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      4-H clubs gear up for community service

      It is National 4-H Week and clubs throughout the United States are preparing to kick off their community service projects for One Day 4-H this Saturday.

      The week gives 4-H clubs the opportunity to focus on big projects, and gives club members the chance to compete with one another in hopes of earning a scholarship.

      "Kids that really work hard- they can get really big Houston or San Antonio scholarships in the end," Potter County 4-H Agent Kyle Stewart said. "Or even, there's several scholarships that can help kids out. In the end, kids will see a direction for their future and kind of a way to get there, I think."

      Though 4-H has typically targeted kids in farming communities in the past, the organization is now branching out to reach kids from all walks of life. Animals are still part of the club curriculum, in addition to photography, food and nutrition and other projects. Interview and job skills are taught to the kids, as well, helping to fulfill the 4-H pledge of 'Head, Heart, Hands and Health.'

      "I think it's more broad now," Stewart added. "We're really pushing the photography, our food and nutrition programs like foods challenge and cupcake wars. Kids don't have to be on a farm to get involved in it. We want the kids that are just looking for something to do. They can learn the leadership and some community service out of this and just learn the skill or just come and have some fun."

      Potter County 4-H is recognizing National 4-H Week with a month-long project benefitting Snack Pak for Kids. That projects kicks off this Saturday and continues past Halloween.

      "Oct. 31 we're going to have a Trunk-or-Treat night here on the fairgrounds," Stewart said. "It's just going to be a safe location where kids can come trick-or-treat. We're also going to have a haunted barnyard for the kids- we're going to bring in some 4-H kids animals. You've got to bring some peanut butter or Pop Tarts to get in and get active and help out the Snack Pak for Kids."

      Randall County 4-H is also taking part in National 4-H Week- this past Sunday, members of the club gathered at the Cadillac Ranch and painted the cars green with white clovers. The organization was also honored by Randall County commissioners Tuesday, who signed a proclamation honoring the club for 105 years of providing youth-based education to kids in the county.

      4-H is open to kids ages nine to 18. Prospectives can join the club at any time- membership fee is $20. 4-H also offers Clover Kids, which is available for children in pre-k to age eight. Membership for Clover Kids is free.

      Stewart encourages anyone interested in Potter County 4-H to stop by the AgriLife Extension office located at 3301 E. 10th in Amarillo. The club will also be hosting a cookout on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Sam Houston Park from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.