Cooperative Extension’s Summer Blast is free this year, and filling up

Summer Blast — Stanly 4-H’s annual series of hands-on learning experiences for kids — is always popular, and classes are filling up.

“We’re always excited about Summer Blast around here,” Stanly Cooperative Extension Director Molly Alexi said. “All our 4-H programming is planned and led by Extension agents or select community partners in their areas of expertise. We have 13 programs this summer on things Stanly kids have told us they enjoy learning about — farming, nature and cooking, to name a few.”

Learn more about Summer Blast programs for children 5-18 and register for remaining spots at

“Perhaps the most exciting part for us is — for the first time — 4-H Summer Blast programs will be completely free of charge,” Stanly 4-H Agent Mandy Smith-Thompson said. “The community’s support for our annual fundraising efforts is what made this possible. Period.”

Stanly 4-H conducts three annual fundraisers: the year-round Clover Contribution Campaign, a Christmas tree and greenery sale each fall and a plant sale each spring. Paper clover purchases during Albemarle Tractor Supply Company’s semi-annual Paper Clover Campaign also support local 4-H programming.

In addition to summer programs, 4-H funds raised also offset costs for 4-Hers to attend overnight summer camp.

Individuals and businesses can donate directly to Stanly County 4-H through the Clover Contribution Campaign by visiting or contacting the Cooperative Extension Office at 704-983-3987.

“We want to thank the community for supporting our fundraisers over the years. We hope everyone will plan to order Christmas trees and wreaths through the 4-H fall Christmas Tree and Greenery Sale and shop next spring’s 4-H Plant Sale,” said Smith-Thompson. “We also encourage the community to help us spread the word about the important work we are doing for young people.”
For updates on the Stanly County 4-H program and other Cooperative Extension initiatives, visit