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Canfield Fair: 4-H program inspires ‘Kids to do’

Canfield senior and 2018 4-H queen Callia Barwick, right, participates in the "Inspire Kids to Do" program with young volunteers, ages six to nine.

CANFIELD — Kristen Eisenhauer’s job is to motivate children to work on self-determined projects.

And George Roman, Canfield Fair director of concessions and grandstand entertainment, couldn’t be happier — he said he likes to see a lot of children at the fair.

“The first-day attendance is outstanding. We’re very pleased with it so far, and it should get better when the children get out of school,” Roman said.

He projects first-day attendance Wednesday is going to surpass 2018’s numbers.

“We didn’t have a very nice opening day last year because of the weather,” he said.

Generally, Roman said he expects 300,000 to 400,000 people come to the fair over its six days. This year’s fair runs through Monday.

Eisenhauer of Boardman, an urban educator for 4-H’s Ohio State University Extension in Mahoning County, was leading children Wednesday in the national 4-H program, “Inspire Kids to Do.” According to the 4-H website, the 4-H Inspire Kids to Do campaign helps kids ages 6 to 9 grow into true leaders through inspirational, hands-on learning experiences.

“We’re trying to inspire kids to do anything they want and to explore their passions,” she said.

Eisenhauer led children in making soy ink pads, seed bombs and egg drops. She was assisted by teen volunteers Callia Barwick, who also is the 4-H queen, Chase Toy of Salem and Emily Fagert of Springfield. Fagert also offered insight on the program, saying, “We’re trying to inspire children to make the best better. For example, maybe this year someone gets eighth place. However, next year their goal will be fourth place.”

Eisenhauer said the children do each activity for an hour.

“Each activity lasts an hour and is designed for kids to come and go,” she said.

The first group is taught how to make soy ink pads, which she says is better for the environment than petroleum ink. Next, they are taught how to make seed bombs, where they take dirt or potting soil and ball it up. Then they place milkweed seeds in the ball. The milkweed ball is supposed to be planted in a garden or elsewhere.

“Milkweed is a really good pollinator,” Eisenhauer said.

The last activity she holds in the 4-H building is an egg drop.

“The goal of this activity is to show kids how fragile eggs are,” she said. “They get to engineer some kind of device to stop the eggs from breaking.”

For more information on the “Inspire Kids to Do” program, visit the 4-H website.