For over a decade researchers at the Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, have concluded groundbreaking research involving youth involved in 4H.
The 4-H program has two distinct areas. First the volunteer lead club program that has changed little in Pacific County over one-hundred years. The two biggest changes are girls and boys are now meeting together in the same clubs and a variety of projects are available. The second area is enrichment which is relatively recent. Both areas practice the fundamental 4-H ideal of learn-by-doing, experiential education that encourages youth to experiment, innovate and think. Unlike other youth organizations, 4-H offers families the opportunity to participate together.
My favorite 4-H memory is when some girls from Menlo formed a Jug Band and were chosen to represent Menlo at the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago, Illinois, in December of 1954.
The Pacific County Youth Market Livestock Sale was formed to replace a popular critter scramble county fair event. It is one of the few public opportunities to highlight what the 4-H and FFA livestock projects involve and for the community to be involved.
When I was 14, I wanted more than anything to go to Switzerland. I was in 4-H and they had sent me a letter about this trip that would take you to eight different countries in Europe and one of them was Switzerland.
Situation: Quality low cost programs are important to provide in rural or isolated settings, giving families access to each other and positive social interaction. The 4-H ideal of practical, learn-by-doing experiences encourages youth to experiment, innovate and create. Youth are becoming conditioned to think of learning as occurring indoors behind a desk.
4-H is celebrating its 100th year in Pacific County. It has had a tremendous positive significance impact on our youth and what they have done for our community. The Herald talked to a handful of people involved with 4-H throughout the years to get different perspectives about 4-H.
Guy Priest has been involved with 4-H since he was 10-years-old. "That's 66 years ago - but I did have some years out of contact with 4-H during university studies and my years of teaching elementary school."
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