hope that everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and took the time
to hug the ones you love the most. I lost a great friend to cancer this
week and I can’t tell you enough "Cherish the Moments as Your
Kids Grow Up."
are not promised tomorrow but we take it for granted that it will come
and like today we will put off things that should be our top PRIORITY.
Live your life like you have only today and at the end you will not be
have just returned from a week long trip in Arizona, where we had the
opportunity to visit Volunteer led 4-H clubs that were led by the
4-Hers. We had a wonderful time sharing ideas and comparing the
positives of both State Programs. I think we have a great future ahead
with positive impacts and leadership from our youth and Volunteers.
Play an Important Role in Alabama 4-H
you know that Paul Revere was a remarkable silversmith and a successful
businessman? Most of us, however, remember him for his volunteer work
– and his horsemanship.
are the glue that holds our society and our communities together. Where
would we be without the baseball and soccer coaches, the choir members
and Sunday school teachers, the United Way volunteers and the unpaid
members of civic boards?
in Alabama 4-H have always been blessed with an outstanding staff, the
county agents and the many wonderful agent assistants. However, many
people warmly recall the days when 4-H had a larger workforce. These
days it is hard to imagine the times when all Alabama counties had boys’
and girls’ 4-H agents, and 4-H club meetings were a regular part of
school-day activities. In those days, the duties of volunteers were most
often ferrying kids to events.
everything else in the world, 4-H has changed. The Alabama 4-H staff is
much smaller than it once was, and there are hundreds of thousands more
kids in our state who could benefit from the 4-H experience. And while
some schools still welcome 4-H, many have such full academic schedules
that 4-H is no longer a welcome school-day presence.
thanks to the caring and commitment of our trained volunteers, our
"Paul Reveres," the possibilities for what 4-H can be are
greater than ever. Parents, teachers, and others will have tremendous
opportunities to share their skills and interests with Alabama’s kids.
the next few years, you will see a continuing growth in 4-H community
clubs. Community clubs meet in schools, homes, churches or even
businesses. They allow young people from 3rd – 12th grade to have fun,
meet new people, learn life skills, build self-confidence, learn
responsibility and achieve personal goals. The community club is the
traditional approach to 4-H in most of the United States, with young
people, families and communities all working together to build
leadership and new skills.
community clubs, young people manage the clubs following the 4-H
approach of "learning by doing." They plan the year’s
programs and activities; they raise the money and balance the checkbook;
and they decide what the club looks like and how it is organized. In
well-run community clubs, 4-H is never something that adults do for the
kids, it’s something that the young people learn to do for themselves.
4-H youth develop great responsibilities, adult volunteers play a
crucial role in community clubs. University research shows that
interaction with caring adults, other than parents, is very important to
youth development. Adults serve as role models and teachers. They impart
new information and help young people to get new perspectives and new
might also have a special skill that you would like to share with young
people. In the future you will see a real growth in 4-H interest clubs.
Around the United States, there are 4-H clubs that focus on everything
from emus to skate boarding. Perhaps there are young people in your
community who want to learn about the peanut industry or quilting.
Perhaps you have a special awareness of the culinary arts or were
trained as a rodeo clown. Those are all skills that you could share
Alabama 4-H program helps young people develop skills in making
decisions, thinking critically, building relationships, practicing
leadership, and developing a concern for the community and the
environment. If you are interested in being a part of this important
task, I would encourage you to call your county Extension office to find
out how you can get involved. It’s important to our kids, and you will
find that it is important to you.
luck to all of you that have livestock to show this month.
next time, God Bless!
Shropshire is the Alabama 4-H Regional Extension Agent for the Central