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Celebrating National 4-H week: ‘Making a lasting impact’

The Hood River County 4-H Program is gearing up for the beginning of the new 4-H year. 4-H has played an active role in the lives of 4-H youth for more than 100 years in Hood River County!

With a wonderful history and memories galore, the Hood River County 4-H Program has many plans for the upcoming year. 4-H continues to grow and offer ways for youth to explore and learn new life skills while working with others to accomplish their goals. Youth in kindergarten through 12th grade participate in a wide variety of projects and events throughout the year in traditional 4-H, 4-H after-school and school enrichment programs.

The traditional 4-H program had 280 members this past year. Those youth had projects in livestock, cooking, sewing, gardening, art, photography, robotics and leadership. Besides learning about their individual projects, they participated in camps and workshops learning teamwork, leadership skills and gaining knowledge in their project area.

In July, 4-H members entered the county fair to showcase items that they had made throughout the year and share their knowledge of the animal they raised. 4-H members also participated in community service projects during the year helping in a variety of ways throughout the county.

A Leadership Club member shared that her “favorite part about 4-H is meeting new people from different places and seeing the younger kids at camp grow up. These will always be part of my memories.”

As 4-H changes to meet the needs of the community, after-school and school enrichment programs have become an important part of 4-H. The 4-H program works with the school staff to decide what programs to offer throughout the year. Classes in cooking, art and science were offered this last year, with 1,027 youth participating.

Youth learn the basics of cooking while trying a new food or recipe. Art offers a variety of different projects to help develop new artistic talents and skills while youth gain an appreciation for art. Science projects explore different elements of science with fun experiments and activities.

The participation in these programs has been a welcome addition to the school day for everyone involved. An after-school cooking member said that “Cooking class is a great way to learn fun and easy cooking skills. It’s a fun way to spend the afternoon and it gives you the chance to be more involved in the school and with other students.”

Adults who want to “Make a Lasting Impact” in the life of a child may become a 4-H leader who can either have a 4-H club or be a volunteer with the after-school or school enrichment programs.

Youth in grades K-12 who want to become involved with the 4-H program and adults who are interested in becoming an adult volunteer/leader may call Dani Annala at the Hood River County Extension Office at 541-386-3343, ext. 260.

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