Journal of the San Juan Islands


4-H: Keeping communities connected

October 4, 2013 · Updated 11:44 AM

Members of 4H K-9 Kids demonstrate obedience and showmanship skills at the 2013 county fair. / Journal photo / Roxanne Angel

4-H, the largest youth development organization in the world, celebrates National 4-H Week Oct. 6 to Oct. 12. In observance of National 4-H Week, San Juan County 4-H will highlight its program and celebrate the dedicated young people who make such a positive impact on their community.

More than 178 kids and 60 adult volunteers are involved in 4-H in San Juan County. Clubs usually have their first meeting in October, but anyone can join anytime. There are projects for children and youths ages 5 to 19 (K through high school). Each island has a number of clubs with a variety of different program for children and youths to join.

4-H programs are implemented in America by 109 land-grant universities and 3,100 Cooperative Extension System offices across the country. Programs operate in more than 50 countries with more than 7 million members.

The positive impact on young people is clear: the Tufts University 4-H Positive Youth Development Study shows that 4-H participants are four times more likely to contribute to their communities and twice as likely to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs.

A “learn by doing” approach and the mentorship of knowledgeable, talented islanders fosters leadership, responsibility, and caring, strengthening families and communities. 4-H encourages diversity.

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, hundreds of thousands of youths will participate in the 2013 National Science Day. Using 4-H maps, apps and materials, kids will be introduced to working with geographic information systems and geographic positioning systems. They will design and map an ideal park, use mapping to solve community problems and contribute data to the U.S. Geological Survey National Map Program.

For more about 4-H National Youth Science Day and about the national program, go to www.4-h.org. Learn more about San Juan County 4-H at http://sanjuan.wsu.edu/4-H/index.html, or contact Ginny Beaudoin, 4-H program coordinator, 370-7662. Beaudoin notes 4-H can be anything you want it to be; if you would like to do a project not currently offered, she can help explore starting it through 4-H.


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