• By Ryan Farley, Extension Agent

4-H/Youth Development - Join 4-H for a Capitol Experience

Source: Paula Tarry, Barren County extension agent for 4-H youth development

This spring Frankfort will turn into a sea of green when thousands of Kentucky 4-Hers, volunteers and professionals converge on the state capital as part of 4-H: A Capitol Experience. The daylong event allows young people to learn about the inner workings of state government, meet their legislators and tour political and historical buildings.

For many years, 4-H has been in the business of helping shape the leaders of tomorrow, and many of the current legislators are a testimony to its effectiveness, as they are 4-H alumni. By participating in Capitol Experience, youth can learn valuable leadership skills and receive insight into state government through talking with government officials, viewing a legislative session and participating in educational tours to locations such as the governor’s mansion, the capitol or Kentucky History Museum.

Youth will learn about, and may even participate in, the process of political change. Many times they will get to ask their local legislators questions and discuss issues that involve youth, education, and local communities. Not only is this a great opportunity for 4-Hers, but it shows state legislators that 4-H youth are concerned, engaged and involved in their communities and 4-H is helping them develop the valuable life skills they will need to be leaders.

4-H: A Capitol Experience is a great way for youth to learn more about our state, its leaders and government. This experience will be many 4-H members’ first trip to the capital and their first glimpse into government and the political process.

Having a strong understanding of state government can help youth mature into informed, active members of their community. The event may even inspire some participants to pursue a career in politics or become more actively involved in their local governments. Counties’ itineraries can vary depending on which activities youth, volunteers and agents have decided to include in the Capitol Experience. All attendees are encouraged to wear green to show their 4-H pride. For more information about the program or the local itinerary, contact the Woodford County Cooperative Extension Service.

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