Giving Goes a Long Way

— Written By Laura Grier and last updated by Leeann Crump

4-H began as a way to improve the lives and fortunes of rural youth across the
country, and became the youth outreach arm of the Cooperative Extension Service.
4-H is a youth development organization with a national membership of over 6
million youth in 2013. 4-H is dedicated to helping cultivate the next generation of
leaders. According to recent research by Tufts University, 4-H youth are three times
more likely to actively contribute to their communities and have higher educational
achievement.

4-H looks different in every county of every state, but the purpose everywhere is to
develop life skills and form attitudes that enable young people to become self-
directing, productive, and contributing members of society. The ability of young
people to reach their full potential is only possible with support from a community
that believes in their responsibility to encourage them in becoming successful
adults. The various programs 4-H Youth Development provides are made possible
by the generous support of the citizens and businesses of Richmond County. Michelle Parrish, Executive Director of the United Way in Richmond County, stated,
“We are very fortunate to have 4-H in our community. 4-H inspires our youth by
providing them with unique learning opportunities. The United Way investors are
making a positive impact in our community.”
4-H in North Carolina has developed 5 delivery modes to connect these skills with
youth. They include:  School Enrichment, 4-H Clubs, Overnight Camps, Special
Interest, and Afterschool Clubs.

SCHOOL ENRICHMENT – Richmond County 4-H currently works with RichmondCounty Schools on two major enrichment projects. These projects are meant to
enhance instruction by adding hands-on science learning experiences to regular
classroom instruction.
Embryology In the Classroom –2nd grade educators are provided training,
incubators, eggs, and curriculum resources to hatch a group of chicks in the
classroom. Students participating in the project learn about the life cycle by
recording temperature, candling to discover changes inside the egg, and making
observations while chicks hatch and interact. More than 550 students participated
in the project in 2014.
4-H Science Adventures – All 5th grade classrooms in Richmond County
travel to Millstone 4-H Camp to participate in a day of hands-on learning involving
natural resources and the environment. Professionals in the field volunteer their
time and expertise to serve as instructors. Approximately 600 youth participated in
the project in the fall of 2014.

4-H CLUBS – 4-H clubs are the basis of many 4-H activities. Clubs are volunteer led
and can be community or interest based. Youth aged 5-19 usually meet once a
month in a home, church or community center. Club members complete curriculum
based projects that promote building life skills, participate in educational
experiences at club meetings, contribute to service learning activities of various
forms, compete in district competitions and are involved in leadership training.
4-H OVERNIGHT CAMPS – Camping has been shown to help youth develop
leadership, communication and social skills while learning outdoor safety and
environmental awareness in a safe environment. All North Carolina 4-H Camps are
American Camping Association accredited and provide youth with a safe place to
learn new skills and make new friends.
SPECIAL INTEREST – Richmond County 4-H conducts one main special interest
project. Projects are designed to fill special niches in Richmond County and are
somewhat unique to the county.
4-H Summer Fun – Youth aged 5 to 19 can participate in these fun, safe
classes conducted during the summer. Classes are taught by volunteer instructors
and cover a wide range of topics. Older youth are trained to assist instructors and
even teach some classes themselves. Details for the 2015 Summer Fun program
will be distributed later in March.

4-H AFTERSCHOOL CLUBS – 4-H has seen a need in helping youth learn and grow
between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m., when many youth may be unattended. Richmond
County 4-H Adventures Afterschool program is funded through a partnership
between the Richmond County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, Richmond
County 4-H, and Richmond County Government. The program efforts are to reduce
further court involvement, build self-esteem, and to reduce disruptive behaviors at
school.
Richmond County 4-H is funded through the generous donations of Richmond
County businesses such as United Way of Richmond County, Farm Bureau of
Richmond County and individuals, like you. 4-H would not be able to conduct the
listed programs without the support of the community. We appreciate your
assistance in celebrating the hard work and achievements of our young people.
Thank you for helping to “make the best, better!”
For more information on 4-H Youth Development please contact Laura Grier,
Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development, laura_grier@ncsu.edu or visit
www.facebook.com/richmondcounty4h.