The LaGrange County 4-H program is still looking for youth in grades in 1-12 who are interested in having fun and learning at the same time. 4-H is a voluntary youth development education program coordinated by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. Its primary objectives are to assist young people in acquiring marketable skills as well as citizenship and leadership experiences.
4-H is one of the largest youth development organizations in the world. Today’s 4-H is for all youth, regardless of urban or rural residence, socioeconomic status, or racial, ethnic, or cultural background. Last year, over 200,000 Hoosier youth were involved in 4-H programs, which emphasize practical, hands-on activities as key aspects of capturing and retaining lifelong interests. In addition to life and career skill development, a highlight of the 4-H experience is the annual county exhibit. The 60th annual LaGrange County 4-H Fair is scheduled for July 6-13.
4-H focuses on empowering school-aged youth to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood by to developing marketable competencies in specific projects as well as citizenship, sportsmanship, and leadership capabilities. Young people are given the opportunity to engage in activities that hold their personal interest while being guided by adult volunteers. Originally focused on agricultural interests, 4-H has followed the needs and motivation of young people into urban and suburban communities. A wide range of learning opportunities are available for LaGrange County youth in grades 1-12, including such topics as computers, creative writing, sewing, foods, electricity, agriculture and livestock, scrapbooking, fishing, aerospace, photography, reading, recycling, shooting sports education, and sports. In LaGrange County, over 50 projects are available for 2013.
Youth are helped to establish practical goals, think intelligently, and become contributing citizens. Through activities that are typically conducted in the homes of members or adult volunteers, churches, or other community buildings, 4-H enables young people to examine problems in their communities and participate in their solution. Competence and knowledge developed through 4-H work often leads to career choices. 4-H is volunteer-based. In LaGrange County, youth are guided and supported by a corps of some 150 adult volunteers who typically serve as club or project leaders. 4-H welcomes all age eligible youth who shall have equal opportunity and access to its programs and facilities without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, or disability.
Again this year is an electronic enrollment feature in which youth can sign up online and pay the state program fee from the convenience of home. Paper enrollment forms can still be obtained from the Purdue Extension office in LaGrange or be downloaded by visiting the 4-H page at www.extension.purdue. edu/lagrange. The 4-H program combines the resources of LaGrange County government, business and private sponsorships, Purdue University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the voluntary efforts of its members and adult leaders.
Youth interested in enrolling after Feb. 28 or who need more information about 4-H Youth Development should contact the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service at 499-6334 or visit its web page.