COLUMBUS — When 4-H began in 1902, the automobile was still a novelty.
Now, Ohio’s car owners can show their support for one of the largest youth development programs in the nation by purchasing 4-H specialty number plates.
For every 4-H number plate ordered, $15 of the annual fee goes to support the 4-H program statewide.
Ohio is the birthplace of the 4-H program, which began in 1902 with a youth group started by educator Ian Graham. The following year, Ohio State University became involved and more clubs began forming, eventually evolving into Ohio 4-H, the youth development arm of Ohio State University Extension.
In 4-H, members learn leadership, citizenship and life skills while engaging in hands-on, research-based projects. More than 320,000 Ohio youths are involved in 4-H, participating in clubs, school enrichment programs, camps and special interest programs. Membership is spread throughout the state. In 2008, 17 percent of youths involved in 4-H lived in suburbs or in cities of over 50,000. Membership nationwide is more than 6.5 million.
Many in the Ohio 4-H community have already gotten their new specialty number plates, which have "Ohio 4-H" under the familiar four-leaf clover, and "Head, Heart, Hands, Health" along the bottom of the number plates.
Sharon Singleton, 4-H educator in Holmes County, simply has "HOLMES" next to the 4-H clover on her new number plate. "I was the first person in our county to show up to order the number plates, the first day they were available" Singleton said.
Lucinda Miller, Ohio State University Extension specialist in charge of 4-H’s Companion and Small Animal Programs, ordered a new plate that says “4HDOGS.” Jenny Morlock, 4-H program assistant in Wood County, has "4H4EVR" on her new number plates.
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