4-H program promotes developmental assets

Open house to be held Feb. 19 at fairgrounds

The 4-H Youth Development Program, like most other youth organizations, are aligned with the building blocks, or assets, that the Search Institute has identified as important in the growth and development of young people.

For instance, there are nearly 280 adult volunteers, who serve as 4-H Advisors, who provide positive role models for the members. Our 4-H youth are engaged in “learning-by-doing” by taking a 4-H project of interest to them and learning about that project.

4-H youth have more than 200 4-H projects to select from such as nutrition, creative arts, rockets, photography, small animals, large animals and much more.

Our 4-H members are practicing decision making skills as they participate in group meetings and decide on the club’s programs for the year. 4-H youth learn leadership and responsibility as they take on roles of club officers and dedicate themselves to completing tasks.

Giving back to the community is another important value stressed to 4-H clubs, and club members decide which community service projects they would like to get involved in.

Many 4-H teens take on new leadership experiences by serving as 4-H Camp Counselors, as members of the Clermont County Junior Fair Board, the 4-H Teen Board, or 4-H CARTEENS.

A research study reported in the Journal of the Society for Research in Child Development, indicated that participation in extra curricular activities is strongly associated with reduced rates of early drop out and criminal arrests.

It goes on to say that most junior high and senior high school age youth should be actively involved in at least one extra curricular activity where they can interact positively with peers and adults outside of the classroom.

The 4-H program provides an avenue for young people looking for out-of-school opportunities. 4-H clubs are organizing now. 4-H membership is open to youth age 5 and in Kindergarten, up to age 19. There are over 40 4-H clubs under the direction of nearly 280 4-H club advisors throughout the county.

The Clermont County 4-H program is hosting a 4-H Open House from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19 at the Clermont County Fairgrounds.

Parents and youth will have an opportunity to talk to 4-H club leaders, members and professionals about projects, programs and opportunities available to them through 4-H.

For more information about this event, or getting involved in 4-H, call the OSU Extension Office at (513) 732-7070 or visit http://clermont.osu.edu.