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JIS News

The age for admittance into the Jamaica 4-H Clubs movement has been moved from nine years of age to five years.
According to Executive Director of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, Lenworth Fulton, this move has come about as a result of the directorate of the movement revisiting its strategic plan. He said that the old mission statement and strategic plan for the Jamaica 4-H Clubs specified an age group of nine to 25 years, but time had dictated a necessity for adjustment.
“The primary reasons for that, is that a five year old has started to learn about their environment, about what eats good and what taste well, and about animals and plants that they naturally would be attracted to,” he stated in an interview with JIS News.
Mr. Fulton revealed that the new age cohort within the movement would be called “4-H Cubbies” and should give the movement a wider range of youngsters to work with. He expressed the view that the lowered age requirement, which became effective at the start of the 2006/2007 academic year, should enable the movement to become more deeply engrained in the primary school system, to involve more teachers as volunteer leaders and capture the entire age cohort at that academic level.
“So it’s a strategic move to involve both more leaders and more clubbites into the Jamaica 4H clubs, and to widen our offering to the Jamaican children,” he said.
He explained that the focus in the five to nine years age group would be to educate them on topics such as plants and seeds. Pointing out that the 4-H Clubs now had approximately 50,000 clubites on its register, the Executive Director further noted that there was more activity taking place in some parishes than others.
He said that the vibrancy of the movement in some parishes was in direct relation with the type of parish advisory councils operating in those parishes, as well as the commitment of the 4-H Parish Development Officers operating in them.
Mr. Fulton urged more support for the movement from corporate Jamaica, expressing the hope that such entities would recognize that the Clubs emphasized the training of young minds towards contributing to national development.