Karnes County 4-H Clubs will join over 10,000 other Texas 4-H members in going out into their communities to lend a helping hand on Oct. 12 for “One Day 4-H”. This day is for all 4-H members, parents, leaders, and volunteers to step out into their communities and county and say “thank you” by giving back for the more than 103 years of support to 4-H in Texas. A few of the “One Day 4-H” projects that will take place in Karnes County are cemetery cleanups, park cleanups, clothing and toy drive for a local ministry outreach program, and appreciation gifts being handed out. 2013 is the fifth anniversary of One Day 4-H.
Also during National 4-H Week, hundreds of thousands of youth from all around the nation will complete a single, innovative experiment on 4-H National Youth Science Day, which will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 9. The 2013 National Science Experiment, 4-H Maps & Apps, will introduce youth to the importance of geographic information systems (GIS) and geographic positioning systems (GPS) as they design and map their ideal park, use mapping to solve community problems and contribute data to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) The National Map program as citizen scientists through The National Map Corps project.
A new initiative offered this year by Texas 4-H is 4-H SPIN clubs, which are short-term experiences focused on a specific topic. SPIN, standing for Special Interest, clubs allow kids ages 5 to 18 with common interests or hobbies to meet as a club and share their special interest. Whatever their passion is, kids can gain knowledge and enhance their skills through a positive group experience. A SPIN club can be started with a minimum of one adult volunteer and five young people with an interest in a particular topic. While the adult provides expertise and guidance, club members take an active role in planning and running their own activities. SPIN clubs reach out to youth and families with common interests and bring them together. They are a great way to introduce young people to a specific hobby or interest they might not otherwise have a chance to develop within a group setting.
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 like, and two times more likely to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in the out-of-school time.
In Karnes County, more than 500 youth are impacted by the 4H program each year.
4-H, the largest youth development organization in the world, is a community of seven million young people across the globe learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. In the U.S., 4-H programs are implemented by the 109 land grant universities and the Cooperative Extension System through their 3,100 local Extension offices across the country. Overseas, 4-H programs operate throughout more than 50 countries.
Contact: Meagen Dennison, County Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences/4-H, 830-780-3906, firstname.lastname@example.org.