By CHERE SIMMONS
Local 4-H clubs held an open house on Aug. 25 at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds showcasing some of their projects and introducing themselves to newcomers in the area looking for activities for children.
Sponsored by the University of Florida’s IFAS Extension Service, 4-H has deep roots in Florida dating back to the early 1900s. The familiar Hs on the organization’s clover logo stand for:
Head (Mental development. Deeper knowledge and reasoning);
Heart (Emotional development. Developing interest, appreciation and wholesome attitudes);
Hands (Skills development. Ability to do, skill in doing and habit of doing);
Health (Physical development. Understanding and appreciating a growing and changing body).
Clubs on hand Saturday represented more than a dozen locations throughout Hillsborough County with several in the South Shore area. Kids aged 5 through 18, or in kindergarten through 12th grade, can be 4-H club members. Kindergarten through second graders join the Cloverbuds, which is a noncompetitive learning experience, but introduces the members to all the same projects and livestock experiences as older club members.
4-H is for all youth, whether they live on farms, suburbs or in cities. It serves youth from all backgrounds and interests and offers membership without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender or disability.
Clubs represented were:
Chautauqua 4-H Club: Meets at Riverview High School on first and third Tuesdays. Leader: Karen Hamilton, 813-267-3012, firstname.lastname@example.org. This club covers all interests.
Pawsitive Paws 4-H Club: Meets in Wimauma on Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Masonic Park & Youth Camp. Leader: Mary Brigham, 813-503-6530, email@example.com. Interests include dog training, cooking, photography and aquatics.
South Shore 4-H Club: (Full. Wait-list only). Meets at various locations around county one Saturday/Sunday per month. Leader: Michele Dunn, 813-323-2580, firstname.lastname@example.org. Interest is dairy cows.
New Club in Wimauma: Details are in the formation stage. Leader: Sharon Fleck, email@example.com. Interests are various.
On Target 4-H Club: Meets every Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, Dover. Leader: Ray Truitt, firstname.lastname@example.org. Interests include shooting sports (archery, rifle, shotgun) and livestock.
Trailblazers 4-H Club: Meets Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. for dog training in the Brandon/Valrico area. Leader: Barbra Biagiotti, 813-655-0752, email@example.com.
Horses Inc. 4-H Club: (This club has many special needs kids). Meets the second and fourth Tuesday at the Brandon Rotary Camp. Leader: Paula Retter, 813-294-3625, firstname.lastname@example.org. Interests include archery, photography, STEM, dairy, horses and more.
Antioch Critters 4-H Club: Meets in Dover on the first Monday every month at 7 p.m. Leaders: Rhonda Burnette, 813-781-0608, email@example.com, and Melissa Sampson, 813-478-9224, firstname.lastname@example.org. Interests are plants, rabbits, poultry and other livestock.
Legend Dairy 4-H Club: Meets the first Tuesday each month in Seffner at the First United Methodist Church. Leader: Joy Miller, 813-833-2432, email@example.com. Interests include dairy goats, STEM and livestock.
Advantage Academy In-School 4-H Club: (Advantage Charter students only). Meets Mondays at Advantage Charter. Leader: Aprille Shields, firstname.lastname@example.org. Interests include gardening and other projects.
There are also clubs in Odessa, Plant City, and Lutz. Charlie Poliseno is the 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent for Hillsborough County. He can be reached by calling 813-744-5519, ext. 54132, for more information about clubs in the area. His email is email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the website at florida4h.org.