4-H PROGRAMS Enroll for after-school gardening, food projects

The Hood River County 4-H Program is offering two new after-school options for third, fourth and fifth graders this fall.

Both fun and educational, these programs will provide constructive activities for youth after school. The programs offered are Junior Master Gardeners, a new and innovative gardening project, and Nutrition Fun, a series of fun classes emphasizing healthy eating and physical activity.

These programs will take place at Mid Valley, May Street and Westside elementary schools beginning Sept. 26. They are open to all youth in third through fifth grades.

The Hood River County 4-H Program and the Columbia Gorge Master Gardener Association have teamed up to offer the Junior Master Gardener Program (JMG). The JMG program has a unique gardening-based curriculum and includes service-based learning in a fun and exciting program.

JMG curriculum is correlated to academic standards and has been shown to improve academic success, nutrition, self-esteem, and help develop youth into leaders. As Junior Master Gardeners, third to fifth grade students will learn about plants, do hands-on activities including planting a garden, and have a lot of fun in the meantime.

This is a great opportunity for kids to develop knowledge, responsibility and community pride through organized gardening activities.

Class topics will include Plant Growth and Development, Soils and Water, Composting, and Ecology and Environmental Horticulture. To learn more about the Junior Master Gardener Program, you may visit the Web site www.jmgkids.us.

Junior Master Gardeners begins on Oct. 24 and will be offered at Mid Valley, May Street and Westside elementary schools, one day per week. The cost to participate in the program is just $2 per child and includes insurance and 4-H membership. Space is limited. After the classes, students have the option to transition into the Prime Time program if they would like that service.

Nutrition Fun is a series of three classes on nutrition and healthy living that will take place from Sept. 26-Oct. 19. The classes will meet once a week (excluding the week of Oct. 10) after school at Mid Valley, May Street and Westside elementary schools. Youth in grades third through fifth may participate.

Classes will include making healthy snacks and learning about food safety. Cost is just $1 for the three-class series. Space is limited. As with JMG, students may opt to join the Prime Time program after the Nutrition Fun class, if they would like that service.

To enroll your child in either of these programs or for more information, please contact:

Sonja Huebner, educational program assistant, OSU Extension Service, 2990 Experiment Station Drive, Hood River, OR 97031; (541) 386-3343;

E-mail: sonja.huebner@oregonstate.edu.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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