Community needed to help Delaware 4-H to reach first place in national initiative

Four youths in green 4-H T-shirts.
Youths at the 2015 4-H STEM event watch as rockets they made take off and soar into the sky! Delaware 4-H earned First Place in the national 4-H competition and an award of $10,000.

National 4-H announced that Delaware 4-H reached third place in a national 4-H “Raise Your Hand” call-to-action initiative. Four weeks remain in the contest. The three states with the most hands raised will receive $20,000, $10,000, and $5,000 respectively toward local 4-H programming and events. From now until May 15, Delaware 4-H invites the local community to show its support for 4-H outreach and education in the First State by voting for Delaware on the 4-H website.

An impressive 36,000 youth in Delaware are impacted by 4-H programs. Across 93 community clubs, 15 afterschool programs, and nine day and overnight camps, youth ages five through 19 receive positive life skill experiences.

In addition to the traditional agriculture programming, Delaware youth involved in 4-H learn public speaking, critical thinking, leadership. and citizenship skills. A primary focus is STEAM, Science Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.  Healthy living through diet, exercise, nutrition, and food science is strongly emphasized of all participants. 4-H Botvin Lifeskills are taught across the state, empowering youth to resist substance abuse.

Supported by extension staff at the University of Delaware and Delaware State University, 4-H programs benefit exponentially from 470 volunteer adults known as leaders.

“We have a strong 4-H program in Delaware reaching a high level of youth through various delivery modes including community clubs, afterschool, military, camps, school enrichment programs and other various programs,” said Doug Crouse, state 4-H program leader.  “We depend heavily on our outstanding 4-H volunteers throughout the state who provide their time, efforts and knowledge to work with our youth to teach them valuable life skills.”

Good odds for the first state — win, place or show

The structure of the national initiative considers the number of votes in ratio to the state’s population.

In 2015, Delaware 4-H won the national initiative #4HGrown and $10,000. With the award, Delaware 4-H invited Delaware youth to a STEM Day event held in Smyrna.  Students built rockets and watched them soar, examined space rocks under microscopes, and learned about their natural world surrounding.

Delaware 4-H looks forward to receiving funds from this opportunity and plans to use the monies to support additional programs, opportunities and activities around our three national mandate areas of science and technology, healthy living and civic engagement.” Crouse said.

While Delaware 4-H is in third place, they are only slightly ahead of fourth place Maine by one-tenth of a percentage point. Getting all Delawareans to vote is paramount.

With a month to go Crouse feels Delaware can take the grand prize.

“Delaware may be small, but they are mighty!” Crouse said.

“Our youth leave a positive impression on this state and  network with legislators, business owners and organizations across this state. 4-H is well known for its devotion to community service. I am confident the community will respond and vote us to the winning circle,” Crouse said.

Voting is easy

Everyone in Delaware is invited to vote by visiting 4-H’s Raise Your Hand website. Name and address are requested to verify authentic voting, but visitors may opt out of receiving emails. Membership in 4-H is not required and no purchase is necessary.