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Cottonwood Extension Youth to celebrate National 4-H Week
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For the 75th consecutive year, millions of youth, parents, volunteers and alumni across the country will be celebrating National 4-H Week during the first full week of October. Cottonwood Extension 4-H will celebrate National 4-H Week this year by showcasing the incredible experiences that 4-H offers young people, and will highlight the 4-H youth in our community who work each day to make a positive impact on those around them.
4-H alumni around the country are always the first to acknowledge the significant positive impact 4-H had on them as young people. The opportunities and experiences that 4-H provides youth empowers them to become true leaders. In fact, research has shown that young people in 4-H are almost four times as likely to contribute to their communities, and are twice as likely to engage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs in their free time.
Local 4-H Clubs celebrate National 4-H Week in many different ways. Some clubs celebrate 4-H Sunday to start the week. Most clubs encourage their 4-H members to wear a 4-H T-shirt each day of the week. Window displays and 4-H banners also let the public know what amazing things our 4-H youth are doing.
4-H is for youth age 7-19 years old and that age is based how old they are on Jan. 1, 2018. Cloverbuds is for 5- or 6-year-olds and that also is based on their age on Jan. 1.
4-H is not only for youth, but for adults, too. Adult volunteers are a vital asset to the program. We depend on them to share their knowledge and expertise with the youth. All volunteers are asked to complete a volunteer screening program. We are always thrilled to add additional volunteers to our group.
The first step to joining is to visit a 4-H club and then enroll in 4-H on Kansas 4-Honline. There are over 30 projects and they range from beef to dog, leadership to photography and everything in between. There is even a self-determined project that allows you to create your own project.
To end the National 4-H Week celebration, 4-H members in Cottonwood District will take part in the Kansas 48 Hours of 4-H Service Challenge. The goal of our state 4-H youth council is to challenge 4-H members in every Extension Unit to take time to make an impact on their community.
In Great Bend, members have selected the Brit Spaugh Zoo as their 48 Hours of 4-H project. On Sunday, Oct. 8, from 1:30–4 p.m., 4-H families will bring rakes and help get the zoo in tiptop shape. Other community members are invited to join us in this effort.
Research has proven that participation in 4-H has a significant positive impact on young people. Recent findings from the Tufts University 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate that, when compared to their peers, young people in 4-H are nearly four times more likely to contribute to their communities.
For more information about how you can get involved in 4-H as a member or as a volunteer leader, contact the Cottonwood Extension District office in Great Bend at 620-793-1910 or visit our Extension website at

Berny Unruh is the 4-H and Youth Development Extension Agent, Cottonwood Extension District – Great Bend. She can be reached at 620-793-1910 or at