Last updated: February 16. 2013 4:35PM - 114 Views

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Children can learn about insects, rabbits and chicks, as well as how to get involved in 4-H, at the Wilkes-Barre Farmers Market today.

That's when Penn State Extension 4-H will host a tent on Public Square from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to introduce the youth organization to potential members and volunteers.

Children ages 5 to 18 can participate in the activities and learn about 4-H programs to develop leadership, communication and citizenship skills.

"Since it's the 100th anniversary of 4-H, we decided to bring it to the farmers market to shout that we've been around for 100 years and show the projects," said Donna Grey, an extension educator who helps run the program.

Activities for children will include learning about entomology by viewing a display of insects and completing a nutrition project by spinning a wheel to answer health questions. They will also be able to create their own bags of dried trail mix and learn about the proper care of baby chickens and rabbits.

Penn State trained master gardener volunteers will be available to answer gardening questions, as well.

Penn State 4-H strives to be known in both rural and urban communities, offering activities including rocketry, photography, painting, fishing and more. The learning experiences from these projects are just one of the benefits of the program, Grey said.

"There's always a lot of great leadership-building," Grey said. The youthful members are able to hold officer positions, plan fundraisers and even compete in local, state and national competitions that test their acquired skills.

Studies have verified the life skills children receive. "These kids are above and beyond the same group of kids that are not in 4-H in these areas," Grey said.

The 4-H program evolved within the Land Grant University system and is the largest children's program in the nation. Each county in every state has one and the annual $10 membership fee covers all the costs of materials for projects done throughout the year.

Adults can become involved by signing up to become volunteers after careful screening. These adult volunteers can create individual clubs, and 4-H Club committees also can form through school, after school and summer camp programs.

"People just don't realize it," Grey said.


What: Penn State Extension 4-H Tent

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today

Where: Public Square, Wilkes-Barre

Children can participate in educational activities.

Adults can sign up to become volunteers.

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