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14 Oct

Join Cloverbuds

October 14, 2009

Cloverbud program lets younger kids get involved in 4-H

Although children younger than 8 can’t join a 4-H club, they do have another option.

Youth who are involved in the West Virginia 4-H program are given the opportunity to develop life skills through socially engaging activities. Members gain knowledge in areas like science, engineering, and citizenship. At just 8 years old, kids can join their local 4-H community club and start participating in activities.

Children who are too young for 4-H but are interested in the program are encouraged to sign up for the Cloverbud program. Cloverbuds is a special program catering to 5- to 8-year-olds, allowing them to learn about the ideals of 4-H through kid-friendly activities.

With October being the start of the new 4-H year, kids are encouraged to sign up for the Cloverbud program now as new clubs are being formed.

The Cloverbud program is designed to help children grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. Cloverbud after-school programs, day camps, and one-night camps are designed for kids who are still developing in these areas.

Each of the program’s activities is designed for groups of six to eight children to participate in, and each runs in a short block of time. Most activities allow kids to be noisy and active, so that they are more likely to focus all of their attention on the task at hand.

Cloverbud activities are designed to be non-competitive. Kids in the program are rewarded just for participating and cooperating in the activities, allowing their self-confidence to grow with each activity.

The goal is to keep children active and involved in the activities while still providing a learning experience. The different activities within the Cloverbud program are designed to accompany each of the four aspects of children’s development.

Opportunities are provided for kids to gain certain skills, such as mastering the use of their small muscles for tasks like hammering or cutting, allowing them to develop physically. The program helps kids mentally develop by allowing them to work on projects and making collections.

The children develop emotionally by becoming involved in community service projects and giving gifts to others. Socially, the kids develop as they interact with each other and the adults who take care of them.

The Cloverbud program also lets kids participate in activities that enhance their learning in areas like science, citizenship and the arts.

Parents are encouraged to get involved with the Cloverbud program by helping at meetings or bringing healthy snacks for the kids. The Cloverbud club leaders can hold family meetings or give kids handouts with activities for the whole family to do as a way to draw in parents.

Even teens can get involved with the Cloverbud program, by volunteering to become a camp counselor or a Cloverbud leader. Parents are also encouraged to take on a leadership role.

Kids who show an interest in 4-H activities are encouraged to participate in the Cloverbud program. Cloverbuds will be introduced to the ideas of 4-H without being overwhelmed by competition and projects.

For more information on the Cloverbud program or local 4-H clubs and activities, contact your county office of the WVU Extension Service.

The Cloverbud and 4-H programs are sponsored by the WVU Extension Service.