Created on November 17, 2014; Written by Allison Preston

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4–H Clubs are a way for kids to learn hands–on skills and develop leadership skills and the number of participants is increasing across Northeastern Michigan.

So far 7,788 kids participate in the Michigan State Extension 4–H programs and the numbers and for the past few years the numbers are increasing. 4–H programs offer a number of ways for kids to gain skills in agriculture, performing arts, engineering and more.

"So it's a really great opportunity for kids to get a hands–on experience that's education backed outside of the classroom," said Alpena County 4-H Administrator Helen-Ann Cordes.

In a longitudinal study on the programs, data shows participants take part in academic activities outside the classroom twice as much as kids not in the program

And many go on to earn scholarships and grants to attend Michigan State University for an education relating to the 4–H programs they participated in.

"Michigan state university 4–H members that attend state events such as exploration days, our great lakes natural resources camp, have the opportunity to apply for a pre–college scholarship. So we actually had four members in Alpena apply for that," said Cordes.

With the increase in participants hoping to expand their education they've also increased the number of programs and volunteers. If you are interested in learning more about the programs, visit the website at

Created on Wednesday, November 19, 2014