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Special week a good time to learn about 4-H

Published: Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

It’s been said that 4-H is the best-kept secret in Illinois, and there’s more than a little truth in that statement. Join us in celebrating National 4-H Week Oct. 7-13.

We know 4-H is a tremendous success story.  We see it in the young people around us – in their growing maturity, poise and self-confidence, as well as in their expanding knowledge of their 4-H projects. Yet, we also know that others in our own communities often are unaware of the wide range of opportunities 4-H provides to youngsters in their own neighborhoods.  It’s a great story that deserves to be told.

The main purpose of 4-H is to provide the opportunity for mental, physical and social growth for young people. The informal education offered by the program supplements the training received in the home, at school and from other youth organizations.

4-H uses hands-on learning. That helps young people learn about many different topics. Youths set goals and plan and conduct programs that will help them accomplish their goals. This process helps 4-H members learn how to learn.

Participants in 4-H also learn how to express their own ideas and how to listen to, understand, and respect what others have to say. Group discussions, activities, and formal club meetings provide members with the opportunity to practice democratic group action and to become aware of group dynamics.

4-H also encourages family involvement whenever possible. 4-H can help family members communicate better, work toward a common goal, and develop a feeling of unity. It provides opportunities to discuss goal setting, decision making, and service to others.

For more information about the Carroll County 4-H program, contact me at the Carroll County University of Illinois Extension Office at 815-244-9444 or at Now is the time to get involved.

Note to readers – Leanne Rahn is the Carroll County program coordinator, 4-H and youth, at the Extension office in Mount Carroll.

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