Iosco County investing in Iosco County youth with 4-H 2017

MSU Extension's 4-H program has impacted more than 2,162 youth in Iosco County.

In Iosco County 4-H, we believe in the power of young people. By providing opportunities to learn and lead, 4-H helps youth become informed and engaged community members. While exploring new topics and activities in an experiential way, youth build the skills they need for life.

In 2017, Iosco County 4-H had a total of 72 screened adult volunteers, 26 youth volunteers and 350 youth enrolled in 4-H project clubs. In addition, 2,162 children or 71% of Iosco County youth aged 5 to 19 took part in learning opportunities with MSU Extension. Essential skills youth develop while participating in 4-H include problem solving, decision making, leadership, resiliency and communication.

4-H is unique in that it offers experiences to young people who live in cities or rural areas by providing the opportunity to participate in community 4-H clubs, learning experiences in school classrooms, day and overnight camps and other special interest events. One example includes the 4-H Embryology Program, a school enrichment project that engages students over the course of 21 days as they observe fertilized eggs develop, grow, and hatch in their classrooms. MSU staff and volunteers provide weekly hands-on educational lessons to students to teach youth about embryonic development and the chicken lifecycle. In 2017, 293 youth from Iosco County participated in the 4-H Embryology School Enrichment project.

“The 4-H Embryology project is my students’ favorite program all year. It engages all of my students, even those that traditionally don’t enjoy Science class. - Whittemore-Prescott Science Teacher

Beyond the excitement of learning something new through a project, youth have the opportunity to participate in leadership conferences, travel the world, become involved in their community through service, and meet new friends in a safe and comfortable setting. A young person’s experiences in 4-H makes a difference for a lifetime by allowing them to grow and appreciate the importance of being a good citizen, strong leader and person of character.

Leaders also help youth achieve their personal goals and provide encouragement and a support system. According to a five year study by Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada, children with mentors were more confident and had fewer behavioral problems. Girls in the study were four times less likely to become bullies than those without a mentor and boys were two times less likely. In general, young people showed increased belief in their abilities to succeed in school and felt less anxiety related to peer pressure.

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