As school starts it’s probably too late to join fall sports, the marching band, or cheerleading. But Clay County 4-H is welcoming new members any day – every day – and has a full …
As school starts it’s probably too late to join fall sports, the marching band, or cheerleading. But Clay County 4-H is welcoming new members any day – every day – and has a full calendar of events planned for the fall.
With more than 10,000 participants last year, the local 4-H program is one of largest in the state and wants to grow again in 2018.
4-H is much more than where kids learn about agriculture. It’s a leadership development organization that provides participants an opportunity to select and complete learning experiences called 4-H projects.
A project is an area of interest that the 4-H member wants to learn more about. There are over 80 project areas for members to explore. 4-H members also participate in community service and public speaking, which allows students to build self-confidence and use their writing skills.
In addition to traditional clubs focusing on raising and caring for livestock, there are 4-H clubs that cover a broad range of other activities such as archery, robotics, beekeeping and plants.
New this year are rabbit and running clubs as well as 3-D design and printing workshops. There are also day camps that focus on teen wellness, forensic science, art and leader development topics.
The 4-H youth development program is a research-based program offered in partnership with faculty and trained volunteers by the local University of Florida/ IFAS Extension office. Research shows that the 4-H model and partnerships provide a positive impact on youth. This is because the project-based and hands-on learning approach gives young people guidance, tools, and encouragement they need to develop their self-confidence and skills as a leader.
Research suggests that 4-H members, when compared to non-members, are four times more likely to make contributions to their communities; and two times more likely to be civically active, attend college and make healthier choices.
How do I get involved?
Clay 4-H is open to county residents ages 5 through 18. There are over 20 community-based clubs throughout the county that are led by trained volunteers. These clubs meet monthly from September – June.
In addition to community clubs there are workshops, competitions, day camps, and after-school programs offered for young people who may be interested in 4-H.
The program fee for enrolling in 4-H community clubs is $20 per member and scholarships are available for families who may need a little help. One of the easiest ways to learn more about our activities is visit and like our Facebook page: @claycounty4h. If you would like to enroll in 4-H please contact the Clay County UF/IFAS Extension Office at (904) 284-6355 for a club list and calendar of upcoming activities.