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Saturday, 21 July 2012

One hundred years ago in 1912, the first 4-H clubs were started in Pennsylvania.

It only took a few years for Penn State Extension, the parent organization of the state 4-H program, to reach McKean County. 4-H is the only non-formal youth organization based at land grant universities and often the first experience many young people have with higher education. 4-H helps young people develop knowledge and skills to become capable, caring and contributing citizens through a wide variety of hands-on learning projects such as gardening, sewing, pet care, rocketry, robotics, insects, careers, wildlife, livestock, horses, dairy, cooking, GIS, babysitting and more. Membership in 4-H is open to all youth, ages 5 to 19, without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or marital/parental status, and relies on parent and adult volunteer participation to help youth reach their potential. Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce.

This year a book of local 4-H memories is being compiled by Ann Dunkerton, 4-H Extension Educator in the McKean County office, to be available for purchase at the 4-H Center during the McKean County Fair, August 12-18. Current and former 4-H members are invited to send stories and photos to the Extension Office by July 31, so that as many as possible may be included in the book. Photos and news articles from the Extension archives will also be used. The proceeds from the sale of this book will go toward the McKean County 4-H Endowment to support the continuation of the local program.

On August 16, from 2:00-4:00 p.m., past, present, and future 4-H’ers are encouraged to gather in the 4-H Center on the McKean County Fairgrounds to share their stories and experiences. There is no charge for this event (aside from Fair admission; seniors 62+ are admitted free onto the fairgrounds all day), and refreshments will be served. 4-H alumni are invited to bring any 4-H memorabilia, such as projects, photo albums, trophies, stamps and clothing, to show current and prospective club members in a meeting of the generations. In conjunction with this event, there will be a cake decorating contest held at 2:00 p.m. Please contact the Extension Office by August 15 if you wish to enter a cake or dozen cupcakes. There will also be drawings for door prizes, including free copies of the book of 4-H memories.

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