June 28, 2005 > An old program doing something new
An old program doing something new
by Linda Stone
Baby Boomers may remember 4-H in high school as the kids raising farm animals out behind the auto mechanics class, but today's clubs are very different. No longer associated with the schools, 4-H is an after school activity geared toward youth ages 5 to19 that promotes hands-on learning and is based on parent and volunteer participation.
The purpose of 4-H is to help young people discover and develop their potential by encouraging them to set goals and make decisions building self-confidence. As a program of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), each county maintains an office with academic advisors who conduct research and extend knowledge in their areas of expertise. These advisors work with staff and volunteers to deliver the program in each county.
The 4-H Emblem is a four-leaf clover with the letter "H" on each leaf, representing: Head, Heart, Hands and Health. Leaves of the clover are green, nature's most common color and the "H"s are white for purity.
4-H can be found in all 50 states and in over 80 countries around the world. Some famous people who have joined 4-H are: Faith Hill, Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, Pat Nixon, Jim Davis (the creator of Garfield), Al Gore, Dolly Parton, Johnny Carson and Johnny Cash.
Bayside 4-H represents the Tri-Cities and has been involved with a variety of projects from jewelry making and small animal care to rocketry, rifle shooting and coastal cleanup. Members have delivered pumpkins and holiday bags to Aegis Gardens, an assisted living senior home and operate a cake booth at the Alameda County Fair.
"At Christmas we adopt a needy family and give them gifts and food baskets through LOV (League of Volunteers)," said Julie Colglazier a former 4-H member and a project leader of Bayside.
One of the major fundraisers for the club is selling ducks for the annual Ducks for Bucks race. They have been the one of the top duck sellers for the Kiwanis Club of Fremont in recent years, said Colglazier.
Dawn Olson, project leader at Bayside for rabbits and cavies (guinea pigs), teaches members how to properly care for them. They identify different breeds and show them at fairs. Olson started a rescue for cavies and rabbits and has placed over 270 in 3 1/2 years. They work with PetSmart where the kids tell patrons about the care and feeding of the animals considered for adoption.
Currently, Olson is busy with her group preparing them for the Alameda County Fair. "We have one rabbit and two cavies," she said. They will compete for Best of County and Best Overall with other clubs from around the state.
The club is currently looking for adult volunteers to become leaders for projects. Anyone who has a skill they would like to share with a group of youngsters is encouraged to contact the club. Volunteers should expect to spend three to five hours per month.
For more information about the Bayside 4-H contact Julie Colglazier at (510) 490-6655 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.localpad.com/ca/4h.