By Beth O’Brien, reporting for Bluebonnet News of Montgomery County
National 4-H Week is Oct. 6-12. This year’s theme is “Inspire Kids to Do.”
Michelle Mihalek, Montgomery County Extension Agent for 4-H and Youth Development, said about 920 kids were enrolled in the 4-H program last year, and they’re on point to have even more members this year.
Some of the accomplishments and highlights last year for Montgomery County 4-H members include
- Ten clubs reported 23 community service projects with 158 youth and 76 adults participating in one or more.
- Twelve projects reported 182 hours of service, which included putting up 80 door hangers and making 100 Christmas cards for Heritage Oaks Assisted Living Center and delivering 80 pounds of food and two SUV’S full of warm winter items for Willis Parent Support Center.
- The kids have already started helping Imelda victims.
Mihalek said all of the community service and leadership skills feed into the 4-H Record books. The main focus is to teach record keeping skills and develop a complete record of project activities, leadership and community service that can be used for college, scholarship and job applications. The program had 25 record books submitted for County judging, and 21 advanced to district. Eighty-six percent placed in the top three at district, including two senior books placing fourth and seventh.
Mihalek said 4-H Record books feed directly into the Texas 4-H Foundation Opportunity Scholarship application, and this year local 4-H members brought home $40,000.
There are 23 different 4-H clubs in the County, that do a variety of activities.
“The robotics program has been really strong,” said Mihalek. “We have the largest dog project in the state. We have a dog project club. I think we still have the largest shooting sports project in the state and offer almost every discipline.” That includes educational and safety trainings.
Mihalek said they still have an active livestock project and other programs.
“4-H uses projects and for us a project is a subject matter or a topic area that the member is interested in,” said Mihalek. “While they’re having fun learning about that project, they are also gaining skills in leadership, learning about community service, building self confidence and problem solving skills.”