Making A Difference in Our County
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is working hard for its constituents. The following are examples of Extension’s impact in the county over the past year.
4-H Youth Development
The Paulding County 4-H Club remains one of the largest and most active 4-H programs in the state, with 2,473 4-H’ers enrolled in school-based and after-school clubs. Beyond participation numbers, we have engaged youth who are successful, well-rounded and represent us with pride in Paulding County and beyond. We continue to provide STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) support in fifth-grade classrooms, supporting the curriculum through standards-based science lessons in monthly club meetings. Included in this number are two specialty clubs, four judging teams and three target sports teams. These experiences provide youth with opportunities to gain skills in leadership, decision-making and responsibility. In 2018, Paulding 4-H had two district-winning teams in poultry judging and forestry judging, and two state-winning teams in Horse Quiz Bowl and BB competitions. We continue to provide public speaking skills through our core 4-H program, District Project Achievement. In 2018, Paulding County had 59 public speaking contest participants from grades five through 12. Of those, four went on to state competition, yielding one Master 4-H’er and three in the top three in their projects. Paulding County also continued a great tradition of community service through 4-H’ers who collected and recycled 578 pounds of pop tabs and donated the proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, receiving an award for the largest Northwest District pop-tab collection.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
In 2018, UGA Extension in Paulding County coordinated 65 programs, events and exhibits relating to water conservation, horticulture, farming and gardening for a total of 5,922 contacts. Among those programs, 24 volunteers participated in Rivers Alive cleanup, removing more than 120 pounds of trash from Mill Creek in White Oak Park and our program was awarded the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s 4-H Rivers Alive Award. Additionally, we collaborated with Kennesaw State University, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy in Georgia and Paulding County Water System to organize the Raccoon Creek Symposium, highlighting research, education and conservation in Paulding County. The program numbers for Agriculture and Natural Resources would not be possible without the support of Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, who donated 1,797 hours of community service, valued at $41,366. Among their specialty projects, they funded and awarded a local student a $1,000 scholarship, developed and delivered school garden training for Paulding County educators, and delivered Master Gardener Sprouts programs in collaboration with the Paulding County Library System.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Although we do not have an agent for the Family and Consumer Sciences program area, we have worked with nearby agents in other counties to help answer people’s food safety, childcare, housing and financial questions. We have also coordinated with these agents to bring some programming to Paulding County on food safety and health and wellness. This year, we again worked with human resources to bring Walk Georgia to county employees as part of the wellness initiative, and county employees logged 881 miles of activity during a six-week Walk Georgia competition.