ELIZABETHTOWN — For the 75th consecutive year, millions of youth, parents, volunteers and alumni across the country have been celebrating National 4-H Week during this first full week of October.
Bladen County 4-H will leverage National 4-H Week this year by showcasing the incredible experiences that 4-H offers young people, and will highlight the remarkable 4-H youth in our community who work each day to make a positive impact on those around them.
Bladen County 4-Hers kicked off the week celebrating with the Bladen County commissioners — and were presented the official proclamation at their Monday meeting. 4-H members will also help to sell 4-H clovers at the local Tractor Supply store Oct. 4-15 to raise money for local scholarships and programs. In addition, all third-grade students in Bladen County will hear firsthand about 4-H as they participate in the annual Ag ‘Em Up event Wednesday and Thursday. 4-H members, volunteers, and friends will be spreading awareness about 4-H via social media this week using highlighting these messages #TrueLeaders and #4HGrowsHere.
“As I begin my sixth year as our local 4-H Agent in Bladen County, I am excited about the continued growth in programs, partnerships, and activities for Bladen County 4-H,” said Stacie Kinlaw, 4-H agent. “We continue to focus our programming efforts toward improving health and nutrition through education and opportunity and increasing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for Bladen County’s youth as a strategy to prepare them for careers beyond high school.”
Bladen County 4-H programming continues to grow and expand programs and partnerships in our community. Last year, our program reached around 1600 of the youth ages 5 to 18 in our county. We have increased club programs this summer to include two new communities – Lisbon and Clarkton. This also means that our number of 4-H Volunteers and Club Leaders has increased over the last year as well.
4-H alumni around the country are always the first to acknowledge the significant positive impact 4-H had on them as young people; the opportunities and experiences that 4-H provides youth empowers them to become true leaders. In fact, research has shown that young people in 4-H are almost four times as likely to contribute to their communities, and are twice as likely to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in their free time.
In Bladen County more than 170 4-H youth, around 1400 other youth, and at least 50 volunteers from the community are involved in 4-H. To find out what is going on in our local 4-H programs, please check us out on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BladenCounty4H or call or email our local 4-H agent at Stacie_kinlaw@ncsu.edu or 910-862-4591.
One of the most anticipated events of National 4-H Week every year is 4-H National Youth Science Day, which sees hundreds of thousands of youth across the nation taking part in the world’s largest youth-led science challenge. The exciting theme for this year’s challenge is Incredible Wearables. On Wednesday, Oct. 4, youth will use the engineering design process to build a prototype wearable technology that will gather data to help solve a real-world problem. Wearable technologies are now used in industries around the globe, from education and sport, to health, fashion, entertainment, transportation and communication.
To learn more about National Youth Science Day, please visit http://www.4-h.org/nysd/. This year in Bladen County our Down East 4-H Club will use these materials at their October club meeting on October 21 and then help promote the same STEM activity at their local school, East Arcadia the next week.