By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald
Getting involved with 4-H can mean a lot of important opportunities for young people.
Amy Ver Meer-Brainard, county youth coordinator with Mahaska County ISU Extension, said it’s easy for youth in the area to enroll in 4-H through the Web site iowa.4honline.com.
So far this year, 101 children in Mahaska County have signed up for Clover Kids or 4-H, noted Ver Meer-Brainard.
There are Clover Kids and 4-H groups throughout Mahaska County. They can be found in Eddyville, Fremont, North Mahaska Schools, Oskaloosa, Oskaloosa Christian School, as well as one in the Bussey-Truax area.
Clover Kids and 4-H aren’t just for rural young people. Sure, there are some elements of livestock learning. However, much of what they do is focused on things like science, technology and mathematics, said Ver Meer-Brainard. She said young people can “pretty much take part in anything” while involved in Clover Kids and 4-H.
Ver-Meer Brainard said these programs aim to make productive citizens who are outstanding communicators, effective leaders and successful learners. She said this is done by first giving the youth a sense of belonging, then helping them master a skill. Next, the focus turns to giving them independence before young people are taught to be generous by giving back to their community.
Oct. 6 to 12 is National 4-H Week. Ver-Meer Brainard said this will include visits to area classrooms and will culminate with the annual Kidtoberfest Oct. 12 at the ISU Extension Office, 212 N. I St.