4-H youth across Louisiana will engage in activities focusing on science, citizenship, healthy living and technology during National 4-H Week, Oct. 2-8. This year’s theme is “4-H Grows Here.”

Nearly 200,000 students across the state and more than 9,000 volunteers participate in Louisiana 4-H activities.

Janet Fox, 4-H department head, said the week is a concerted effort to acquaint more people with 4-H and recruit members, while also rewarding those individuals who are integral to its success.

“This is a time to celebrate what 4-H does for their communities and encourage others to become members, and it is an opportunity to recognize those that support 4-H at the local level,” Fox said.

Fox said some 4-H members will be presenting volunteers and people in their communities who have supported 4-H clubs with appreciation gifts made by the clubs.

The benefits from participating in 4-H have been well-documented. Studies show that 4-H members do better in school, are motivated to help others, increase their self-esteem and develop lasting friendships, Fox said.

One of the highlights of the week is 4-H National Youth Science Day, which will be Wednesday, Oct. 5. On this day, 4-H clubs across the country will take part in “Drone Discovery.” The lesson, developed at Cornell University, is a hands-on engineering design challenge that explores the science behind drones and how they are being used to solve problems.

Heather Egger, 4-H agent in Plaquemines Parish, has just recently acquired several drones and will focus lessons on drones throughout the year as part of her clubs’ commitment to science and engineering.

Another component of 4-H is dedication to community service. Clubs across the state are encouraged to develop and participate in projects that will enrich their communities, Fox said.

In Louisiana, 4-H is administered through the LSU AgCenter, and clubs can be found in every parish. To become a 4-H member, students must be at least 9 years old but no older than 19 by January 2017.

Students can join their school-affiliated 4-H clubs, a parish 4-H Club or be a 4-H member at large. For more information, contact your local AgCenter office or visit lsuagcenter.com/en/4h/.