During the past week, residents and visitors in Sedalia may have noticed a transformation to many of the store windows, especially those downtown.
Retail shops and business windows featured new displays that “cropped up” in celebration of Pettis County 4-H chapters.
“October is 4-H registration month and every chapter is doing something to celebrate and make others aware of 4-H,” Mikaela DeVorss, sponsor of the VanNatta 4-H Club, said. “It’s a very special time for us because our chapter turns 80 this year and we are the oldest 4-H Club in Pettis County.
“We wanted to tie the past to the present with our window display,” she added. “We have some of our old charters and ribbons and things from yesteryear but we added some of the recent accomplishments of the kids.”
DeVorss said the purpose of the windows is to allow people who are passing by to see the accomplishments of the chapters.
“It’s a good time for all of us to show off the hard work and success of our kids,” DeVorss said. “Most of our members have helped with the window and a lot of our parents have been here to watch them work.
“Everyone donates their time to help with all of our projects and their help is appreciated,” she added. “When it comes to 4-H, the old expression ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ really is true.”
4-H is open to children from age 5 to 18; youth 5 to 8 are part of the Clover Kids program.
“4-H focuses on teaching our youth citizenship, leadership, and life skills,” Nan Hutcheson, 4-H Youth Program Associate, Pettis County University of Missouri Extension, said. “We also focus on youth and adult partnerships, to make positive impacts on the lives of our youth and in the communities.
“Together youth and adults work together to make the best better,” she added. “We could not be 4-H without these youth and adult partnerships.”
Hutcheson commented that a common misconception is that 4-H is just for people who live in the country and show livestock.
“While agriculture-related projects were the base of 4-H when the organization began and is still an important part of 4-H today, there are so many more projects than just livestock,” Hutcheson said. “4-H has projects ranging from arts and crafts to entrepreneurship to outdoor adventures, robotics and theatre arts in addition to others.
”4-H is designed to teach our youth about real life skills that can help them become successful adults,” she added.
There were 27o members in 4-H last year, representing 12 4-H clubs throughout Pettis County.
“We’re a small club,” DeVorss said. “When some of our kids get older they join their FFA chapters in high school and don’t stay with 4-H but some do both.
“I think all small chapters struggle at times but that is one of the things that I am really hoping I can help do is to help the chapter grow,” she added. “There is so much time that you can spend with your children watching them with their projects and activities; it’s fun to watch them be imaginative.”
Enrollment for 4-H is currently open. Contact Hutcheson at 660-827-0591 or [email protected] for more information.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.