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Happy 4-H week!
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We hope you'll join in the festivities as we celebrate 108 years of 4-H in Newton County.

Today is 4-H National Youth Science Day, when 4-H'ers across the country will build robot prototypes to solve an ecological disaster.

Your family can test their engineering design skills by downloading the guide at or emailing

The County 4-H Council created eco-bots on Monday with the help of Rockdale County 4-H Program Assistant Robin Turi, and the home-school club will build eco-bots at their meeting on Friday, Oct. 19 (call for details).

4-H'ers across our county are also dressed as mad scientists with crazy hair today as part of spirit week activities.

On Monday, 4-H'ers wore crazy or mismatched socks and shoes. Tuesday was green or 4-H shirt day.

Tomorrow, Thursday, is "dress like a librarian and read to someone" day.

The reading theme is thanks to the Newton County Youth Summit team. The team is currently collecting new and gently used books for projects with the local library and The Learning Center.

Friday brings 4-H hat day, with bonus points for 4-H'ers wearing hats with an international or reading theme.

4-H "Squarecrows" are on display in front of the courthouse on the square.

They were made by Ms. Horton's club at Heard-Mixon Elementary, Ms. Parker's club at Newton County Theme School, Ms. Fulmer's club at Flint Hill Elementary, and Oak Hill Elementary clubs.

Prizes will be awarded later this month by Mainstreet Covington.

Some downtown merchants are also offering discounts to 4-H'ers who present their member cards this week.

Spires Interiors and Gifts located at 1114 Monticello Street is offering 10 percent off regular priced merchandise to 4-H'ers who show their member card.

4-H'ers who have not received their member cards may come by the 4-H office.

Lastly, I'd like to personally thank The Covington News for their support of 4-H each year on National 4-H Week.

Anyone who reads this paper knows what great work 4-H'ers and volunteers are doing in our community all year round, but we are especially thankful for the excellent coverage each October.

This year's feature articles focus on the successes of the 4-H clubs at one school.

We have active and enthusiastic 4-H teachers and students at schools across the county, some who have been sponsoring 4-H clubs for many, many years.

But as a team, the Oak Hill Elementary clubs have managed to earn top honors in our program for eight years.

Year after year, people ask us what's different about Oak Hill? How do they promote such high participation?

The teachers encouraged us to share their "secrets" so that every club in the county can benefit. Sunday, you read about their Cloverleaf program, and later this week, you'll hear from Oak Hill alumni excelling in Junior and Senior 4-H.

Oak Hill doesn't just allow 4-H to come in to the classroom each month - Oak Hill makes 4-H a part of the classroom every day.

4-H demonstrations are a part of their curriculum, 4-H workbooks earn a classroom grade, and teachers offer incentives for outside of school participation.

Oak Hill teachers make a habit of attending 4-H events, too. We joke that it's because they're so competitive they will do anything for bonus points, but the fact is that this level of commitment encourages the kids to learn, without even realizing they're learning.

Oak Hill teacher Lisa Bond shared a story about one of her 4-H'ers a few years ago who completed a 4-H demonstration on Jamaica, even collecting a small plantain to show the class.

"She was very shy and nervous before her presentation and needed a lot of reassurance," said Bond. "She ended up winning and going on to the district and county competitions.
"4-H gave her a whole new sense of confidence she never had before. She came up to me at recess with her agenda and showed me ‘Look! My social calendar is really filling up now that I am in 4-H. Before this, it was blank!'"

For all the personal successes 4-H has brought youth since 1904 in our community, we celebrate this week.

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