Making A Difference in Our County
We're working hard for the citizens we serve. Here are some examples of successful projects from the past year:
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
There are 978 youth enrolled in Chattooga County 4-H, and 302 members participated in Project Achievement on the county level. This specific program highlights youth as they compete in a presentation and demonstration-style competition. Youth participating are able to conquer their fear of speaking in public and develop their speaking skills. Eighty-nine youth advanced to a district-level competition, and the county received the highest percentage of winners. Seven youth advanced to state-level competition, with two receiving Master 4-H'er status, one of the highest honors in Georgia 4-H. The high school program increased its membership of youth attending district, state and national events by 61 percent. This contributed to the securing of $9,600 in grant funds to support leadership development programming. Chattooga County has had a long history of empowering youth to serve in district and state leadership positions. This legacy was continued with the following Northwest District Board of Directors: 2015-2016 Junior Board President Lily Thibodeaux, 2015-2016 Junior Board Vice President Natalie Peterson, 2016-2017 Junior Board President Gray Beach, 2016-2017 Junior Board Officer Mary Anna Bentley, 2015-2016 Senior Board Officer Hamp Thomas and 2016-2017 Senior Board Vice President Bronson Champion. Chattooga County is also represented on the Georgia 4-H State Board of Directors, as Hamp Thomas was elected 2016-2017 state representative. Chattooga 4-H staff conducted 204 classroom programs on college and career readiness relating to the College and Career Ready Performance Index, healthy lifestyles, bully prevention and team building. Staff held seven events, reaching over 3,200 attendees, and created a marketing effort called “4-H Movies in the Park.” Chattooga 4-H’ers recorded a 4-H commercial advertisement about 4-H that played prior to the movie. The PSAs contributed to a 36 percent increase in camping numbers. There were other highlights from 2016: One member was selected to serve as an intern in Washington, D.C., for U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson; one member and staff member were selected to represent Georgia 4-H at the American Farm Bureau Conference in Florida; one member was selected to the National Healthy Living Summit as a member of Georgia’s leadership team; the Project S.A.F.E. 22 Rimfire Team placed second; and McKenzie Parker received Master 4-H'er status and the High Individual award at the state contest.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Chattooga County Master Gardeners and Master Beekeepers provide monthly education to the citizens in and around Summerville, Georgia. Four Master Gardener Extension Volunteers serve the Junior Master Gardening Program in three participating elementary schools, serving 204 students in Chattooga County. One Master Gardener received gold-star status through his service to Extension programs. The Chattooga County Beekeepers Association hosted an area Beginner Beekeeper class that was instructed by three local Master Beekeepers and graduated 45 beginning beekeepers. Six county beekeepers instructed eleven fourth-grade classrooms on honeybee education. Over the past year, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension volunteers have reached 4,125 people with programming, logging 421 hours at a value of $8,314.75 to Chattooga County.