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U.S. Attention Focuses on 4-H
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- 4-H clubs, already very familiar to thousands of Mississippi youth, will be getting some national attention in October.
Oct. 5 to 11 has been set aside as National 4-H Week. 4-H activities will be highlighted during this time. In addition, the National Ad Council will kickoff their latest campaign that week, this one promoting 4-H.
"The ad campaign will give 4-H national recognition and will emphasize the community service aspect of 4-H," said Dr. Susan Holder, 4-H state program leader. "The Youth Voices in Action theme will focus national attention on the positive activities young people are involved in today."
Linda Mitchell, Union County 4-H agent, is getting additional national publicity for her county's clubs. On Sept. 18, a Nickelodeon crew will tape her 4-H'ers as they make a pet therapy visit to a local nursing home. The youth bring pets for the patients to visit.
Several 4-H'ers will take part in the taped pet therapy session. The Nickelodeon show is set to air the week of Oct. 19.
"This is one of the 4-H'ers favorite programs because it is so much fun and very rewarding," Mitchell said. "They're also extremely excited about being on national TV, and I think it will make people more aware of the wonderful programs 4-H offers."
Holder said there were 12,183 members in the state's 602 community-based 4-H clubs in 1996. Last year, 82,504 Mississippi young people took part in 4-H functions.
The 4-H program held 447 school enrichment programs in 1996, and reached 52,129 students. Almost 17,000 youth and adult leaders worked to make this happen.
Larry Alexander, extension 4-H specialist, said 4-H is a non-formal education program for today's youth.
"The 4-H program enables young people to develop lifelong learning skills," Alexander said. "The mission is to assist youth in developing knowledge, skills and attitudes that will help them become self-directing and productive citizens in today's society."
Through 4-H programs and clubs, young people can learn new skills, meet people and make new friends, build self-esteem and prepare themselves for the world of work.
"4-H is a catalyst to help young people explore their hidden talents," Alexander said.
During National 4-H Week, 4-H members and volunteers will promote 4-H in their communities. This will include several citizenship projects where they will do constructive things in their areas. These program continue year-round, but will be highlighted at this time.
"National 4-H Week is set aside to raise national awareness about 4-H programs and to highlight achievements of 4-H youth and volunteers," Alexander said. "This week will be celebrated by 4-H'ers all around the nation."
If anyone is interested in joining 4-H or learning more about its programs, contact the local county extension office.