Alabama 4-H has increased enrollment to 180,000 young people involved in 4-H. Students must wait to participate in science and camping programs due to size at the 4-H center located south of Birmingham.

In response to these challenges, <a href=””>the Alabama 4-H Foundation</a> announced a capital campaign, “The Center of It All,” focusing on expanding the infrastructure at the 4-H Center. This will help the program provide hands-on learning experiences for all Alabama youth.

<a href=””>Molly Gregg</a>, Alabama Cooperative Extension System Assistant Director for 4-H explains the lack of facility space to accommodate the influx of members wanting to attend signature overnight programs and events at the 4-H center.

“Right now we’ve reached our capacity at camp,” said Gregg. “It’s hard as a youth development professional to think there are children who cannot come to camp because we don’t have enough room for them. This campaign addresses this need so that every interested child in Alabama can participate.”

The campaign’s $9.9 million goal still likes $2.5 million in order to meet the goal and ensure a spot for everyone at the 4-H center.

“Generous donations to the 4-H Foundation capital campaign will help shape the future leaders of Alabama,” said <a href=””>Gary Lemme</a>, Alabama Extension Director. “It’s an important investment in both young people’s and the entire state’s future.”

The growth of Alabama 4-H reflects its commitment to empowering young people. Last year, more than 100 Alabama schools visited the 4-H Center and participated in overnight education programs. Additionally, the Alabama 4-H Science School hosted 22,000 students at the Center through residential outdoor environmental education, summer camp, and off-site outreach programs.

Recently, Alabama 4-H was gifted 108 acres where the 4-H center is located. This additional land will serve as a construction site for new dining facilities and dormitories on the current site.

Three projects will provide more opportunities and will include:

  • Project one, Expanded Dining and New Kitchen: The 4-H center will increase the number of youth who benefit from center programs by expanding seating availability by 65 percent.
  • Project two, New Dormitories: More dormitories will allow more youth to have an opportunity for an overnight experience
  • Project three, Alabama 4-H Fund for Excellence: Gifts to this fund will give the foundation the resources to launch special initiatives, meet pressing 4-H needs, provide scholarship support, and capitalize on emerging opportunities to strengthen 4-H programs.

“4-H develops young people who are going to be leaders and determine the success of their county, state, country, and in some cases, the world,” said Boyd Christenberry, Campaign Honorary Chair.

The opportunities available to young people are the building blocks that shape tomorrow’s leaders. Alabama 4-H is committed to creating leaders with the knowledgeable skills to guide their communities.

“4-H is different than any other youth organization,” said <a href=””>Paul Pinyan</a>, executive director of the Alabama Farmers Federation and chairman of the Alabama 4-H Foundation. “There are no dues, and you can specialize in your individual project or interest and explore careers that you may want to learn more about earlier on in life that will shape your path for the future.”<span style=”font-family: Times New Roman,serif; font-size: medium;”><span style=”color: black; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; font-size: large;”>  </span></span>

Categories: Alabama News, Local News, Spirit of Alabama