Opinion

County money: 4-H needs community's help

I am responding to the recent letters on the 4-H funding dilemma by Bill Boylon and Don Meehan. As a 4-H leader for five years, I can attest to the importance of the 4-H program. I have been involved with the Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy and Girl Scouts, Little League and was a member of the Future Farmers of America in high school. I am convinced the 4-H program ranks along with, if not above, those groups and is as important to youth as the YMCA/YWCA and DARE. I have seen young people grow socially and develop a strong sense of confidence regardless of being home-schooled or enrolled in public school.

Our 4-H club, the Colonial Critters, has more adult leaders and more 4-H members than any other club on Whidbey Island. This provides a unique opportunity to interact with parents and youth on a large scale. I can say without a doubt the 4-H program is a character-building community asset and we are developing the leaders of the future of the United States.

The 4-H program needs the public’s help now. I encourage all service organizations to pitch in and contribute to the 4-H funding shortfall, not only now but on a continual basis. It is as important as levies and taxes for schools.

The 4-H coordinator, Jennifer Biddle, will have additional workload, as well as the entire office, due to decreasing staffing in WSU Cooperative Extension. We need your help now — it is the right thing to do.

Gary Fisher

Oak Harbor

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