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National 4-H Week celebrates youth, volunteers

Posted: September 29, 2011 3:31 p.m.
Updated: September 30, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Youth and volunteers in Kershaw County and across the nation will celebrate the opportunities and life skills learned through 4-H next week during National 4-H Week.

Kershaw County Council  signed a proclamation, declaring the week of Oct 2-8 as ”4-H Week” in Kershaw County. Area 4-Hers participated in the county council meeting by opening it with the Pledge of Allegiance, 4-H pledge and invocation.  The local Tractor Supply store will hold  the “Clovers All Over” campaign through Sunday where citizens can purchase a clover for $1 and proceeds will support  local, state and national 4-H programs.

The 4-H program is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills, said Deon Legette, regional lead agent with Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service. The South Carolina 4-H Youth Development Program uses a learn-by-doing approach, the involvement of caring adults, and the knowledge and resources of Clemson University and the land grant system to empower youth to become healthy, productive and contributing members of society.

The youth education phase of the Clemson Extension Service, 4-H has something for youth wherever they live -- in a city, in a town, or in the country, Legette said. The  4-H program, she said, is where “there is fun in learning, and learning is fun.”  The program focus areas are agriculture and natural resources, environmental stewardship, science, technology and engineering, healthy lifestyles education, and leadership and personal development.

Volunteers are essential to the success of all 4-H programs, Legette said. All registered volunteers working directly with youth in South Carolina complete a screening process and receive training.  Teens may also serve as volunteers through the Teen Leadership project and the 4-H Ambassador program. Volunteers can serve in a variety of roles such as club leaders, teachers, parent helpers, advisory council members, fundraising members and mentors.

“Without dedicated volunteers, many of the 4-H activities and programs that are offered would not be possible,” said Legette. “Volunteers are the ‘heart’ of 4-H.”

The program is constantly in need of additional volunteers to organize clubs, share expertise and be community resources. For additional information about enrolling youth, becoming a volunteer or making a donation to the program, contact Legette at 432-9071.

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