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Meet Charlie Godfrey Cleveland County 4-H Agent

Charlie Godfrey is the 4-H Agent with the Cleveland County Extension Center. He is a professional educator who provides leadership to the local 4-H program and manages its day-to-day operation. 4-H is Cooperative Extension's youth development program. 4-H is a community of young people ages 5 to 18 learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. The mission of 4-H is to develop youth and adults working with those youth, to realize their full potential--becoming effective, contributing citizens through participation in research-based, non-formal, hands-on educational experiences.
The four H's are captured in the 4-H Pledge: "I pledge my HEAD to clearer thinking, my HEART to greater loyalty, my HANDS to larger service, and my HEALTH to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world."
The foundation of 4-H was rooted in agriculture, teaching boys to grow corn and girls to can tomatoes. Today, youth have many more learning opportunities. Through 4-H, Cleveland County youth can gain life skills by raising a dairy steer or market turkey, judging livestock and poultry, growing a vegetable garden, doing sewing or art projects, competing in public speaking competitions, participating in robotics and other STEM activities, mastering the shooting sports, and much more. Through their 4-H work, local youth have been able to travel to district and state conferences, residential camps, and state and national competitions.
One program that generates tremendous excitement among second graders is Embryology in the Classroom. This is a three-week long cooperative effort between Cleveland County 4-H and schools throughout Cleveland County. The students, with help from their teachers, incubate chicken eggs in their classrooms. On day 1, students set up their incubators, check temperature and humidity, and place their eggs inside. On Day 18, students turn the eggs for the last time. On Day 20, many of the chicks start to pip through the shell. After all the chicks have hatched, student move them to a brooder box and care for them for two or three days until they are ready to go to a local farm. Many students and teachers have said Embryology in the Classroom is their favorite part of the school year.
This program provides a fun and valuable learning experience for the students, and is one of several 4-H school enrichment programs that 4-H has to offer. The goal of 4-H school enrichment programs is to provide quality hands-on learning experiences for the students that aligns with the curriculum for their grade level.
In his childhood, Charlie gained first-hand experience with 4-H as a member of Union County 4-H for 13 years. He showed livestock, completed project record books, did presentations, and held leadership roles at the county level. He earned a BS Degree from Moody Bible Institute and worked in international missions for two years. Charlie then attended NC State University, earning his MS Degree in Agricultural and Extension Education. Charlie says, "I want continue the great things currently taking place while finding new ways to extend the impact 4-H has in Cleveland County. I am here to listen, learn, and work together to make a difference in our community." In addition to Charlie, the 4-H program would not be possible without great volunteers who serve as club leaders, chaperones, and advisors.
To learn more about ways you could volunteer or your children can be involved in Cleveland County 4-H, contact Charlie Godfrey at (704) 482-4365 or charlie_godfrey@ncsu.edu.
Submitted by Greg Traywick

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