HARRISBURG - In 1912, in Mercer County, the first 4-H meeting was held in Pennsylvania. One hundred years later, through the Penn State Cooperative Extension service, 4-H programming is available in all 67 Pennsylvania counties.

This week, the state Senate unanimously approved a resolution authored by Sen. John R. Gordner (R-27) to recognize 100 years of 4-H and to declare Oct. 7 to 13 as 4-H week in Pennsylvania.

"A recent study by Tufts University indicated that young people who take part in 4-H are three times more likely to positively contribute to their communities than youth who do not participate," said Gordner. "It is only fitting the Senate recognize this important program."

4-H has evolved from teaching agriculture and home economics to also include nutrition education, community development and career guidance. This year, thousands of 4-H youths nationwide will compete in the 2012 National Science Experiment, exploring how robotics can be used to preserve and protect the environment on Wednesday.

The program is open to boys and girls ages 5 to 18, and currently more than 200,000 young Pennsylvanians take part in 4-H activities.