4-H kicks off an­other year

The Covington News - - Local - TERRI KIM­BLE

I have a nom­i­na­tion for Ge­or­gia Pub­lic Ra­dio’s “At­lanta Sounds” seg­ment: the sound of new 4-H’ers recit­ing the 4-H pledge for the first time.

“I pledge my head to clearer think­ing,” they’ll say, timidly hold­ing a hand to their head and lis­ten­ing for the next line to re­peat.

In just a few months, they’ll rat­tle it off con­fi­dently, and by their first dis­trict event, they’ll shout it out in ex­cite­ment with hun­dreds of other 4-H’ers.

New 4-H’ers in New­ton County will say the pledge over the next two weeks as we kick off an­other year of 4-H.

But don’t for­get, while two of us can only visit so many class­rooms, 4-H is for ev­ery­one.

If your son or daugh­ter will turn 9 years old by Dec. 31, he or she is old enough for 4-H.

Home school, pri­vate school and pub­lic school students par­tic­i­pate at all grade lev­els.

We also have a home school club, a County Coun­cil for mid­dle and high school, and other clubs which meet out­side of school hours.

To sign up, visit our web­site at ugaex­ten­sion. com/new­ton or visit the of­fice on the sec­ond floor of the New­ton County Ad­min­is­tra­tion Build­ing to fill out an en­roll­ment card.

You can also meet 4-H’ers and sign up for 4-H at the Cov­ing­ton Trac­tor Sup­ply on Satur­day, Aug. 18 dur­ing their pet cel­e­bra­tion.

Once we have this in the sys­tem for the new school year, you will re­ceive monthly news­let­ters which in­clude meet­ing dates, up­com­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and other an­nounce­ments.

There are a va­ri­ety of com­pe­ti­tions, ser­vice projects, lead­er­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties and fun events throughout the year, and each 4-H’er may choose which events are of the most in­ter­est.

4-H mem­ber­ship is al­ways free; in­di­vid­ual events may have a cost. Why join 4-H? Be­cause it fits the needs of nearly ev­ery youth, that’s why.

Con­sider this: for the last sev­eral years, I’ve judged schol­ar­ship ap­pli­ca­tions for my col­lege’s alumni as­so­ci­a­tion. Nearly ev­ery time, ac­tive 4-H’ers rise to the top of this se­lec­tion process.

And that just isn’t on my score­card, but on ev­ery com­mit­tee mem­ber’s score­card. Why is that? The com­mit­tee isn’t just look­ing for good grades. In fact, some­one with per­fect grades and scores but lit­tle community ser­vice, lead­er­ship, or other ac­tiv­i­ties will of­ten fall to the bot­tom of the pile.

The same goes for some­one who only did one thing, even if he did it very well.

A 4-H’er will of­ten have tried out a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties in his ca­reer, even­tu­ally find­ing an area of fo­cus such as nu­tri­tion, sports, arts, sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy or agri­cul­ture.

Within that area, he then com­peted in judg­ing events and project achieve­ment, taught younger students and community mem­bers, held lead­er­ship po­si­tions and served the community.

Plus, this 4-H’er prob­a­bly wasn’t only a mem­ber of 4-H — he also joined other teams and or­ga­ni­za­tions. In fact, he was prob­a­bly a leader in those or­ga­ni­za­tions, too, thanks to his 4-H ex­pe­ri­ence.

And then, to top it all off — he learned how to most ef­fec­tively record all this ac­tiv­ity through the project achieve­ment port­fo­lio.

I imag­ine some of the students un­suc­cess­fully ap­ply­ing for the schol­ar­ship did some of the same work, but just didn’t fig­ure out how to best present it in an ap­pli­ca­tion or re­sume.

The ac­tive 4-H’er’s ap­pli­ca­tion is well or­ga­nized to the ques­tions asked, and has spe­cific de­tails such as “172 coats col­lected” or “201 youth taught 10 hours of Health Rocks cur­ricu­lum.”

This ap­pli­cant shows a breadth and depth of ex­pe­ri­ence in high school, which lets the com­mit­tee know this per­son will be an ac­tive and suc­cess­ful mem­ber of the col­lege, and use the schol­ar­ship well.

So what are you wait­ing on? Sign up for 4-H to­day

If you are in­ter­ested in serv­ing as a 4-H vol­un­teer, now is also a great time for you to sign up.

Po­ten­tial vol­un­teers must sub­mit and ap­pli­ca­tion for back­ground check and ref­er­ences.

A vol­un­teer meet­ing and train­ing is planned for Thurs­day, Sept. 6, where you can learn more about the op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able this year and how you can help.

To find out more, sign up for the train­ing, or re­ceive your ap­pli­ca­tion, call or visit the 4-H of­fice.

With your help, we’ll make the best bet­ter again this year.

Terri Kim­ble is the New­ton County 4-H Agent through UGA Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion. She can be reached at (770) 784-2010 or tkim­ble@uga.edu.

The New­ton County School Sys­tem has been awarded the pres­ti­gious 17th An­nual Achieve­ment of Ex­cel­lence in Pro­cure­ment Award for 2012 from the Na­tional Pur­chas­ing In­sti­tute. The award rec­og­nizes or­ga­ni­za­tional ex­cel­lence in pro­cure­ment by mea­sur­ing in­no­va­tion, pro­fes­sion­al­ism, e-pro­cure­ment, pro­duc­tiv­ity and lead­er­ship at­tributes of the pro­cure­ment func­tion. AEP awardees ob­tain a score (115 out of 130 for New­ton County Schools) on a rat­ing of stan­dard­ized cri­te­ria. The New­ton County School Sys­tem was one of only 17 school sys­tems na­tion­wide to re­ceive the award for 2012.

“The AEP award is both an honor and a re­spon­si­bil­ity,” said Greg Goins, pro­cure­ment co­or­di­na­tor for the school sys­tem. “It is an honor, be­cause it rec­og­nizes the hard work, ded­i­ca­tion and pro­fes­sion­al­ism of our team. And be­cause pub­lic pro­cure­ment stan­dards will continue both to evolve and be en­hanced, we have the on­go­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity to im­prove our ef­fi­ciency, skills and ex­per­tise.”

In ad­di­tion to NPI, the Achieve­ment of Ex­cel­lence in Pro­cure­ment Award is spon­sored and rec­og­nized by more than a dozen pro-

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