CASA GRANDE — Next week is National 4-H Week, a time when millions of youths, parents, volunteers and alumni come together to celebrate the positive youth development opportunities offered by the organization.

This year the theme for National 4-H Week is “Opportunity 4 All.” A campaign focused on the theme was created by the National 4-H Council to rally support for Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and identify solutions to eliminate the opportunity gap that affects 55 million kids across America, a press release from Pinal County 4-H said.

“With so many children struggling to reach their full potential, 4-H believes that young people, in partnership with adults, can play a key role in creating a more promising and equitable future for youth, families and communities across the country. In 4-H, we believe every child should have an equal opportunity to succeed. We believe every child should have the skills they need to make a difference in the world,” the press release said.

Pinal County 4-H will observe National 4-H Week this year by highlighting some of the inspirational 4-H youths throughout the county who are working to support each other and their communities.

“We believe youth perspectives are so important along with a solution to eliminating the opportunity gap, because young people come with new ideas and new ways of seeing the world,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO of the National 4-H Council. “By encouraging diverse voices and innovative actions, 4-H believes that solutions can be found to address the educational, economic and health issues that have created the opportunity gap.”

In Pinal County more than 395 4-H youths and 70 volunteers from the community are involved in 4-H, the press release said.

One of the most anticipated events of National 4-H Week every year is the 4-H STEM Challenge, formerly known as National Youth Science Day.

The theme of this year’s event, which is expected to see hundreds of thousands of youths across the nation taking part throughout October, is Mars Base Camp. Developed by Google and Virginia Cooperative Extension, Mars Base Camp is a collection of activities that teaches kids ages 8-14 STEM skills, including mechanical engineering, physics, computer science and agriculture.

To learn more about how to get involved, visit http://www.4-h.org/.

Information about 4-H is available online or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4-H and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/4H.

For information about local programs, call Esther Turner, program coordinator, at 836-5221.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.

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