From left, Missouri 4-H State Council President Emily Taylor, Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe and 4-H State Council Vice President Lynn Dyer. Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

Gov. Mike Parson proclaimed Oct. 2-8 as National 4-H Week in Missouri.

4-H State Council President Emily Taylor, Vice President Lynn Dyer and council adviser Erin Stanley received the proclamation at the governor’s office from Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.

This year’s “Opportunity4All” campaign rallies support for Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program. Missouri 4-H joins millions of youths, parents, volunteers and alumni across the nation in celebrating the many positive youth development opportunities that National 4-H offers.

With so many children struggling to reach their full potential, 4-H believes that young people, in partnership with adults, play a key role in creating a more promising and equitable future for youth, families, and communities across the country. 4-H believes every child should have an equal opportunity to succeed and the skills they need to make a difference in the world.

“Our faculty and staff have been working hard to expand the reach of 4-H in Missouri by offering programming in many different ways,” said Lupita Fabregas, Missouri 4-H director. “You will find 4-H opportunities in rural areas, urban areas and everywhere in between tailored to fit a family’s lifestyle. This will help us meet the National 4-H goal of serving 10% of our state’s youth by 2025.”

Fabregas challenges youths and volunteers to “show their 4-H spirit during National 4-H week and recruit at least one more member for your 4-H club. We have more than 100 project topics, so there is an opportunity for all in Missouri 4-H.”

“We believe youth perspectives are so important and a solution to eliminating the opportunity gap because young people come with new ideas and new ways of seeing the world,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, National 4-H Council president and CEO. By encouraging diverse voices and innovative actions, Sirangelo said, 4-H believes that solutions can be found to address the educational, economic and health issues that have created an opportunity gap that affects 55 million kids across the U.S.

While each community will celebrate National 4-H week in its own way, there are several ways that all Missouri 4-H’ers can join in the fun. Print a flyer that proclaims, “A Proud 4-H’er Lives Here” and tape it to your window, use the 4-H Canva template to change your photo on Facebook and participate in 4-H Spirit Day on Wednesday, Oct. 5, by wearing your 4-H clover to work or school. Everything you need is found in the Missouri 4-H branding toolkit at mizzou.us/4Hbranding. Contact your local MU Extension office to participate in local celebrations.

In Missouri, more than 47,000 youths and 5,000 volunteers are involved in 4-H. Besides the more traditional community clubs, youths can also participate in after-school or in-school clubs, Special Interest (SPIN) clubs or 4-H programs such as Soccer for Success, Youth Futures or Juntos.

New this year is On My Own, an interactive financial simulation designed by University of Tennessee Extension. During the simulation, students become the major income provider for their households, which may include a spouse and children. Using a hypothetical occupation and income, students work through a month of expenses that include housing, utilities, transportation, insurance, food, child care, clothing, entertainment and expenses from unexpected events.

For information on these programs, visit 4h.missouri.edu. You can also contact your local MU Extension center and speak to a 4-H specialist. Contacts to local offices can be found at extension.missouri.edu/locations.

One of the most anticipated events of National 4-H Week every year is the 4-H STEM Challenge. This year’s theme is Explorers of the Deep. Hundreds of thousands of youths across the nation are expected to take part throughout October. Designed by Rutgers University, this challenge focuses on the mysteries and adventures of ocean exploration—with ocean robots! Young people learn to use science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to explore Earth’s ocean and how it relates to all life on the planet.

About Missouri 4-H

More than 55,000 members strong, Missouri 4-H is an active, dynamic organization of young people who are learning, growing, and preparing to be the leaders of today and tomorrow – making a real difference in their community, country, and world. 4-H is the youth development program of the University of Missouri and the nation’s Cooperative Extension System. For more information, visit 4h.missouri.edu.

About 4-H

4-H, the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower 6 million young people through the 110 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Outside the U.S., independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower 1 million young people in more than 50 countries. National 4-H Council is the private sector, nonprofit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters, located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture within the United States Department of Agriculture.

Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org, on Facebook at facebook.com/4-H and on Twitter at twitter.com/4H.

For information about joining 4-H in Texas County, call University of Missouri Extension County Engagement Specialist in Youth Development Janice Weddle at 417-349-4134.

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