Imagine an organization devoted to helping kids learn and grow.
It teaches them basic skills in finance and child care. It lets them explore their creativity in art. Even robotics and rocketry are common areas of study.
And through it all, the organization remains focused on one thing: youth development
Guess what? You don’t have to imagine it. It exists, and it’s called 4-H.
Club members, parents, organizers and volunteers across the country are celebrating the main components of 4-H — head, heart, hands and health — this week as part of National 4-H Week. Annually observed during the first full week of October, the week-long celebration is a chance to promote 4-H and what it stands for, as well as the benefits of joining a 4-H club.
On a local level, 4-H members are participating in various community activities in the county. Several clubs will host banquets and meetings this week as they gear up for next year, and the week will culminate Saturday with the second annual Marion County 4-H Service Day.
Although 4-H has long been associated with fun typically found down on the farm, Tina Cowger, West Virginia University Extension agent of 4-H Youth Development, explained that 4-H is so much more.
“We do have an agricultural background,” she said. “But we also have things like robotics, conservation, citizenship, art, rocketry, finance, cooking, child care and more. So whatever the interest of the child, we have that available in 4-H.”
Think about that for a minute. “Whatever the interest of the child.” It’s rare to find a club or group so dedicated to fulfilling each individual participant’s interest.
That dedication pays off in the long run. 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.
Plus, they’re using the characteristics 4-H instills in its members. They 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.
As Cowger explained, not only will 4-H members be able to take advantage of a wide range of activities, but they will meet people from all walks of life.
“The kids can see how they can connect with someone from different areas, and see that we are so much more the same than we are different all across the world,” Cowger said.
So it makes sense to be involved in 4-H.
We salute the members of Marion County’s 4-H clubs — Barrackville 4-H Club, Barrackville Cloverbuds, Cross Roads 4-H Club, Cross Roads Cloverbuds, Eldora 4-H Club, Eldora Cloverbuds, Fairmont Shining Knights, 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 — and hope they realize just what impact they’re making, not only for their communities, but for their futures.
Imagine an organization devoted to helping kids learn and grow.
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.
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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.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
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