Pike County 4-H provides many opportunities for students

Published 3:00 am Thursday, September 4, 2014

When the school bell tolls at the beginning of each school year, the ringing also signals the start of Alabama’s largest youth development organization – 4-H.

Grant Lyons, Pike County Extension coordinator, said Alabama has 1,700 clubs that offer diverse educational opportunities to more than 100,000 youth.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has 4-H agents in each county who work with youth and train volunteer leaders to provide a wide range of educational programs.

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“Pike County 4-H provides many different opportunities for all youth,” said Emily Rolling, Pike County 4-H Leader.  “We are beginning enrollment in the city and county school systems and to the private schools throughout the month of September.  In addition to these, we also will be enrolling youth who are part of a home-school program.”

The in-school clubs that are led by Rolling offer leadership opportunities plus numerous activities and competitions.

“This fall, competitions will include public speaking, essay writing, $15 challenge, and photography,” Rolling said.  “4-H’ers will also have the opportunity to participate in Classroom in the Forest, Farm Day, Farm City Week and Peanut Butter Festival activities.”

Specialty clubs are another area of youth interest. Drew Thompson, 4-H Foundation agent, said he is looking forward to working with these clubs.

“Archery and the Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program will again be offered this year, while the Outdoor Sports Club and Livestock Judging Team will be new offerings to youth,” said Thompson, who is beginning his first year with Extension and 4-H.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to build these clubs and to work with the youth in the county.”

Thompson said he is excited about what 4-H has to offer the youth in Pike County.

We have some great programs for all ages,” he said.  “There really is something for every youth.”

Rolling and Thompson work out of the Pike County Extension Office on South Three Notch Street in Troy. Both said they are and looking forward to spreading the 4-H message throughout the county.

“Pike County is proud to offer 4-H in-school clubs to all schools, including city and private,” Lyons said. “We are fortunate to be able to offer 4-H in all these schools. The support we receive from our community is tremendous and we could not continue to offer this caliber of programming without that support.”

Lyons expressed appreciation to the Pike County Commission and the Troy City Council for their financial support and to the schools, administrators and teachers countywide.

“I have been impressed since day-one with how well our leaders work together, with their continued support for Extension and 4-H programming, and with their desire to have the youth in our cities and county have every opportunity to be successful,” Lyons said.

“Because of its link to land-grant universities nationwide, 4-H offers unique adult mentorship and research-based youth development education, something no other youth development organization offers.”

The mission of 4-H is to empower young people to reach their full potential.

Alabama 4-H is open to youth between the ages of 9 and 18.  Its mission is to empower young people to reach their full potential.

For more information about becoming a Pike County 4-H’er or joining a club, contact Emily Rolling or Drew Thompson at the Pike County Extension Office at 334-566-0985, ebr0009@auburn.edu, or online atwww.aces.edu/Pike.