National 4-H Week eyes ‘Power of YOUth’

National 4-H Week eyes 'Power of YOUth' National 4-H Week is Oct. 7-13 with the theme 4-H ? the Power of YOUth.

4-H is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, reaching 6.8 million youth nationwide. In South Dakota, over 43,000 young people are exposed to 4-H through traditional 4-H clubs, after-school and school enrichment programs and special projects.

Character Counts, Farm Safety Day Camp and Ag in the Classroom are examples of special projects or school enrichment activities reaching youth across the state. Traditional clubs are still a strong part of the 4-H program and service 9,500 youth in South Dakota.

The key to making South Dakota's 4-H program successful is the 5,500 adult volunteers who work directly with the youth involved. 4-H is one of the few activities where kids and their parents fully participate together in every event.

"4-H promotes, teaches and develops life skills in our children so they develop into successful and productive adults," says Karla Trautman, interim program leader � Family and Youth/4-H.

At the county level, 4-H clubs often use 4-H week as an opportunity to share with community members, both youth and adults, what the organization has to offer. 4-H today is no longer just baking, sewing and livestock projects for the county fair. Today, 4-H offers trips like the Citizenship Washington Focus and exchange programs such as the International 4-H Youth Exchange, in addition to public speaking and judging contests.

On the national level this year's 4-H Week is a kickoff to the upcoming 100th birthday of National 4-H. South Dakota has named a centennial planning committee to coordinate the celebration activities conducted throughout 2002.

To learn more about 4-H, contact the Clay County Extension Office at (605) 677-7111 or stop in the office at 515 High Street, Vermillion.

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