Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Last night was the reorganizational meeting for the Suffolk County 4-H Program Advisory Council, of which I am a member. 4-H is such a wonderful, under utilized resource here in our county, and last night I agreed to step up into a position that will (hopefully) bring more recognition the materials and workshops that are available. Everyone who reads the Calendar of Events on sees all the fantastic parenting workshops offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Do you know that 4-H has a Life Skills Program to offer character enhancing workshops for our children? Can you imagine the peace that would ensue in your homes if the parents took a Tween/Teen Communication class and the kids did a workshop on Bullying Prevention, which is all about teaching self worth, and effective commnication?

There are two projects in the development stages that are very exciting to me. The first is building and installing bat houses. The Long Island ScienCenter has a great class on bats, in which the kids learn that the Chiroptera's most favorite meal is a huge, juicy mosquito. The installation of bat houses would give the bats a home and give us humans a break from mosquitoes. All this, with zero environmental impact... unless you're a mosquito!

The second project is the creation of pet shelters in the event of a disaster. We all remember the horrific scenes from Hurricane Katrina of emaciated, dehydrated animals trying to stay on rooftops. And more recently, the devastating fires in California in which people refused to evacuate because there were no shelters for their pets. The Suffolk County 4-H will be working with Cornell to develop a program to meet this need and increase awareness for pet owners.

Whew! I am glad to have all of that off my brain; and I can't wait to get started on these projects. If any of you feel inspired, drop someone at CCE a line and let them know you appreciate all the work they do on behalf of our county.

If you have needs, or suggestions, or a special talent you can contribute please think about doing so. There are so many areas that I am sure you will find the one that's right for you. After all "Volunteers are the Heart of 4-H"!


Nan Patience said...

I LOVE CCE. I was interested in 4-H some time ago, but I couldn't seem to get connected. Maybe you'll help get folks connected easilier.

Mom of 3 said...

It's not hard once you get to the right person. Nancy Benardello is the 4-H Club Coordinator and she works out of the 4-H program center which is at Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank.

jean-marie said...

Oh, I wish I could've done 4H with my older two! I did look into it, but at the time, it didn't work out for us. Our dip into scouting wasn't too successful, either. Ended up with more academically-oriented groups. Maybe with my littlest, we can. I love that they're doing bats! I just did a whole unit on bats with my kindergarten ESL students...they loved it! Riv. Library has a wonderful video you can borrow about bats, from the Bat Conservation Society. Really well-done and the kids loved it!

Mom of 3 said...

4-H is an amazing experience. We chose it over scouting because I didn't like the idea of the kids doing a project for a reward, and with 4-H you have the flexibility to change a project to fit your group. Your little one is welcomed to join our group when the time comes, we have lots of siblings waiting to trun 5 so they can "officially" participate!

jean-marie said...

Ooohhh...i will keep that in mind. Do they keep going through summer?

Mom of 3 said...

The 4-H year rons 10/1-9/30; there is a summer fair at the farm as well as State Fair each year. It is completely up to each group how they choose to meet... again, the beauty of 4-H as opposed to other programs that shall remain nameless!!