BEATRICE - October 6-12 is National 4-H Week across the U.S., and area county extension offices are making the most of it.

Jacie Milius is the 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator in the Gage County office. She says National 4-H Week serves as a great opportunity to show everyone what impact 4-H has at a local and even worldwide level.

"It's kind of a small organization within the county," she said. "But, if you look at it nationwide, we're a very large organization. We're present in all 50 states and in other countries as well. So, it's not just a small youth program in Gage County, but something that's making an impact across the world."

4-H is delivered by Cooperative Extension - a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing.

For more than 100 years, 4-H has welcomed young people of all beliefs and backgrounds, and has given kids a voice to express who they are and how they make their lives and communities better.

Through 4-H programs, nearly six million kids have taken on societal issues, such as community health inequities, engaging in civil discourse and advocating for equity and inclusion for all. The 4-H network includes 500,000 volunteers and 3,500 professionals.

Activities for Gage County 4-Hers this week included a photo contest on Monday, where participants submitted a photo of their favorite 4-H project or memory.

Tuesday marked the first day of the Art or Writing Contest, where participants could draw a picture, write a short poem or story called "4-H Inspires Me to Do." The deadline for both of these contests is Oct. 15.

Wednesday is Spirit Day, where everyone is encouraged to wear green, or a 4-H t-shirt.

Thursday is "Attitude of Gratitude" Day. Youth are encouraged to write a note or draw a picture of thanks for someone in their 4-H world.

Friday is "24 Hours of Service" Day. 4-Hers are encouraged to make a difference in their community with a service project of some kind. The activity and hours are to be donated by Oct. 15. Gage County is also holding a Nebraska Extension and "N-150" Open House on Saturday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. - noon at the Beatrice Public Library. There'll also be a National Youth Science Day, also at the library, and also on Oct. 12 from 1-4 p.m.

Surrounding counties are doing similar activities. Fillmore County had a pumpkin decorating contest along with science fairs in Geneva, Shickley and Exeter.

Jefferson County Extension is holding a root beer float social from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday at their office in Fairbury. They're also doing a community involvement activity at Cedarwood Assisted Living, where local 4-Hers will help put on a 4-H bingo game for residents.

Those who want to learn more about National 4-H Week are encouraged to call their local extension office for more information.