Thousands of 4-H’ers will be involved in hundreds of community service projects
Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Dr. Chris Boleman, 979-845-1211, email@example.com
Dr. Toby Lepley, 979-845-1211, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLEGE STATION – On Oct. 8, thousands of youth and adults throughout the state involved in Texas 4-H will participate in hundreds of community service projects statewide as part of National 4-H Week activities, said Dr. Chris Boleman, Texas 4-H Youth Development director, College Station.
“One Day 4-H is a statewide community service initiative of Texas 4-H, which is administrated by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service,” said Boleman, who is also a National 4-H Council board member. “The One Day 4-H event is the culmination of annual National 4-H Week activities.”
Boleman said community service is a cornerstone of the 4-H program.
“During National 4-H Week from Oct. 2-8, youth from 4-H clubs across the state will showcase the variety of opportunities 4-H offers young people and highlight the work the organization does to make a positive impact on Texas’ youth and communities,” he said. “The highlight of these community service activities is One Day 4-H. It’s a day we set aside each year for 4-H members, parents, leaders and volunteers to provide service to their communities as a way to say thank you to those communities for their support.”
Last year, 12,487 4-H youth and adults were involved in 275 projects throughout the state, according to Dr. Toby Lepley, assistant state director for Texas 4-H Youth Development, College Station. Combined, they provided 14,094 hours of community service to benefit 418,407 Texas residents.
“Through their project efforts, 21,373 pounds of food were collected, 6,049 people were given educational programming, more than 33 miles of beaches or roads were cleaned and more than $60,855 was raised to help support various community organizations and nonprofits,” Lepley said.
In 2015, Texas 4-H partnered with the Texas A&M Forest Service to help celebrate that agency’s 100th anniversary by planting bur oak trees in communities throughout the state, he said.
“This year, 4-H members and clubs will be engaged in a host of new activities to provide service to individuals, groups and nonprofit organizations in their communities,” Lepley said.
He said now is the time 4-H clubs or county programs to start identifying and planning a community service project, then work to get the needed supplies equipment and resources to get the project done.
“We ask that participants sign their project up at the One Day 4-H website, Lepley said. “And once they have completed their project, we ask they report their successes on that website as well.”
For more information on One Day 4-H and how to participate in its community service opportunities, go to http://texas4-h.tamu.edu/events/oneday/.
National 4-H Week activities also include participation by members and clubs throughout Texas and the nation in a single, innovative science-related activity. This year, the 4-H National Youth Science Day is slated for Oct. 5.
“This year’s 4-H national science experiment theme will be Drone Discovery, a science learning opportunity developed by Cornell University Cooperative Extension,” Lepley said. “It’s a hands-on engineering design challenge that explores the science and technology of drones and how they are being used to solve real-world problems. Participants will learn about flight dynamics and unmanned aerial vehicle types, as well as UAV safety and regulations, remote sensing and flight control.”
To learn more about 4-H National Youth Science Day, go to http://4-h.org/parents/national-youth-science-day.
Boleman said participation in 4-H has a significant positive impact on young people and the findings of a study on 4-H by Tufts University shows, when compared to their peers, young people in 4-H are almost four times more likely to contribute to their communities. It also shows 4-H participants are twice as likely to pursue healthy behaviors and to engage in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, programs outside regular school hours.