Wood County 4-H hosts a week of activities | News, Sports, Jobs

Wood County 4-H members participate in a council circle at a recent 4-H event. Wood County 4-H will be celebrating National 4-H Week October 2-8 with several activities planned to show off what 4-H can offer local youth. (Photo provided)

PARKERSBURG – Wood County 4-H will be celebrating National 4-H Week October 2-8 with several planned activities that will showcase the experiences 4-H has to offer and showcase the youth in our community who have positive impacts.

There will be an open house Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. at the South Parkersburg Baptist Church gymnasium where local programs will be highlighted.

The 4-H program equips nearly six million young people across the United States with the skills to lead throughout their lives and is the only youth program with direct ties to the flagship university in State, West Virginia University. Youth who participate in 4-H have the opportunity to participate in special events at WVU.

“The hands-on, learning-by-doing approach in 4-H gives children the opportunity to learn and develop life skills by doing it themselves,” said Jodi Smith, 4-H extension worker in Wood County. “For example, in our 4-H Teen Leader program, teens plan activities and events, and adult counselors are there to support them.

“Our teen leaders also work directly with camp staff, help plan camp activities and even teach classes. They learn valuable life and career skills that prepare them for their future.

4-H alumni across the country are always the first to recognize the significant positive impact 4-H had on them as young people; the opportunities and experiences 4-H provides young people to become leaders, local 4-H leaders said. Research has shown that 4-H youth are four times more likely to contribute to their community and twice as likely to participate in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, they added.

The Tufts Study, a 10-year study of the effectiveness of 4-H youth development programs, shows that 4-H members contribute more to their families and communities, achieve better grades in school and are more likely to go to college.

Local 4-H members in Wood County spoke about how 4-H has touched them.

“I was able to attend state and national events and meet a lot of people, see a lot of places and learn a lot of things”, said Emma Daley.

“4-H has given me the chance to improve my community and develop better leadership skills,” said Emma Casto.

“4-H has given me so many opportunities to travel to different places such as Charleston, W.Va., and Washington, DC,” said Cyleigh Sampson.

“4-H allowed me to meet a lot of people I wouldn’t have met otherwise,” said Katie Daley.

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Sally J. Minick