Darien Dragons organizes 4-H projects

The Darien Dragons club, started in 2013, consists of six 4-H members ranging in ages from 8 to 15 years and four Clover Bud members, ages 5 and 7 years. Everyone in the club holds an office or committee chairman position, giving every child an opportunity to practice organization and leadership skills.

This club is unique in that one-third of the members have special needs, including Down syndrome. An inclusive experience is provided for these individuals to learn from and to teach their peers. The president, reporter and recreation leader positions are held by children with Down syndrome.

The club chose Cooking 101 as a group project this year, preparing a recipe together at every meeting. They have also had fun learning about wind and the physical properties of air, explored seasonal weather trends, and prepared Valentine cards and cookies for a local assisted living community.

The Darien Dragons are organizing a community garden program designed to bring fresh foods to local communities that cannot otherwise have access to them. They hope to secure a grant from the University of Illinois that will help in this effort.

Club members also participate in individual projects outside of monthly meetings. Among those are aerospace and model rocketry, veterinary science, interior design, and theater arts depending on the child’s interest.

They’ll be concluding this 4-H year with some of the members exhibiting projects at the DuPage County Fair in July.

For more information about how to become involved with 4-H or to join this club, contact Tricia Giron at tricia.giron@yahoo.com or University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Youth Development Director Christine Birns at 630-955-1123.

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