January 19, 2018

News Release

For Immediate Release

EDITOR'S NOTE: Members of the media may contact Jeannette Rea-Keywood of the Rutgers 4‑H Youth Development Program by phone at 609‑827‑0199 or by email at reakeywood@njaes.rutgers.edu.

4‑H Joins with Joann Stores to Spread Love and Grow Local 4-H Programs with Paper Clover Campaign and Service Projects in February

4‑H and JOANN Fabrics stores want to see more kids learning by doing, creating and making. New Jersey 4‑H members, staff, volunteers and supporters will join with JOANN customers to ensure more young people get that chance through a new Paper Clover campaign to bring hands-on 4‑H programs to local areas.

The Paper Clover campaign will take place in JOANN stores nationwide February 1-28. Supporters will have a chance to share their hearts and show their love for 4‑H by purchasing $1 and $4 Paper Clovers to equip county programs and 4‑H clubs with resources to reach more kids in need.

During the month of love, local 4‑H'ers will also partner with their local JOANN stores to hand-make and deliver custom Valentine's Day cards to local hospitals, senior citizen centers, and to local charities and other locations in the county.

Studies show that many young people lose their natural love of learning somewhere between kindergarten and their senior year of high school. When more New Jersey youth have access to local 4‑H programming, they will participate in hands-on projects where they can design, create and make for themselves. These experiences are proven to rekindle a love of learning and produce a variety of benefits - from strengthening their creativity and imaginative thinking to improving their motor skills, coordination and self-esteem.

Proceeds from the Paper Clover campaign will directly support county 4‑H programs. Each Paper Clover will include instructions for a special Valentine's Day craft idea that customers can create to share with someone special. With the $4 Paper Clover, customers will receive a coupon for $4 off their next purchase.

The 4‑H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. 4‑H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K-13 (one year out of high school), on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, domestic partnership status, military service, veteran status and any other category protected by law.

To learn more about the national 4‑H and JOANN partnership, visit www.4‑H.org/JOANN. If you would like more information on how you can become involved in 4‑H, contact the 4‑H office in the county in which you reside or visit the website at http://nj4h.rutgers.edu. Like New Jersey 4‑H on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NewJersey4H/

About 4‑H

4‑H, the nation's largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for career tomorrow. 4‑H programs empower nearly six 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 3000 local Extension offices. Globally, 4‑H collaborates with independent programs to empower one million youth in 50 countries. The research-backed 4‑H experience grows young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs.

About JOANN

For nearly 75 years, JOANN has inspired creativity in the hearts, hands, and minds of its customers. From a single storefront in Cleveland, Ohio, the nation's leading fabric and craft retailer has grown to include more than 869 stores across 49 states and an industry-leading e-commerce business. With the goal of helping every customer find their creative Happy Place, JOANN serves as a convenient single stop for all of the supplies, guidance, and inspiration needed to achieve any project or passion. For store locations, project ideas, and a full product offering, visit joann.com.

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Cooperating Agencies: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and County Boards of Chosen Freeholders. Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, is an qual opportunity program provider and employer.

Rutgers New Jersey 4-H Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station