National 4-H Week – October 1-7, 2017

This year National 4-H Week will be celebrated on October 1-7, 2017. Across the country, 4-H members and volunteers will celebrate their achievements and promote 4-H work to families, friends and community leaders. Many 4-H members will also participate in the 10th 4-H National Youth Science Day “Incredible Wearables” and the 2017 class of 16 laureates will be inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

The recent September 2017 edition of the National 4-H History Preservation Newsletter provided some interesting background on the history of National 4-H Week.

The first documented mention of a 4-H week was in 1926. Minnesota Governor Theodore Christianson proclaimed “Club Week” in April 18-24 to promote the work of the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs as reported in the April-May, 1926 issue of National Boys’ and Girls’ Club News.

It wasn’t until 1942, in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry in WWII, that National 4-H Mobilization Week was first established on April 5-11 to promote club participation and the work of 4-H members to support the country and troops. President Roosevelt encouraged 4-H members nationwide, “Let your head, heart, hands, and health truly be dedicated to your country, which needs them now as never before.”

Also established in 1942 was “National 4-H Achievement Week” on Nov. 7-14, when 4-H clubs would celebrate the accomplishments of the year’s club work and recruit and plan for the new 4-H club year.

With the end of WWII, the week was renamed in 1945 to “National 4-H Club Week.” In 1962, it was changed to the first full week in March as “National 4-H Week.” After some study and analyses by the federal 4-H staff, National 4-H Week became a fall event, moving to September 26 to October 3, 1964. For a few years thereafter it was held the week in which October 1 occurred. Finally, National 4-H Week was set in 1968 to the first full week of October, as it remains to this day.

Because of its national visibility, National 4-H Week and the month of October is a prime time to tell your local 4-H story. Your 4-H group can create fliers to share at schools, libraries and other public places to promote 4-H. You may be able to make an announcement about 4-H to your school. Your group can plan an appropriate social media campaign to spread the word about 4-H and all that members can do. Think of other ways in your community that you can tell others about 4-H and help to get more youth members and adult volunteers involved.

We hope that everyone in the Delaware 4-H Program will help to promote and share 4-H with others during National 4-H Week!