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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