More than 250 4-H members and community members experienced 11 countries through food, facts and fine arts at the annual International Night held in Smith 4-H Hall at the Kendall County Fairgrounds in Yorkville.
“We discovered traditions, explored geography and tasted some native dishes of these amazing countries,” said Kim Eisnaugle, program coordinator, 4-H Youth Development. “In addition, the 4-H Clubs shared about flags, natural resources, economies and more. The youth were very creative in sharing what they have learned.”
This year, 4-H clubs studied and presented booths on Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Switzerland, South Korea and Thailand.
“Through the annual International Night event, 4-H’ers not only learn about another country and its cultures through the 4-H Passport to the World project, but they also gain skills in presenting that information both visually and verbally.”
As visitors learned from 4-H members, these “travelers” could earn a punch on their passport. Completed excursions “around the world” allowed visitors to choose a small token, such as 4-H temporary tattoos, candy, Frisbee and pencils.
4-H Clubs also were judged on their group Passport to the World projects prior to the International Night public event. Volunteer judges included Mary Church of Oswego, Todd Fellerer of Yorkville and Lynn Paver of Big Rock. The groups were evaluated on knowledge of subject matter, how well they presented, explanation of the project exhibit, and the exhibit itself.
The 2018 top prize went to Barn and Beyond 4-H Club members for their presentation and display about Brazil. They earned class champion honors and the State Fair delegate seat. Seward Kids and Critters 4-H Club earned State Fair Alternate with an exhibit and presentation on India.
Additional 4-H Clubs participating included: Boots, Blue Jeans and Bows; Little Rockets; Millbrook Mighty Ones; Minooka 4-H + 1H; Nothin’ But Country; Outbacker Kids; Renegades, Rebels & Rogues; Rockin’ KC’s; Spanglish; and Stagecoach Trailblazers.
“Hands-on learning activities like these will encourage youth to be informed citizens and to become good local and global neighbors with an understanding of the world around them,” Eisnaugle said. “Thank you to all our judges, participating clubs and our supporters and attendees for a successful event.”
For more information on 4-H Youth Development programs in Kendall County or on University of Illinois Extension, visit go.illinois.edu/extensiondkk.