Written by: Stephanie Freeman, Communications Director at MCCOY, Inc.
It’s summertime. Summer reminds me of county and state fairs. I’m reminded of delicious treats, fun rides, amazing animals, and amusing games. I’m also reminded of all the family-fun and educational opportunities for kids and adults of all ages.
The Marion County and Indiana State Fairs pack in so many enjoyable learning opportunities specifically by and for youth through 4-H entries. The 4-H Youth Development Program exists to promote the positive, healthy development of young people. Their mission is to provide the challenges, experiences, support, and the help that young people need to develop to their fullest potential. One of those experiences that youth can receive from 4-H is by participating in county and state fair projects. Many of us thinking of 4-H as a bunch of “farmers and county folks” showing off their cool livestock. How can a cosmopolitan kid get involved with 4-H?
There are so many opportunities for youth to get involved in the 4-H State Fair program. Besides the obvious animal exhibits, youth can also enter projects in more than 20 other categories; including:
· Exhibit Hall
o Interactive demonstration
o Cake decorating
o Cat and dog educational posters
o Child development
o Computer technology
o Electric systems
o Staying Healthy
o Home Improvement
These categories off youth to explore almost any subject matter of their interest. Youth can have fun researching, collecting, building and teaching about these subject matters. Each category is divided amongst three divisions from youth 3rd – 12th grade. This is an excellent way for youth to get involved with their community, volunteer, learn, teach others, and feel accomplished because of their accomplishments.
It’s too late to enter into a project into the 2013 4-H Fairs. However, please visit the fairs and admire and learn from the youth projects. If you’re interested in volunteer to help youth with projects and other development opportunities, visit: http://www.four-h.purdue.edu/volunteer/index.cfm. To join your local 4-H chapter and to learn about other education opportunities, please visit: http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/counties/marion/pages/default.aspx.