Saturday, September 8, 2012

Best Time to Join 4-H is Now! Explore Dakota County 4-H at the September 25 Open House from 5-8 p.m.

Best Time to Join 4-H is Now! Explore Dakota County 4-H at the September 25 4-H Open House from 5-8 p.m.
By: Anja Johnson and Kathy Johnson, Dakota County 4-H Program Coordinators
4-H families will celebrate 4-H this fall and recruit new 4-H members across Dakota County.  All across Minnesota, 4-H is helping youth see their potential
4-H youth across the nation are leading efforts to solve problems in their communities and make a difference for their futures.  4-H is one of the largest youth development organizations in Minnesota and the largest in the nation with six million young people.  4-H in Dakota County currently has almost 1,000 youth members, about 10% of the youth population, and about 400 adult volunteers.  It is ranked the largest county 4-H program in Minnesota.   4-H, as part of the University of Minnesota Extension, is a program where youth learn through opportunities that provide them hands-on experiences in 4-H's mission mandates of science, engineering and technology, healthy living and citizenship.  The program promotes life skills using your head, heart, hands and health.  4-H has connected youth and their communities with the innovative research and resources from our nation's 106 land-grant universities and colleges for more than 100 years.

The best time to join 4-H is now!  Fall enrollment is October 1 through January 15.  Gather all of your friends and anyone interested in joining 4-H and plan on attending the 4-H Open House on September 25, 2012 from 5 - 8 p.m. at the Dakota County Extension & Conservation Center, 4100 220th St. West, Farmington, Minnesota.
This event will feature various 4-H projects that maybe you have been interested in but just do not know what they involve. Here is where you can get the answers.

The 4-H Open House will include:

5- 5:30 p.m.        Tour different 4-H project area ideas

5:30-6 p.m.         4-H 101  

6-7:30 p.m.         Tour different 4-H project area ideas

7:30-8 p.m.         4-H 101 (repeat of 5:30 p.m. program)   
Did you know…?
§  4-H has programming available for youth in kindergarten through one year past high school throughout Minnesota.
§  Last year, more than 113,000 youth throughout Minnesota participated in 4-H programs.
§  4-H uses a unique "learn by doing" youth development model, which allows youth to design and participate in their own programs and activities, reflect on the process, draw conclusions, and relate the learning to future experiences in their lives.
§  This process helps youth develop essential, transferable life skills that they'll use throughout their lives, such as problem solving, decision making, coping, communicating and responding to the needs of others.
§  4-H has programs and activities in a wide range of areas, including Expressive & Communication Arts, Family Consumer Science, Natural Resources, Mechanical Sciences and Animal Science.
§  Today's projects include the traditional and still popular animal science projects that are most associated with 4-H.  But 4-H youth also work on cutting-edge technology projects, such as robotics, GPS, GIS, and video production, environmental projects, such as maintaining local hiking trails and testing water in area streams for contaminants, and community service projects.
§  4-H continually works to reach new groups of youth in rural, suburban and urban communities.
§  The four pedals of the 4-H clover represent Hands, Heart, Head, and Health.  I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to great loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health to better living for my family, my club, my country and my world.
§  Research shows that youth who participate in 4-H are more likely to contribute to their communities than those involved in other youth development programs.

Looking for a family activity with something for every child?  Join a 4-H club – where you meet throughout the year and have time to hang out, get to know each other, and learn new things.  Visit a local 4-H club meeting in the next few weeks! Contact the Dakota County Extension Office for clubs in your area; you can choose any club that fits your family's schedule. To find out more information about 4-H, visit the Dakota County 4-H website at www.umn.extension/county/dakota and click on "4-H in Dakota County", or contact Dakota County 4-H at the Dakota County Extension Office at 651-480-7755.

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