By Dave Ongie
For the 16th straight year, youngsters from around Upper East Tennessee converged on the Appalachian Fairgrounds last Thursday to take part in 4-H Project Celebration Day.
The daylong event gave youth from Carter, Greene, Sullivan, Unicoi, Hancock, Hawkins and Washington counties the opportunity to learn about 32 4-H projects. According to Carrol Sharp, who is in charge of 4-H development at the Washington County UT Extension Office, the day offered a valuable learning opportunity.
“Our main reason was so kids could select projects they wanted to excel in individually, whether that was animals or arts and crafts,” Sharp said. “Everything is hands-on. 4-H is learned by doing. That’s our motto. You retain 90 percent of the knowledge if it’s kinetic learning, if it’s hands-on.”
Out of the 32 projects offered, the youngsters were able to select three projects to complete. The projects – which included lamps, memory boards, and Japanese art – can then be entered into the Appalachian Fair, where the youth can showcase their work and possibly even win ribbons and cash prizes.
With a record 140 youth pre-registered for last Thursday’s event, Sharp expects the number fair entries in the 4-H building this August to continue trending upward.
“If they take the Quilt It class and they did the quilted pillow, they could enter that into the fair,” she said. “Since we’ve been doing this, we’ve seen that the fair entries are up in the 4-H building.”
Those who attended Thursday’s event also gave back to the community by donating items to the Ronald McDonald House. Cleaning supplies, baby items and toys were among the items donated for use by the children and families staying in the Ronald McDonald House in Johnson City.