Alabama 4-H has hit a significant enrollment record this fall, providing youth educational programs to more than 100,000 youth statewide. Fall enrollment is currently 107,246 members, making 4-H one of the largest youth development organizations in Alabama.
“Alabama parents and youth are seeing youth development in action through 4-H,” says Lamar Nichols, assistant director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System for 4-H and Youth Development. “Alabama 4-H offers a variety of programming in every county so a youth can participate in their interests and passions.”
In Alabama, there are more than 1,400 clubs, with 58 percent being in-school, agent-led. Fourteen percent of all clubs are volunteer-led.
The most popular 4-H educational programs are natural resources, healthy lifestyle and nutrition, and Junior Master Gardner, a youth gardening program.
Alabama 4-H has more than 2,700 volunteers giving more than 96,000 hours of service worth $2.1 million (monetary value of volunteer time is $21.79 per hour as calculated by the Independent Sector).
A national, ongoing study since 2002 by Tufts University showcases what Alabamians know — that 4-H plays a vital role in the lives of young people. The structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that young people receive through 4-H plays a vital role in helping them achieve future life successes.
This in-depth study has found that, when compared to other youth, young people involved in 4-H have higher educational achievement and motivation for future education; make healthier choices related to health and safety because of the education experiences they receive through 4-H; excel in school and in science education; and are more civically active and make more civic contributions to their communities.
In addition to clubs, Alabama 4-H’ers can take part in a wide variety of activities offered in communities and counties throughout the state, including workshops, achievement programs, camps, trips and competitive events.
For more information about becoming a 4-H’er, contact a county Extension office, or go online to www.Alabama4H.com.
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