The Faulkner County Cooperative Extension Service is encouraging members of the community to celebrate National 4-H Week by coming out and learning more about the organization.

Staff Chair Melanie Malone said it would be hosting a 4-H kickoff party at 5:30 p.m. Monday on the Faulkner County Courthouse lawn with hot dogs, drinks and chips for the first 100 people.

In addition, there will also be booths set up for kids involved in 4-H to present their projects.

She said County Judge Jim Baker would proclaim October as National 4-H month in Faulkner County.

"We have over 22 clubs in Faulkner County, so we’re hoping all of those clubs have some representation there," she said.

Malone said there are more than 500 kids in Faulkner County that are enrolled in 4-H clubs.

The organization, which accepts ages 5-19, engages youth and encourages them to aim toward their fullest potential by focusing on four areas of personal development including head, heart, hands and health, according to a news release.

"The goal of 4-H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills of youth through experiential learning programs and a positive youth development approach," the release stated.

Malone said the main goal is for kids to learn life skills that they’ll take into adulthood.

Participants are involved in many different areas including fashion design, cooking, nutrition, photography, livestock and more.

"The spectrum is so vast," she said. "We [also] have a large shooting group in Faulkner County."

Malone said Members also have the ability to travel and compete on state and national levels.

In addition to the kickoff party Monday, Malone said they were also doing other activities this week: Tuesday, a chili cookout from 6-7 p.m. at the Faulkner County Extension Office located at 801 Locust St; Wednesday, sport your favorite 4-H T-shirt; Thursday, a treasure hunt from 6-7 p.m. at the extension office; Friday, an ice cream social from 6-7 p.m. at the extension office.

All events are free and open to the public.

"Our clubs are very excited about it," she said. "We just wanted people to know about it so they’ll come out and see what 4-H is all about."

The Faulkner County Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas Extension Service’s statewide network and the U of A System’s Division of Agriculture.

For further information call 501-329-8344.

(Staff writer Hilary Andrews can be reached by email at hilary.andrews@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1215. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)