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Oct. 2-8 is National 4-H Week

October 5, 2005

Oct. 2-8 is National 4-H Week. This is the week to celebrate an excellent program that has offered experiential learning activities for youth for more than one hundred years.

The 4-H Program helps youth to develop leadership, citizenship and life skills through a wide range of clubs, workshops, youth exchanges, camps, and other special activities.

Here in Hood River County, the Oregon State University Extension Service 4-H Program is a well-established program that seeks to provide educational and healthy activities for youth in grades K-12.

The opportunities that Hood River County 4-H offers to youth are numerous, from traditional animal, sewing and cooking clubs to clubs in new areas such as Gardening, Art and Mexican Folkloric Dance.

We currently have more than fifty clubs, with approximately 500 youth and adults involved throughout the year. It is important to note that because 4-H offers such a wide range of youth programs, the best way to find out about everything that is available is to contact Billie Stevens at the Extension office.

In addition to established clubs, there is always the opportunity for 4-H to help create new clubs and programs based on the specific interests of area youth. One recent example is the new 4-H Art Club that formed earlier this year.

A young mother of four contacted the Extension office to ask about an art club, but we didn’t have one at the time. With her interest in getting an art club started, we were able to locate other interested youth and adults.

The Art Club has now had a successful summer, with all of the participants displaying their artwork at the County Fair. Furthermore, the group has been awarded a grant to pursue their art skills while also assisting with anti-tobacco education in the community.

Another wonderful program new to Hood River County 4-H is the after-school program starting this fall. “Nutrition Fun” is a series of three fun classes emphasizing healthy eating and physical activity. The Junior Master Gardener Program, a fun hands-on gardening project, begins Oct. 24. Both programs are offered to all third through fifth graders and take place after school once a week at Mid Valley, May Street and Westside elementary schools.

There are numerous ways in which adults can volunteer with the Hood River County 4-H Program. We rely greatly on the wonderful adults who volunteer to share their knowledge and experience as club leaders. Parents and other adults can also assist groups as club co-leaders or volunteer at special events and workshops.

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Want to learn more?

For more about the Hood River County 4-H Program, please contact Billie Stevens or Sonja Huebner at the Extension Office, phone: (541) 386-3343 or visit the 4-H Web site: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/hoodriver/

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