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 NorthForkParents.com 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"!