NATIONAL 4-H WEEK -- Serving 1,200 youths: It’s ‘something to talk about’

When you think about 4-H you often think about the county fair, where youths exhibit their livestock projects and showcase their art, home environment and educational displays, but 4-H is so much more. 4-H supports youth from elementary school through high school with research-driven programming that enhances hands-on learning activities in the areas of science, citizenship and healthy living.


National 4-H Week is Oct. 6-12

Oct. 15 at 5:30 p.m. — 4-H Family Orientation evening at OSU Extension Service

4-H has actually become so broad that many times you may not even realize that it is impacting your family. During 2012-13 4-H reached just over 1,200 Hood River County youths with programs ranging from after-school and in-school activities to 4-H clubs and summer camps.

Our goal is to teach youth life skills that will help shape future leaders and innovators by providing hands-on activities. Hood River County 4-H has 72 active adult volunteers who work to provide educational opportunities to youth through 4-H clubs. Club projects range from livestock, sewing and cooking to robotics, leadership and gardening.

Each year hundreds of youths delve into projects. One of the most exciting pieces is to watch the youths grow as they learn to build a fence for their goat or cook a dinner for their family. It is not about the final outcome of the project, but about the process of learning, experiencing and developing skills.

4-H also partners with local schools to create after-school and in-school opportunities around science, citizenship and healthy living. Programs include cooking, art, and science.

Through cooking activities students learn the process of creating a meal. Students have opportunities to create a casserole that can feed a whole family, practice using kitchen knives to dice, slice and chop, whip up some biscuits or even roll out a batch of cookies. Art introduces students to creativity, passion and community, while science focuses on the process of discovering an answer through problem solving.

Students may find themselves dissecting a pig heart, building a robot or simply creating a rocket that will make it across the field. No matter the lesson, youth are sure to have a hands-on experience that will last a lifetime and keep them coming back for more.

The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development shows youth engaged with 4-H are:

n Nearly two times more likely to get better grades in school;

n Nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college;

n 41 percent less likely to engage in risky behaviors; and

n 25 percent more likely to positively contribute to their families and communities.

Hood River County 4-H cooking participants report that it is the “best class ever! I’m joining this class forever!” and “I think 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.”

4-H is truly is so much more. It is about head, heart, hands and health. It is about community engagement and providing positive and engaging experiences for our youth. Now that’s something to talk about!

This week during National 4-H week we want to say thank you to the community for supporting Hood River County 4-H. From a simple donation to a full-time volunteer, we appreciate and commend you for all of your continuous support.

Join us for a 4-H Family Orientation evening on Oct. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the OSU Extension Conference room. If you are new to 4-H, interested in becoming involved with 4-H or simply want to learn about starting a 4-H club, this event is for you. Phone 541-386-3343 for more information.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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