Youth opinions sought

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 9, 2002

in talks


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As part of a national initiative program and also to celebrate the 100th anniversary of 4-H Clubs, a "Conversation with Youth" will be held from 6:30 until 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Pike County Courthouse courtroom.

Tammy Powell, Pike County Extension System coordinator, said anyone who is interested in the youth of Pike County is invited and encouraged to attend.

"We invite youth and adults, and neither has to be involved in the 4-H program to be a part of the conversation" Powell said. "Those who are interested in youth programs and educational activities will have much to contribute."

The "conversation" will focus on a particular question that every county in the United States is asked to consider: Within the next three to five years, what are the most important actions we can take to create the future we want for our youth, ourselves and out community?

"We will divide into small groups for a 30 minutes ‘conversation’ during which the question will be discussed," Powell said. "After the small group meetings, each group will present the results of their discussion. At the close of the ‘conversation," Col. John Schmidt from Troy State University will bring a conclusion to the meeting by combining the conversations into a short presentation."

Three 4-H’ers will be selected to represent Pike County at the state "Conversation," which will be held at the state capitol Jan. 19.

"We have one 4-H’er who is on the state planning committee for the "Conversation" who will be one of our representatives, but two others will be selected from the participants," Powell said. "We hope that through the ‘Conversation’ we will know how to better program our 4-H activities for the next few years."

Although the 4-H program reportedly might be in jeopardy, Powell said the program continues to be strong.

"However at this point we do not have county funding to continue local 4-H programming in the schools," she said. "We will need to depend on volunteer leaders in the schools and we will provide resource materials to them. I have put our 4-H newsletter on-line and it is available to teacher leaders, volunteer leaders and 4-H Club members. Those who do not have access to an on-line computer will not be able to receive the newsletter."

Powell said the loss of the $13,000 allocation from the county commission will mean no postage dollars, no travel dollars and no supply dollars.

"The entire program will be limited," she said.

The salaries for the Extension System come from state and federal dollars with a negligible amount coming from local funds. "

Right now we are not in jeopardy of losing a staff member, but if someone should happen to leave," it is doubtful they would be replaced," Powell said. "But we are confident that 4-H Clubs will continue. They are vital to the education process for so many of our youths, in Pike County, in Alabama and all across the United States."