4-H looking ahead to fair days
SUMMIT COUNTY – Quilts aren’t made in a day.That’s something 11-year-old Katy Bilisoly is learning firsthand this spring as she stitches together dozens of plaid and starred pink squares of fabric in her 4-H club.Katy began her project a few weeks ago and aims to have it complete in time to show off the final product at Summit County’s annual Mountain Community Fair in July, where she will compete for the coveted blue ribbon.
“First, we had to learn how to cut the fabric,” Katy said. “Then I had to pin it together before I could start sewing. The sewing will take a long time. Then, I’ll turn it, put the backing on it and tie it.”Quilting is one 18 activities, all taught by adult volunteers, available to local children through Summit County 4-H. Hobbies and skills like leathercraft, ceramics, horseback riding, rocketry, dog-training and snowshoeing round out the list.”We’re trying to teach life skills to kids through the projects,” said Kathie Kralik, Summit County 4-H director. “They learn leadership, decision-making, commitment and community service. With quilting, they have to make a commitment to something that’s going to take a lot of time and patience to learn.”The local program works cooperatively with Colorado State University, which develops curriculum for the various projects. And in each project, children learn the four H’s – head, heart, hands and health – as those values are threaded through the lessons.
This time of year, recruitment is in high gear as children begin their projects.”This is where all the clubs are starting to meet and set goals, choose officers and set their agendas. They plan for the Mountain Community Fair, which is their big hurrah. There, they’re overwhelmed and excited by all the feedback people give them on how much they’ve learned,” Kralik said.Winners at the Summit County fair go on to display their projects at the state fair, where they compete against children from across Colorado.In addition to recruiting children, Kralik is also trying to drum up adult instructors to lead projects, including fly-fishing, English equine, mountain biking and woodworking. Kralik said the adult volunteers get as much out of the experience as the children do.
“I just think it’s a great program. I love to come to work every day knowing I’m making a difference in the community,” she said.To enroll a child in a 4-H project, or to lead a project, contact Kralik at (970) 668-4142.Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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