4-H Club is at home in Pike County

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Features Editor

August 3, 2000 10 PM

Since its beginning in 1909 with the Boys Corn Clubs and in 1911 with the Girls Tomato Canning Clubs, the 4-H Club has changed with the times and adapted its programs to meet the needs of America’s youth.

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From the corn fields to the computer terminal, 4-H Clubs offer a variety of projects that attract the interests of young people of all ages and of all walks of life. The clubs are no longer designed just for youngsters in rural areas. They meet the needs of youths in suburbia, the inner city, the hamlets and villages.

Where there are young people who are willing to commit themselves to making the best better, there are 4-H Club programs, said Tammy Powell, county extension system coordinator for Pike County.

"Through the Extension System, we offer 4-H to students in our area schools and we have an outstanding group of 4-H’ers here in Pike County," she said. "But, we realized that there is a segment of the school population that we are not reaching. Those are the children who are home schooled. Because our 4-H programs primarily meet in the schools, they haven’t had the opportunity to be involved in a 4-H program – until now."

Thursday afternoon, a group of 14 young people, who are among a growing number of home schooled students, attended the first meeting of the Home School 4-H Club.

The meeting was held at the Extension System office and Powell said she was pleased with the number of students who joined 4-H. She was also impressed with their excitement and enthusiasm, which was also shared by the moms who were in attendance

"When we were approached about starting a Home School 4-H Club, I wasn’t sure how much interest there would be," Powell said. "But, we had 10 students at our first meeting and we really had not publicized it. I feel sure there are others who will be interested in the club once word gets around."

Powell said the club will function just like any other 4-H Club. The members will have projects, keep record books, participate in contests and club activities and have other enrichment opportunities.

"Any child can find something in 4-H that interests them," she said. "The club will enhance their educational experiences and give them opportunities to be with other students who are home schooled. I see 4-H as being able to provide many opportunities for children who are home schooled and their parents. We are looking forward to a good year with our Home School 4-H Club and I believe it will grow as more people find out about it."

Even though the Home School 4-H Club is being offered through the Pike County Extension System, children in adjoining counties who are being home schooled are welcomed.

"If there is not a club for them where they live, they are always welcome here," Powell said. "As always, 4-H is working to meet the needs of our youth in a changing world."