Union County students in grades K-12 are invited to join a 4-H Club this fall and explore popular fields ranging from archery, cooking and fashion to Lego robotics and Dungeons and Dragons. Youth in their first year after graduating from high school can also join.

"4-H Clubs provide students in Union County with unique opportunities to practice teamwork, organization, leadership and other important life skills,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “The Freeholder Board is very proud to support the 4-H program in our community.”

4-H Clubs are organized by age and topic. The members meet with an adult club leader on  a monthly basis during the school year to plan activities and programs.

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Each club emphasizes the ability of students to learn, organize, and communicate with activities appropriate for their age. For the school year 2019 – 2020, the clubs are:

  • Variety Club (different topics with crafts and show-and-tell), grades K-1, 2-3 and 4-5.
  • Variety Club: (different topics with crafts and public speaking), grades 9 – 12.
  • Community Service Club: grades 9-13.
  • Outdoors Club: grades 4-7.
  • STEM Club: grades 4-5.
  • Anime/Manga Club, grades 8-13.
  • Archery #1 and #2 Clubs, grade 4 and up.
  • Cold Creatures Club (caring for snakes, turtles and other reptiles), grades 4-5.
  • Cooking Club, grades 9-12.
  • Disc Gulf Club, grades 7-12.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Club, grades 7-12.
  • Horticulture Club, grades 6-13.
  • Olde Thyme Craft Club (includes field trips and community service), grade 8 and up.
  • LEGO Robotics Club (team activities with LEGO Robotics MindStorms kits), grades 4-5.
  • Sewing Club, grade 6 and up.

Union County 4-H is run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County and supported in part by the Freeholder Board, with offices at the Union County Complex at 300 North Avenue East in Westfield.

The national 4-H youth program is the largest youth development program in the U.S. As a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 4-H encourages students to develop expertise in a subject of their own choosing, and share their knowledge to benefit their community.

Participation in 4-H is associated with better grades at school, and a stronger interest in taking science classes, attending college, and contributing to the community. A recent Tufts University study found that as a group, girls who join 4-H clubs are especially likely to demonstrate positive behaviors.

To sign up for a club, meet the club leaders and find out more about 4-H activities, students must attend this year's annual 4-H Open House on Friday evening, September 13, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Union County Magnet High School. The school is located at Mancuso Hall in the Union County Vocational-Technical Schools campus, 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains.

For more information about the September 13 Open House, contact Union County 4-H Agent James Nichnadowicz at 908-654-9854 or jnichnadowicz@ucnj.org.

For more information about all Union County Extension programs, including 4-H, Master Tree Stewards and Master Gardeners, visit ucnj.org/rce.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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