New year for 4-H: New opportunities, old favorites

Feb. 02, 2013 @ 07:11 PM

Reports, reports, reports ... I know they are necessary but I am tired of working on them. It is much more fun to close out last year and plan the incredible 2013 schedule of events for Vance County 4-H.

So what will we be doing this year? The first programs that I put on the calendar are the annual 4-H programs at the national, state and local levels. These include State Council Leadership Conference, NC 4-H Congress, NC 4-H Electric Congress, Operation Military Kids and the statewide Presentation Program to mention a few. Other programs change to meet the needs of the community. For example, Vance County 4-H has increased the number of science programs offered in local schools, both public and private.

Why science? Remember that I said local 4-H programs are shaped by community needs. In Vance County, science test scores could use a boost. Therefore, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) enrichment programs are sorely needed to increase students’ interest in science and enhance their mastery of the science objectives on which they are being tested. Also remember that 4-H programs teach youth through hands-on learning activities. What better way to teach the principles of electricity than to build a flashlight or an electromagnet like fourth graders at our elementary schools who use the 4-H Magic of Electricity curriculum kit?

Other grade levels use 4-H curricula also. Third graders have to understand soil properties including particle size and how different soils drain. The following fun activity from the 4-H Soil Solutions curriculum makes the differences very obvious. Students stand in a circle with the distance between students mimicking soil particle size while water “droplets” (other students) try to make their way through the “particles.” All of a sudden, understanding dawns on the student’s faces. They realize that it is very easy for water to penetrate sand’s large particles (when their classmates are far apart) than clay’s tiny particles (when their classmates are shoulder to shoulder). 4-H has many other types of curricula that are age appropriate for youth ages 5-18 years old.

Fun but educational programs will be showing up on the Vance County 4-H calendar as volunteers commit to lead them. First, where is the calendar located and how may you access it? Please go to our website as the calendar is updated frequently. The website address is Click on 4-H Youth Development, then under News, locate the 2013 Events Calendar. Follow the directions, noting that you are invited to call us at (252) 438-8188 for more information on any event. The next time you go to the website, just click on Events on the county home page for a direct link to the calendar.

Now back to those fun programs that you can expect. Watch for environmental programs, a photography workshop, a return to the NC Zoo Snooze program for a “safari,” Jr. Iron Chef classes, and many more. Registration for overnight 4-H Summer Camp is going on now. Come by to reserve your child’s slot before they’re all filled.

Please contact me for further information on anything 4-H — curricula, programs, clubs, presentations and any other 4-H question you might have.