By Rebecca Seratt
UT Extension Agent
With a new school year in full swing, we are excited to begin a new 4-H programming year in Chester County! For those of you who may not know, 4-H is the largest youth development organization in the world. The state of Tennessee has a 4-H program in all 95 counties and over 1,000 students enroll in the Chester County 4-H program every year. Students can enroll in 4-H when they reach the fourth grade and can remain a 4-H member throughout their middle school, junior high, and their high school years and can even participate in collegiate 4-H programs.
The majority of Chester County 4-H members participate in 4-H through in-school club meetings. Chester County Middle School and Chester County Junior High School partner with Chester County 4-H and graciously allow us to meet students during their science classes and reading lab times once a month. During these meetings, students elect officers for their respective clubs, participate in educational contests, and learn about the different projects 4-H has to offer. They also participate in hands-on science experiments, learn about citizenship and agriculture, and develop skills such as speaking in public and setting goals. Chester County 4-H also collaborates with teachers and administrators at Chester County High School to offer 4-H activities and opportunities to our high school members as well.
Since 2014, Chester County has had a growing 4-H club for students who are home schooled. This club meets once a month and gets to take advantage of all of the same opportunities that our in-school students do. We know that the number of students who are participating in home school and virtual learning this year has grown, so we want to personally invite all of those students (in grades 4-12) and their parents/guardians to our first Chester County Home School 4-H Club meeting of the year. The initial meeting will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 25, in the upstairs meeting room at Henderson City Hall. Masks are highly encouraged to be worn but are not required. Meeting space will be set up to accommodate social distancing. Younger members in grades pre-K through third are also invited to attend at this time to take part in Cloverbud activities. The Cloverbuds program is a precursor to 4-H.
There are a lot of other 4-H activities and opportunities that will be offered this fall. The best way to stay connected with what is happening with Chester County 4-H is to follow our Facebook page, “UT Extension—Chester County.” If you have specific questions, you can always give us a call at 989-2103.