Clinton County

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Clinton County 4-H Program

January 18, 2018

CLINTON COUNTY 4-H PROGRAM
STATEMENT OF POLICY


The Clinton County 4-H program serves the youth of Clinton County by providing a strong educational youth development program. This program delivers educational experiences in a variety of settings. Caring, capable, and contributing adults assist in the 4-H program as models for youth. We treasure the rich heritage of 4-H and want to ensure that 4-H is available to future generations of Clinton County youth.


This document sets out certain standards and guidelines to be used to assure that 4-H is good for the youth of Clinton County. The 4-H policy is guided by the 4-H policy-making or governing board, which is the Clinton County 4-H Advisory Council, as provided by the Clinton County Extension Board.  Legal authority for the 4-H Program rests with the Director of Cooperative Extension Service at Purdue University.  No county 4-H policy may conflict with state 4-H policy or federal guidelines and requirements.


Deadlines for county and state participation should be carefully constructed so as to encourage rather than to discourage participation. Such deadlines should be well published. Members not complying with established and published dates and deadlines for exhibition may be denied the opportunity to exhibit.
It is the policy of 4-H to be an inclusive organization. No county policy or practice should be used to arbitrarily exclude youth from either membership or participation. Youth should participate in 4-H Youth Development opportunities at levels and times that best suit the youth’s development and support family involvement.
MEMBERSHIP:  Youth may become 4-H members when they enter the third grade and may continue their membership through the completion of grade 12. Each individual may continue membership for a maximum of ten (10) consecutive years.
Exceptions:
1.    Youth who enroll in grade three and are advanced academically (thus graduating early) may continue for a total of 10 years ONLY if the enrollment occurs in consecutive years.
2.    Those youth who are academically advanced and “skip” 3rd grade, may begin the program as a 4th grader and may continue for a total of 10 years ONLY if the enrollment occurs in consecutive years.
3.    Those youth who enroll in grade three and are retained a grade in public school may continue to progress through the 4-H Program by adding subsequent years of participation, but MAY NOT exceed 10 years of participation.  For example, if a member is retained one year in public school, their final year of 4-H membership would conclude the summer following their junior year of high school.


NOTE: 10 years of membership in 4-H Youth Development is an opportunity - not an entitlement.
Those youth who do not enroll as 3rd grade students or meet the exceptions above conclude their involvement with the program during the summer immediately following the completion of their senior year in high school.
An individual’s 4-H grade is determined by the school grade in which he or she is classified regardless of the time of year he or she enrolls in 4-H. A member does not advance in 4-H grade until he or she enrolls in 4-H for the subsequent school year. Each member should enroll in the division of a project that would best suit his/her interest and potential for personal growth and would enhance their family involvement.  However, if the 4-H grade is lower than the current school grade, the youth’s project is ineligible to be selected to be displayed at the Indiana State Fair.
Opportunities in the 4-H program are available to all Indiana youth as defined regardless of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation or disability. Married young men and women of 4-H age may participate in any of the 4-H projects and activities. However, married persons must participate by the same terms and conditions and/or guidelines as unmarried participants.  Membership in 4-H is gained by annually enrolling through a Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service Office, located in each of Indiana’s 92 counties.  
The 4-H club year usually extends from one annual 4-H exhibit to the next.  Enrollment is an annual process attained by completing the appropriate county 4-H enrollment form. Clinton County’s enrollment deadline is January 15.


RESIDENCE:  Indiana youth typically enroll in 4-H Youth Development programs in the county or state in which they reside. However, individuals living in one county may join 4-H in another county. There may be educational or social reasons for an individual joining 4-H in a different county than that of their primary residence. During a single calendar year, a 4-H member enrolled in a given project is expected to enroll and exhibit that project only in the county of enrollment.
In the event that a project is not offered in the county of primary 4-H enrollment, a 4-H member may enroll in that specific project in a different county.  Approval of this special exception rests with the Clinton County 4-H Advisory Council and/or Extension Board of the receiving county. Participation in 4-H related activities and events (i.e. judging) must be in the county of primary 4-H enrollment.
The above policy is not intended to provide an escape mechanism for 4-H members and families who are unwilling to follow the terms and/or conditions in their current county of 4-H membership. Decisions regarding 4-H membership in a county you do not live in rest with the County 4-H Advisory Council and/or Extension Board in the receiving county.
Extension employees and volunteers are obligated to eliminate (and should not create) any practices that limit, deprive, or tend to deprive any youth of opportunities for membership and/or participation in the Indiana 4-H program.


DEADLINES:  The proper compliance with established, stated, and published final dates and deadlines is considered an appropriate expectation of 4-H membership.  Submitting things on time and following the rules is part of the 4-H learning experience and is considered a reasonable thing to do. Individuals not complying with these expectations may lose awards and privileges. This is especially true in animal projects where animal ownership, raising and identification have a specific time period as part of the project requirements. Members not complying with established and published dates and deadlines for exhibition may be denied exhibition privileges, as well as premiums or awards for that project.


PARTICIPATION:  Attendance and participation at 4-H meetings is highly encouraged as a part of the overall educational experience. 4-H meetings should be of the quality that 4-H members should want to attend, participate, and learn something beneficial.  Also, rewarding 4-H clubs, 4-H members, and 4-H volunteers for attendance and participation in meetings, tours, workshops, local and county exhibits, etc. is encouraged. The rewards for participation in 4-H meetings, tours, and activities should be significant enough to cause the 4-H member to see the advantage of reacting positively.  4-H volunteers and members of local clubs may establish goals for attendance, exhibits, completion, etc. to meet the criteria established for awards and recognition as long as they do not conflict with stated county, area, or state policies.


EXHIBITION:  Exhibition of 4-H projects in local, county, or state exhibits/fairs is voluntary on the part of the exhibitor. The exhibition of 4-H projects provides 4-H members an opportunity to display their 4-H projects, enter into competition and participate in an educational/social environment with peers.  With exhibition also comes the responsibility for abiding by all the terms and conditions pertaining to the respective 4-H project.
COMPLETION:  The completion of a 4-H project must not be misinterpreted as exhibition of a project at a local, county, or state fair. 4-H members are considered complete in their project work for that year when they have 1) completed the “official” Clinton County 4-H enrollment form process prior to january 15; 2) turned in a completed 4-H project record sheet (for all projects) at the established and published date; and 3) had an officially recognized 4-H leader or Extension Educator verify existence of the completed project. Though exhibiting in local or county and state exhibits or fairs is not required for project completion, as it does not necessarily relate directly to content and skills learned in the development of the 4-H project, project exhibition is encouraged as a continuation of the education experience.
Extension employees and volunteers are obligated to eliminate (and should not create) any practices that limit, deprive, or tend to deprive any youth of opportunities for membership and/or participation in the Indiana 4-H program.

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