New Partnerships Make the Best Better for Youth Back »


What do 4-H and the Boys and Girls Club have in common? According to excerpts of their respective mission statements, value statements and core beliefs they have a plethora of common denominators, to include:

  • The opportunity for youth to have contact with caring adults.
  • Experiences that foster the development of good character.
  • Empowering youth to become contributing and productive members of society.

And if this isn’t enough, they now share the love of a clover.

The 2013-2014 4-H year in Brookings County marked the birth year of the Helping Hands 4-H Club of the Brookings Boy and Girls Club. Their inaugural year, facilitated by Brookings County 4-H Youth Program Advisor Sonia Mack, included over twenty members; ten of which exhibited over forty projects at the Brookings County 4-H Achievement Days and nine of them sending exhibits on to the 4-H Division of the South Dakota State Fair.

As first year 4-H members and leaders, the club focused on learning the ropes of a program they have embraced within the walls of the Boys and Girls Club of Brookings. That’s right…the Helping Hands 4-H Club meets at the Boys and Girls Club of Brookings during club hours; in fact they meet the first Friday of the month under the leadership of Kelsey Heer, Brookings Boys & Girls Club Character & Leadership Coordinator.

In January, club members and leaders took part in 4-H Jeopardy in order to build a foundation and gain a better understanding of the roles the officers served within their club. The Helping Hands 4-H Club also prepared and presented public presentations and took part in club community service projects, county level project days, and helped with Achievement Days set-up and the 4-H lunch stand.

In addition to the traditional 4-H club component at the Boys and Girls Club of Brookings, SDSU Extension 4-H/Youth Development programs are also being conducted. Over the past year programs like KidQuest, a nutrition program, and Kid Kare, babysitting readiness, have been conducted with increased programming scheduled as we embark on a new year.

As their first year in 4-H comes to an end, it goes without saying the new members have had fun and experienced 4-H success. What a great partnership as we work ‘To Make the Best Better’ because ‘Great Futures Start Here.’

More Information

For additional information on either of these organizations contact your local 4-H Youth Advisor. For information specific to Brookings County 4-H, contact Sonia Mack or call the Brookings County Extension Office at 605.696.8280.

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