Holmes County Junior Fair Board invites area youngsters to join 4-H

Holmes County Junior Fair Board invites area youngsters to join 4-H
Dave Mast

Holmes County OSU Extension educator Janessa Hill lets her dog Jolene greet the Millersburg Elementary third-graders who heard about many opportunities when they join 4-H.


When can a youngster join the county 4-H program and experience everything great the program offers young people today?

Third grade is the answer, and third-graders throughout Western Holmes County were given a glimpse into the 4-H world during a recent combined effort.

The Holmes County Junior Fair Board was making the rounds at area schools recently to invite youngsters to step into the county’s 4-H program and join hundreds of other youth who have experienced the value of becoming a club member.

In doing so, the Holmes County Junior Fair Board quartet of Alysa Pringle, Garrett Fowler, Maren Drzazga and Olivia Gerber joined Holmes County 4-H Extension members Janessa Hill and Ella Lorentz at Millersburg Elementary on March 8, speaking to the third-graders there about joining Holmes County 4-H.

The group traveled to Millersburg, Killbuck and Lakeville schools to help generate excitement about the Holmes County 4-H program.

Once there, they created an interactive game that had kids walking from one end of the cafeteria to the other. The JFB members played a game of choices: Dogs or cats? Camping or visiting the county fair? Cake decorating or archery?

The group went through a series of options for the kids, bringing home their point that all of the topics they mentioned and many more await kids when they join 4-H.

“There are some realty exciting things happening in Holmes County 4-H, and we want you to be a part of it,” Lorentz said, inviting the kids to be a part of the county-wide program.

The quartet of JFB members shared their experiences in 4-H, speaking about their fair animal projects, their life skills projects and how 4-H has impacted their lives in a positive way.

As third-graders, the students are now old enough to join 4-H.

Pringle shared at length the activities involved in the Ohio 4-H Youth Camp in July, where youth can experience plenty of fun, meet other 4-Hers, sing songs, go on nature walks, do many outdoor activities and learn some valuable skills.

As each meeting ended, the four JFB members invited the students to learn a camp song, and the kids were more than eager to belt out the lines as they learned the song.

This event has become an instrumental part of the JFB’s effort to unite with the extension office and promote Holmes County 4-H.

“We get out into the community schools to let all of the third-graders know exactly what 4-H involves because we want to create as much involvement as possible,” said Alysa Pringle, Holmes County Junior Fair Board president. “I know 4-H can have a huge impact on kids, and I remember the junior fair board coming to my school when I was in third grade. They talked about 4-H, and it made an impact.”

She said one of the things they want the third-graders to understand is they don’t necessarily have to raise or show an animal as a 4-Her.

The quartet presented a variety of opportunities including a synopsis of what 4-H State Camp looks like and how much fun it is.

JFB member Garrett Fowler said getting kids excited about the possibilities available to them through 4-H was their main goal in visiting the schools. He said when they make the program fun and exciting, they get the kids amped up about becoming a part of 4-H.

“It’s about giving them a sense of what is to come when they invest in 4-H,” Fowler said. “For the most part, kids this age don’t really know all there is to enjoy in 4-H, so this serves as an introduction for them, and making this fun and exciting helps ingrain in them that they can benefit a lot from 4-H.”

JFB member Maren Drzazga said she remembers when her brother and his fellow JFB members came to school to visit the third-graders. She said that made an impact, filled with stories and opportunities, and she recalls them being excited to join 4-H.

Olivia Gerber said she too had her interest in 4-H sparked by the JFB members when they visited her and her classmates in third grade.

She said the visit helped all of them gain a sense of everything 4-H has to offer.

“It’s neat to see the kids get excited about what we’re doing,” Gerber said. “We were all in their shoes as third-graders, and we’ve all grown a lot through our 4-H experience.”

“4-H has definitely helped us build our leadership skills,” Pringle said.

The group passed out informational papers to each classroom that detailed how the kids can join 4-H. If there are youngsters who are interested in joining 4-H, they can call the extension office at 330-674-3015.

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