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.
State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core
It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.
Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
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Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
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