Every year, National 4-H Week sees millions of youth, parents, volunteers and alumni come together to celebrate the many positive youth development opportunities offered by 4-H.The theme for this year’s National 4-H Week, Opportunity 4 All, is a campaign that was created by National 4-H Council to rally support for Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and identify solutions to eliminate the opportunity gap that affects 55 million kids across America. With so many children struggling to reach their full potential, 4-H believes that young people, in partnership with adults, can play a key role in creating a more promising and equitable future for youth, families and communities across the country. In 4-H, we believe every child should have an equal opportunity to succeed. We believe every child should have the skills they need to make a difference in the world. Audubon County 4-H will observe National 4-H Week this year by highlighting some of the inspirational 4-H youth in our community who are working tirelessly to support each other and their communities. “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,” explains Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO of National 4-H Council. By encouraging diverse voices and innovative actions, 4-H believes that solutions can be found to address the educational, economic and health issues that have created the opportunity gap.

Annually, we have used National 4-H Week as an opportunity to collect non-perishable donations for the Ronald McDonald House in Des Moines. Drop boxes will be located throughout the county again this year. In addition, the presentation typically taken to the 4th grade classrooms will be shared virtually this year.

Specific events during the week include:

Monday: Staff, volunteers and youth are encouraged to wear their 4-H or Clover Kids shirts to work and school.

Tuesday: We encourage individuals and businesses that would like to financially support our local youth programs to participate in “Giving Tuesday” by stopping by the office with donations. We appreciate your consideration, as we were unable to hold our traditional annual fundraisers thus far in 2020.

Wednesday: Everyone is encouraged to get outside and walk for at least 30 minutes to promote healthy living, engaging in one of our program areas. Choose the time and route that works for your schedule – snap a picture and email it to acarter@iastate.edu to be entered into a drawing for a gift basket.

Saturday: The week wraps up with youth teams from 7 area counties engaged in a fun, virtual, trivia game.

“While many of our daily activities were disrupted this year, our 4-H volunteers and members adapted to the changes and continued to connect with one other virtually and pursue project areas of interest. 4-H is truly a program for everyone. Every individual interest will fit into a project area where youth are encouraged and supported in setting goals, mapping out their plan and celebrating their success,” said Ann Carter, Program Coordinator, “We would encourage every young person to give 4-H a try.”

Our county-wide clean-up day helps between 10-15 households each fall with their yard work. Individual clubs provide volunteer hours to ring the Salvation Army bell, plant trees in the county, raise funds to adopt families during the holidays, provide prizes and play BINGO at local care centers, and send cards and care packages to service members overseas, just to name a few.

One of the most anticipated events of National 4-H Week every year is the 4-H STEM Challenge, formerly known as National Youth Science Day. The theme of this year’s event, which is expected to see hundreds of thousands of youth across the nation taking part throughout October, is Mars Base Camp. Developed by Google and Virginia Cooperative Extension, Mars Base Camp is a collection of activities that teaches kids ages 8-14 STEM skills, including mechanical engineering, physics, computer science and agriculture .To learn more about how you can get involved, visit http://www.4-h.org/.

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 six million young people through the 110land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young people in more than 50 countries. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org, find us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/4-Hand on Twitter at https://twitter.com/4H.