UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State Extension’s 4-H youth development program has received a $100,000 donation from Shell Oil Company to support the growth of 4-H science programming in 11 Pennsylvania counties in 2014.
John Hines, government relations representative for Shell, presented the check to 4-H’ers during a ceremony held Jan. 6 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, Pa.
Benefiting from the donation are 4-H programs in Bradford, Tioga, Lycoming, Elk, Potter, McKean, Forest, Warren, Crawford, Mercer and Lawrence counties. Extension officials say the gift will be used to increase the number of new youth participating in 4-H science programs through 4-H club and after-school programs.
The funds will support new or expanded programs in a variety of curriculum areas, including environmental science, animal science, plant science and engineering. Funding will be available to train 4-H volunteers to deliver new science programs to youth ages 8 to 18 in the 11 counties.
“This $100,000 donation by Shell Oil Company is the first major donation to the Pennsylvania 4-H science program,” said Deb Dietrich, 4-H extension educator based in Berks County and chair of the Pennsylvania 4-H Science Team. “With this donation, Shell has made a significant investment in the workforce development of Pennsylvania youth. We are confident Shell’s support will encourage additional corporations to invest in 4-H science programming.”
The annual Pennsylvania 4-H Science Interest and Abilities impact evaluation shows that 4-H members increase their interest in science across all points of measurement — but most notably in pursuing a career in science.
In addition, the National 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development demonstrated that 4-H members are nearly two times more likely to participate in science programs during out-of-school time than their peers. 4-H’ers also are twice as likely to be active in their communities’ civic affairs.
For more information about the Pennsylvania 4-H Science Program, including how to enroll a youth or make a donation, contact your local Penn State Extension office.
4-H is a nonformal educational youth-development program of the national Cooperative Extension System administered by land-grant universities. The program reaches 7 million youth in all 50 states and in U.S. territories and military installations worldwide. Pennsylvania 4-H, the youth development program of Penn State Extension, is available in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania.