Head. Heart. Hands. Health.
Members of 4-H clubs use their heads by making smart decisions.
They use their hearts by treating others with respect.
They use their hands by recognizing the importance of community service and generosity.
And they use their health by focusing on it in the physical, mental and spiritual aspects.
Together, the four “h” words comprise the core values that members of 4-H work on, evident in the pledge they recite: “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world.”
This week, there’s an even brighter focus on that pledge as club members, parents, organizers and volunteers across the country celebrate head, heart, hands and health as part of National 4-H Week. Annually observed during the first full week of October, the weeklong celebration is a chance to promote 4-H and what it stands for, as well as the benefits of joining a 4-H club.
According to 4-H.org, the organization boasts 540,000 volunteers, 3,500 professionals and more than 60 million alumni.
Locally, Marion County is served by the Barrackville 4-H Club, Barrackville Cloverbuds, Baxter 4-H Club, Baxter Cloverbuds, Cross Roads 4-H Club, Cross Roads Cloverbuds, Eldora 4-H Club, Eldora Cloverbuds, Fairview 4-H Club, Fairview Cloverbuds, Mannington 4-H Club, Mannington Cloverbuds, Metz 4-H Club, Monongah 4-H Club, Monongah Cloverbuds, Plum Run 4-H Club, Plum Run Cloverbuds, Winfield’s Right Combination and Winfield’s Right Combination Cloverbuds.
You’ve probably seen the club members picking up trash along the side of the road as part of a highway-adoption program. Or maybe you’ve seen them volunteering at a car wash.
But that’s just the beginning.
Members in 4-H clubs have access to science programs that tackle national and global issues such as climate change, workforce development and technological innovation. They become well-informed citizens through citizenship programs that teach them to lead, make decisions and contribute to their communities. Healthy living programs address issues such as childhood obesity, substance abuse and physical safety.
Being a member of 4-H pays off in the long run, too.
Studies suggest that kids who are involved with 4-H achieve higher grades in school, are more likely to attend college and pursue careers in science, engineering or computer technology, are more likely than peers to positively contribute to their communities and are less likely to participate in risky behaviors such as drug use.
It makes sense to be involved with 4-H, and we salute the members of Marion County’s 4-H clubs as they work to make a difference not only in their communities, but in their futures as well.
Head. Heart. Hands. Health.
Laws to keep mudslinging to minimum can stife free speech
By nature, and by profession, we do not like lies. As journalists, we’re truth tellers. Or at least we attempt to get at the truth through research, attribution, documents and comments from people on either side of an issue.
Sometimes it ends up with “telling lies from both sides,” as a crusty reporter once mused a handful of years ago.
COLUMN: Freedom of Information — if you can pay
Several years ago, I made a Freedom of Information request to a local government agency. Within the five business days, as required by law, a packet of information was delivered to the office. I expected a bill, as most government offices have a charge that ranges from 25 cents to $1.25 per page for copies of the documents we request.
The reassuring spirit of Easter: One of new hope and beginnings
During the sub-zero and snow-filled months of winter, we maintained a spirit of hope that spring was on the way. It has now become a reality as all nature stretches and yawns and awakens once more to a new beginning. The fragrance of spring awakens our waiting nostrils, the budding beauty of new life brightens our eyes, and the reassuring idea of renewal stimulates our minds.
Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated
Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
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