McCombie lauds Lee, Carroll, Whiteside 4-H groups during annual celebration
Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) took to social media recently to celebrate National 4-H Week and promote the benefits of the long-standing global network of youth organizations.
“4-H youth development programs provide hands-on learning activities for youth in Illinois and throughout the country," McCombie posted. "4-H youth programs focus on leadership, citizenship and life skills."
According to a press release McCombie shared from the University of Illinois Extension office overseeing 4-H programming in Carroll, Lee and Whiteside counties, 4-H members throughout Illinois are joining approximately 6 million other youth across the country to celebrate the week, which began on Sunday.
4-H youth development programs provide numerous opportunities and learning activities to help youth develop a host of life skills and work on a variety of project areas, including photography, gardening, robotics, nutrition and horticulture. It also teaches its members to care for the environment and their own health, and works to prepare youth for careers.
”4-H’s learn-by-doing philosophy encourages youth to experiment, innovate and think independently,” Lisa Diaz, assistant dean and director of the Illinois 4-H program, said in the release. “4-H grows confident kids who tackle issues that matter most in their communities.”
According to the National 4-H History Preservation Program’s website, the observation of National 4-H Week might have started as early as 1926 but ramped up following World War II. Although it has been held at various times of the year, National 4-H Week is now observed the first full week in October. The theme for 4-H week in 2017 is "Mission: Adventure – Join the Team. Change the World."
According to McCombie, Illinois 4-H strives to help youth learn skills for living. The University of Illinois Extension provides 4-H programs in every county in Illinois, and 4-H aims to impact the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs and groups and short-term programming.
McCombie lives with her husband, Curt, in Savanna, where she operates her own real estate-related business. She also has served as the mayor of Savanna.
The University of Illinois Extension said that last year, 25,000 young people in the state were involved in 4-H community clubs. Another 175,000 youth were involved in 4-H through school, after-school and community-partner organizations. Young 4-H members are assisted by volunteer adult leaders.
“University of Illinois Extension provides 4-H programs in every county in Illinois,” McCombie wrote.
The name 4-H name stands for "head, heart, hands, and health" to signify the areas of their individual growth members are expected to focus on. Although groups exist in more than 50 countries throughout the world, they are often administered differently. For example, in the United States, 4-H is overseen by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but in Canada, groups are led by an independent non-profit agency.
The United States boasts a membership of approximately 6.5 million 4-Hers, all between the ages of 5 and 18, in 90,000 clubs.