with them to complete their 4-H projects, exhibit at the fair, and develop a variety of life skills including communication, problem solving, teamwork, and leadership.
The Adams County 4-H program will celebrate National 4-H Week with its annual 4-H Advisors Dinner and Recognition, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 8, at the Wayne Township Community Center in Cherry Fork. Advisors will be recognized for their years of service to 4-H. The event will also feature recognition of Nan Knechtly as the Adams County 4-H VIP for 2015. She has served as a 4-H advisor for 21 years, provided leadership to the county’s camping and horse programs for many years, and initiated the county’s Shooting Sports program. She currently serves as the head advisor of the West Fork Wonders 4-H Club and coordinator of the Shooting Sports program.
Two local businesses will be recognized as Friends of 4-H in 2015: Tractor Supply Company in West Union for the company’s local and national support of 4-H programming and the Thunder Ridge Gun Shop in Peebles, owned by Glenn Hemer. Hemer has been a strong supporter of the Shooting Sports program since its inception.
Six area FFA advisors will share recognition as 4-H Alumni Award winners. They are Donnie McCarty, West Union FFA; Becky Minton, Peebles FFA; Jason Moore, North Adams FFA; John Newman and David Scott, OVCTC FFA; and Tony Sparks, Manchester FFA. All but Scott grew up in the Adams County 4-H program. Scott was a member of 4-H in Highland County. All support the positive development of Adams County young people and provide incomparable support to the Adams County Junior Fair each year.
Research has proven that participation in 4-H has a significant positive impact on young people. Recent findings from the Tufts University 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate that, when compared to their peers, young people in 4-H are:
-Nearly 4 times more likely to contribute to their communities,
-Two times more likely to pursue healthy behaviors, and
-Two times more likely to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in their out-of-school time.
Also during National 4-H Week, hundreds of thousands of youth from all around the nation will complete a single, innovative 4-H National 4-H Science Experiment. Developed by Oregon State University Cooperative Extension, Motion Commotion is a two-part experiment that investigates the physical and human factors of motion using toy cars to simulate a speeding car collision and distracted driving. Participants will first construct a simulated runway to analyze the speed, momentum and kinetic energy of a car in motion and explore the science behind the car’s collisions. Then they will take part in an experiment that uses the same physics principles to demonstrate the consequences of distracted driving. To learn more about National Youth Science Day, visit http://www.4-h.org/nysd/.
In Adams County, youth enrolled in the 4-H Tech Wizards programs at Peebles and North Adams will complete the National 4-H Science Experiment and do some additional experiments regarding the hazards of distracted driving. Participating in the annual experiments in the past has helped members learn about experimental design and about topics of interest such as robotics, alternative energy, and GIS.
4-H grows confident, capable, and caring kids with the life skills to thrive in today’s world and succeed in their boldest dreams for tomorrow. Working in partnership with 110 universities, 4-H programs are research-backed and offer life-changing experiences to youth around the world.
To learn more about 4-H at the national level, visit www.4-H.org or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4-H and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/4H . To learn more about Adams County 4-H, contact OSU Extension Adams County at 544-2339 or visit the website at adams.osu.edu. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AdamsCounty4H.