Encouragement helps youth make better choices

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When you give a child a helium-filled balloon, it brings great joy. But if the balloon is losing air and gradually deflates, the child becomes frustrated. If the balloon is difficult to hang on to and floats away, the child cries.

A balloon is like expectations. If they're too low or too high, they're not helpful. But if the expectations are high -- yet still within reach -- the child holds the taut string of the balloon with an arm extended up. Expectations should make our children stretch, but also still be able to see what they're stretching toward.

Expectations should differ based on each child's temperament, abilities, gifts and talents. A natural-born athlete who is bored in physical education, goofs around most of the time, and still gets an "A," doesn't have high enough expectations set for her or him. The dyslexic child who struggles to keep up with the state standards of reading for his age has expectations placed upon him that are too high -- that may be out of reach.

High expectations can bring out the best in our children, yet expectations constantly need to be evaluated and revamped so that they encourage our children without discouraging them, and so that they challenge our children without frustrating them. What do you expect of your child?

Volunteers

4-H is a volunteer driven program that has given our country many great things and results. Today 6.8 million youth, ages 5 to 19, are involved in 4-H. There are an estimated 60 million 4-H alumni. 4-H programs exist in all 3,150 counties, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. Nearly 35 percent of 4-H participants live in urban communities and about 30 percent represent minority, racial, cultural, and ethnic populations. As in 1902, 4-H'ers today are involved in experiential learning in projects that are important and of interest to them. Today's project areas range from aerospace to zoology. These numbers and great things are only possible if you and other people volunteer your time and energy to help young people.

This is a call to all people that have ever been in 4-H or have an interest in 4-H to help young people learn real life skills. Currently in our county we have a need for 4-H volunteer leaders. It's time to get up and make a difference in our community, volunteer to help young people. Young people need you, don't let them down, don't stand on the sidelines and be a critic, get in the game. Our future is our youth. Are you going to let the continued bad things happen in our community and young people? Everybody has read the newspapers and seen the news stories that drugs, alcohol and bad ethical choices have a negative result in our community and on our economy and are corrupting our youth.

Currently in the Moffat County 4-H program there is a need to show 4-H members different fishing skills, home environment, electricity, wildlife, foods or rabbit topics. If you have an interest in any of these or you would just like to be a volunteer in any other area give us a call 824-9180 or stop by the Extension Office, 539 Barclay. Remember young people need you!

Enrollment forms due

Jan. 31 will be the recommended date to have all enrollment forms into the Extension Office. This will allow 4-H members and leaders to get started all together. We will take enrollment forms after that date, but to allow leaders and members to plan their events, please get forms into the office by Jan 31.

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