DuPage, Kane and Kendall 4-H host fall events and SPIN Clubs
4-H members in Illinois is joining the 6 million youth across the country in celebrating National 4-H Week Oct. 3-9.
Clubs around Illinois are celebrating by highlighting the remarkable 4‑H youth in their communities and showcasing the incredible experiences that 4‑H offers young people.
Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth program for the University of Illinois Extension and the largest out-of-school youth organization in Illinois. 4-H youth development programs are available in every Illinois county. The program challenges youth to "learn by doing" with fun, hands-on activities. Kids can learn, practice, and demonstrate new skills while exploring the interests that are important to them.
In 4-H, youth are brought together in clubs, led by caring adults, who welcome them as a part of the larger 4-H family.
"Our goal is that whatever your interests or talents, that 4-H is a program where you feel welcome and have a sense of belonging," said Lisa Diaz, assistant dean and director of 4-H. "4-H is a place where all kids can channel their gifts and achieve personal goals in a fun, welcoming setting."
In 4-H, members learn about topics that interest them through projects. That could be anything from learning how to cook, build a robot, or care for the environment. Members decide what they want to learn and do as they explore their project area.
"Letting youth guide and decide what they want to explore allows the project to be self-paced and gives children important skills in setting and working toward their goals," Diaz said. "We make learning fun by letting kids learn by doing with hands-on experiences."
While the program has its roots in agriculture, 4-H has expanded to cover many more program interests.
"Our agricultural roots remain strong and that will always be a part of our program, but parents and kids alike may not realize there is more to 4-H," says Diaz. "We continually work to reflect the population demographics, diverse needs, and social conditions throughout the state and will continue to do so. At the end of the day, we want every kid in Illinois to feel that they have a home in 4-H."
Illinois 4-H members range in age from 8 to 18. Youth who are 5 to 7 years of age may join 4-H as a Cloverbud member. The cost to join 4-H for the year is $20.
New members can get more information by filling out an interest survey at 4h.extension.illinois.edu/find-out-about-4-h.
Meet local University of Illinois Extension staff -- along with 4-H volunteers and 4-H clubs -- at three open house events this October. Families can learn about 4-H programs and upcoming opportunities, and youth can do hands-on activities with the 4-H Teen Science Ambassadors. There is no need to register:
• DuPage County: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, at the DuPage County Fairgrounds, Building 5, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton;
• Kendall County: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Kendall County Fairgrounds, Smith 4-H Hall, 10826 Route 71, Yorkville;
• Kane County: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Kane County Fairgrounds Prairie Events Center Atrium, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles.
For more information, visit go.illinois.edu/2021KickOff4Hdkk.
In addition, local 4-H programs are hosting multiple SPIN, or special interest, clubs this fall.
Find these upcoming opportunities at go.illinois.edu/4HdkkFall2021:
• "Explore 4-H SPIN Club": An interactive, online club for ages 8 to 12 to sample some of the projects 4-H has to offer and build different skills, while having fun.
• "Try-County Cloverbuds": An online group for ages 5 to 7 to learn new things while they play and "try" out a variety of hands-on activities.
• Farmette in Action SPIN Club: A special interest club for ages 8 to 18 to learn and experience a small farm with horses and goats; hosted in Hampshire, Ill.
• 4-H Teen Science Ambassadors: A special interest club for ages 12-18 interested in STEM-related topics, who learn and then lead activities for youth and their communities. It meets online as well as rotates in-person events in DuPage, Kane, and Kendall counties.
If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any events or clubs, contact your local 4-H team at (630) 584-6166 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting access needs. University of Illinois Extension in-person programs and events incorporate appropriate safety guidelines, such as face coverings and physical distancing.
Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. 4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools, and encouragement, and then puts them in the driver's seat to make great things happen. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs.