Losing 4-H would hurt the community

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Editor:

It greatly troubles me to see one of Harrison County’s few youth activities disappearing. I am talking about Harrison County’s 4-H, which has helped many youth in our area to stay out of trouble and provide them with meaningful learning experiences. Along with helping many of the adults in our area be the person that that they are today.

I am one of these adults who have greatly benefited from having 4-H in my life. 4-H provided me with experiences that have helped me choose my career. Through such activities as being a 4-H camp counselor and Cloverbud activities, I have learned that I want to make children a part of my life. Next spring I will be graduating from college with a four-year teaching degree in early childhood education.

4-H has also introduced me to new people that I would have never known otherwise. Some of my best friendships were developed through 4-H activities and experiences. I also met my current boyfriend about nine years ago through 4-H. I couldn’t imagine my life without the people I met through 4-H.

If Harrison County takes away 4-H, think of all the things we will be robbing our children of. 4-H will not be there to teach responsibility and love to our youth. Children will not get the chance to make new friends that may have some of the same interests as them. Children will not gain knowledge from 4-H projects that may benefit their career choices, teach them safety or broaden their horizons.

From the adult perspective, children will be missing people who could provide them with positive role models, with job references or references for college and with adult relationships other than parents or relatives.

4-H project interviews help prepare participants for real life job interviews. Along with lacking interview skills, children will be lacking in the job resume section or college applications where it asks for volunteer work or out of school activities if they do not have 4-H. 4-H helps prepare many children for adulthood without it many of our county’s children will be ill prepared.

The community will also be greatly affected without 4-H being in it. And many times these affects will be negative. Many times 4-H provided volunteer activities that benefited the community. For example, different 4-H clubs pick up trash along roads, 4-H Junior Leaders provide a family fun night that allows families to come together and snack, play games and spend some quality time together.

Many 4-H groups go Christmas caroling at local nursing homes and clubs help ready the fairgrounds for the fair by such projects as painting the bleachers in the grandstands. 4-H also provides year-round youth activities for children.

These activities help to keep Harrison County’s children off the streets, educate them, provide fun activities, engage them in new friendships, teach them responsibility and provide them with relaxed and good natured competition.

4-H is such an important organization to Harrison County, especially since our area is lacking in other youth organizations. It would be a shame to see it disappear from the county and the community. 4-H is full of fruitful fun and educational experiences that benefit youth in so many different ways that it would literally take hours to try to write them all down. Both our youth and our community benefits from 4-H and the life long learning experiences it provides.

Please, go vote and remember Harrison County and our community’s children along with their future. Vote yes for Harrison County OSU Extension levy. Support 4-H!

Melanie Galik

Adena, Ohio

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