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Why join 4-H? Because it’s good for you

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By Cathy Toole

October is the month to begin the new program year in 4-H.  School clubs in the fourth and fifth grades across the county have started and afterschool as well as project clubs have begun or will begin in the next few weeks.  There are so many reasons to join 4-H that I thought I would share a few in hopes that as a youth or as a parent, you may consider joining in the 4-H Youth Revolution of more than 140,000 members strong in the commonwealth of Kentucky.

The following are just a few results of a research based study of youth who actively participate in 4-H and also some reasons why youth and parents should consider getting involved:

• Have higher educational achievement and motivation for future education.

• Are more civically active and make more civic contributions to their communities.

• Have had significantly lower drug, alcohol and cigarette use than their peers.

• They are 2.3 times more likely to exercise and be physically active.

• Girls in 4-H are 1.6 times more likely to pursue science careers over their peers.

All of these are great reasons to join 4-H, but there are many more: 

• Youth learn life skills that are beneficial throughout  life, such as:  cooking, sewing, photography, scrapbooking, crocheting, knitting, woodworking, etc.

• If you are interested in animals we have clubs in: horse, dog, livestock, and a new club forming in rabbits and poultry.

• The shooting sports club is one of the best in achievement in the state and offers the following disciplines:  archery, shotgun, muzzleloader, rifle, air pistol, and more.

• Communication events offer students the opportunity to develop public speaking skills at the county, district, and state level.

• The Variety Show allows performing and developing youths talents and interests in performing arts.

• There are opportunities to develop leadership and civic responsibilities through numerous workshops and training.

• 4-H is FUN!

My family is a three-generation 4-H family. My mom joined in Owen County more than 60 years ago.  I joined 4-H as a 9-year old, right here in Henry County, and now my own children have benefited and are currently part of a program that has been touching lives for more than 100 years. 

I challenge you to check out the new 4-H website at www.henrycounty4-h.com and see all of the possibilities 4-H holds for your family.