The Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development Program is something to be celebrated all year long, but it gets extra celebration time in October when clubs observe National 4-H Week during the first full week of the month.

National 4-H week sees millions of youth, parents, volunteers and alumni come together to celebrate the positive impact 4-H has on its members and communities, said Kristin Young, marketing coordinator in the State 4-H Office at Oklahoma State University.

“National 4-H Week has been a longstanding tradition for the youth development organization,” Young said. “In fact, the week we celebrate now doesn’t look much different than it did in its beginning more than 90 years ago when it originated in 1926. The first known documentation of a 4-H Week was the proclamation of Club Week by Minnesota Governor Theodore Christianson to promote 4-H work.”

This year’s National 4-H Week is Oct. 4-10 with the theme Opportunity4All. This campaign, created by the National 4-H Council, is to rally support for Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and identify solutions to eliminate the opportunity gap that affects 55 million youth across America.

Young said with so many children struggling to reach their full potential, 4-H leaders believe young people in partnership with caring adult mentors can play a key role in creating a more promising and equitable future for youth, families and communities across the county.

“In 4-H, we believe every child should have an equal opportunity to succeed, and we believe every child should have the skills they need to make a difference in the world,” she said.

To celebrate National 4-H Week, local clubs are encouraged to turn to social media to help highlight the positive impact 4-H has on youth in the community. One idea is to feature 4-H’ers throughout the week who are deserving of recognition and share how they are making a difference.

“It’s always fun to have a blast from the past, so dig up some photos of 4-H alumni who made an impact on the county program,” Young said. “Post selfies wearing your favorite 4-H shirt and indicate you’re celebrating National 4-H Week. Keep in mind that Oct. 7 is National 4-H Spirit Day. This is a day to show your 4-H pride by wearing your favorite 4-H t-shirt to school, work and other extracurricular activities. Be sure to adhere to social distancing and mask guidelines in your community.”

When posting on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Young encourages clubs to use these hashtags, including #Opportunity4All, #OK4H, #National4HWeek, #TrueLeaders, #4HGrown and #Fourward.

Young said she hopes Oklahoma 4-H’ers are excited about this year’s 4-H STEM Challenge that occurs annually during National 4-H Week. This year’s theme is Mars Base Camp. Developed by Google and Virginia Cooperative Extension, Mars Base Camp is a collection of activities that teaches youth STEM skills, including mechanical engineering, physics, computer science and agriculture.

“We’re so excited about National 4-H Week and all the activities that are planned in counties across the state,” Young said.

4-H is the youth development component of Extension and empowers more than 6 million youth in the United States, involving 110 land-grant universities and more than 3,000 local Extension offices serving every county and parish in the country.

For more information about this and other 4-H events and activities please give us a call at the office at 423-4120 or email me at greg.owen@okstate.edu.

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