One of the most popular projects for Dallas County 4-H is arts and crafts. Included in the expressive arts area are drawing, fiber art, sculpture, painting, printing, graphic design and scrapbooking. This is a wide array of artistic expression.
4-H is looking for enthusiastic volunteers who would like to spend two to 10 hours working with youth in these areas. Arts and crafts are often offered through SPIN clubs. These are clubs that meet over short periods of time rather than once a month like many of the traditional community clubs.
Youth are required to have a minimum of six hours of instruction in their project area. They can join as many SPIN clubs as they want. Often 4-H uses multiple volunteers over several sessions to make certain members complete six or more hours. A project can be completed by meeting two different days for three hours or maybe they meet once a week for six weeks.
Scheduling is flexible for SPIN clubs and what is convenient for the volunteer steers the schedule. One volunteer doesn’t need to do all the sessions. The activities can be divided amongst several volunteers. Anyone who would be interested in becoming a 4-H volunteer may contact the Dallas County University of Missouri Extension office, (417) 345-7551.
Some supplies are available in the 4-H office. It is great when a volunteer can come up with a project that utilizes donated materials, as it keeps costs low for participants. If supplies need to be purchased, those enrolled in the project are asked to pay for their supplies before the project begins. This makes it easier for volunteers to know the number of participants and avoids unnecessary costs to the volunteer, who might make arrangements for the supply purchase.
4-H is more than 57,000 members strong. In Missouri, 4-H is active in preparing youth for leadership and citizenship, as well as providing opportunities to learn life skills. The 4-H mission is, “Engaging youth as valued, contributing members of their communities in partnership with caring adults.” The organization relies heavily on volunteers to share their passions and to develop adult-youth relationships where they work together for positive change in their community, country and their world.
Currently Dallas County 4-H is wrapping up its 2019-20 4-H year. The new 4-H year begins Oct. 1, and planning clubs and projects has begun.