By Lisa Scott
Members of the 4-H sewing project are ready to start the new 4-H year, but not without celebrating the success of last year. Seven young women qualified for 4-H State Fair: Kylie Keuning, age 16, STEAM 3, third place, formal dress; Reece Peterson, age 14, STEAM 2, reserve champion, fleece pants; Adelyn Hittle, age 11, STEAM 2, fifth place, fleece robe; AmberLynn Snarr, age 11, STEAM 1, fifth place, toddler dress; Faith Lee, age 10, STEAM 2, ninth place, cotton dress; Veda Deitemeyer, age 8, STEAM 1, fifth and eighth place for apron and pillow, respectively; and Chloe Gantt, age 10, STEAM 1, qualifier, cotton shorts.
STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The A has been added to introduce the creativity into this form of education that promotes the integration of authentic learning experiences to students with an interdisciplinary and applied approach.
All 4-H projects and activities were suspended with the COVID-19 pandemic. The sewing project had been underway for about a month prior. The 4-H program was allowed to assemble again in June with rigorous parameters and guidelines in groups of less than 10. Despite taking a long break, 4-H members resumed their projects and completed them prior to the Archuleta County Fair. While the fair was canceled, 4-H created a process for interviews, exhibition of project and judging to take place. The same was true at the state fair level.
Clothing Construction teaches 4-H members the fundamentals to begin sewing, understand tools, notions, textiles, and advance their skills to include finishing touches, styling and personalization. Other members in last year’s project were Emma Gantt, Ashlie Elliott, Lorah Jacobson, Kailey Vincent and Hans Gardner. The sewing project has been immensely grateful to community members that have donated their personal excess of fabric and notions as project members have put these to very good use.
All sewing members focus on completing one project designated for exhibition at the fair, which must be a garment. When this project is completed, students may choose another project, sometimes a garment, but pillows, dog beds and blankets are fun and popular choices.
This year, Lee chose to make dresses for the Dress a Girl Around the World project, which supplies young women and girls with a dress, made from a basic pattern and cotton fabric, and distributed in underprivileged communities around the world.
The new 4-H year is underway and all members are meeting with their clubs and starting work on their projects, which will be on display at the Archuleta County Fair Aug. 5-8.
4-H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, empowers nearly 6 million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. 4-H is the youth development program of our nation’s Cooperative Extension System and USDA, and serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3,000 local Extension offices. The Colorado 4-H program is administered through Colorado State University in Fort Collins.