Texas 4-H’ers involved in community service projects statewide
COLLEGE STATION – Each year during National 4-H Week more than 12,000 Texas 4-H youth participate in over 350 service projects across the state, said Dr. Chris Boleman of College Station, Texas 4-H Youth Development director and member of the National 4-H Council board.
“This year, National 4-H week will be from Oct. 4-10,” Boleman said. “During this week, Texas 4-H clubs statewide will showcase the great things that 4-H offers young people and highlight the incredible 4-H youth in the community who work each day to make a positive impact.”
As one of last year’s 4-H Week and One Day 4-H projects, members of Bee County 4-H held a food drive to collect provisions for restocking their local food bank. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)
Boleman said Texas 4-H Youth Development is the youth outreach component of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, part of the Texas A&M University System. 4-H Week will culminate with One Day 4-H on Oct. 10 – a day set aside each year for 4-H members, parents, leaders and volunteers to provide service to their communities and say “thank you” for their support of the 4-H program.
“This year 4-H members and clubs will be engaged in a variety of activities to provide service to individuals, groups and nonprofit organizations in their communities,” said Dr. Toby Lepley, assistant state director for Texas 4-H Youth Development. “Some of the projects slated for this year include visiting senior centers, community clean-ups, fundraisers, food, clothing and book drives, a veteran appreciation event and pet adoption.”
Lepley said this year’s community service activities will also include numerous tree plantings throughout the state.
For their 2014 One Day 4-H project, members of the Grimes County Charm and Sewing Club planted flowers and painted the handicap ramps and rails, and cleaned the grounds at Greater First Missionary Baptist Church in Anderson. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)
“For the first time in the seven-year history of One Day 4-H, Texas 4-H Youth Development will have a featured service project as part of the week’s celebration activities,” Lepley said. “Texas 4-H Youth Development is partnering with the Texas A&M Forest Service to help celebrate that agency’s 100th anniversary of protecting the citizens of Texas and the country.”
The Forest Service is providing one bur oak tree — one of the only trees that can grow successfully in all 254 counties of Texas — to each county so it may be planted in a courthouse square, on city hall grounds or at some other notable public venue where it can be seen and appreciated by those in the community.
“For 100 years, the service has been helping protect and save the lives of Texans and others through its many efforts,” Lepley said. “We’re glad we can help them celebrate their achievements even as the Texas 4-H members and clubs celebrate their own. We hope we can make this a historical milestone for both agencies.”
The One Day 4-H special service project will help celebrate the Texas A&M Forest Service centennial. (Texas A&M Forest Service image)
Lepley said at this time, 4-H’ers in counties throughout the state have scheduled almost 200 tree plantings for either 4-H Week or One Day 4-H.
To see a list of 4-H Week and One Day 4-H projects in Texas, go to http://texas4-h.tamu.edu.
Boleman said National 4-H Week activities also will include participation by members and clubs throughout Texas and nationwide in a single, innovative experiment on 4-H National Youth Science Day slated for Oct. 7.
“This year’s 4-H national science experiment will be called Motion Commotion and will give youth the opportunity to explore the physics of motion, particularly applied to distracted driving,” Boleman said. “This innovative experiment was developed by Oregon State University’s Cooperative Extension program and demonstrates the physics of a speeding car collision combined with distracted driving. It is a simulated activity focusing on the physical and human factors of motion.”
To learn more about National Youth Science Day, go to http://www.4-h.org/nysd/.
Boleman noted that participation in 4-H has a significant positive impact on young people. He said 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 almost four times more likely to contribute to their communities. They are also twice as likely to pursue healthy behaviors and to engage in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, programs outside regular school hours.
To learn more about 4-H, go to http://www.4-H.org, or go to Facebook at www.facebook.com/4-H or Twitter at https://twitter.com/4H.