COLUMBUS, Ohio — Young people across Ohio are celebrating National 4-H Week this week.
Across the country, 6 million children and teens are involved with the nation’s largest youth development organization. In Ohio, 250,000 youth participants, led by 29,000 adult and teen volunteers, participate in 4-H activities.
Ohio 4-H is the youth development program of Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
“We know that participation in 4-H activities has a long-lasting impact on youth,” said Tom Archer, state 4-H leader. “A Tufts University study showed that 4-H members are four times more likely to make contributions to their communities and two times more likely to participate in science programs.”
Young people in rural, suburban and urban communities all participate in 4-H, he said.
“In Ohio and across the nation, 4-H members have the opportunity to learn life skills and develop great friendships through club meetings, project work, camps and after-school programs,” Archer said.
This year, the organization is encouraging 4-H to celebrate National 4-H week on social media by posting a photo of themselves on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #iam4h and #ohio4h.
Mark Light, Extension educator for 4-H in Hardin County, said he hopes the social media campaign helps 4-H members to “share what they are passionate about” with their friends.
“During our recent county fair, youths took selfies against a 4-H background and uploaded them to social media,” Light said. “Hundreds of photos were shown on Twitter and Instagram and shared with an untold number of others who might not normally attend the fair.”
Using social media can help spread the good word about 4-H in ways not possible in the past, he said.
For more about Ohio 4-H, see www.ohio4H.org.