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County Council to Recognize New 4-H Program

RENTON, Wash. — King County 4-H members will be recognized by the full King County Council for establishing and participating in the innovative new 4-H Know Your King County Government program.

The Council recognition of the 4-H members will take place on Monday, May 23, at 1:30 pm in the King County Council chambers. The chambers are located on the 10th floor of the King County Courthouse, 516 3rd Ave. in Seattle.

The county program is modeled after the long-established and successful state level 4-H Know Your Government program in which 4-H members learn about how state government functions and travel to Olympia to interact with their state legislators.

Taking the Know Your Government concept to the county level was the brainchild of Carris E. Booker, King County 4-H youth development educator. Booker believes the new King County program is the only one of it’s kind in the nation, and could serve as a model for other 4-H clubs around the state and country.

Once the concept was outlined, 4-H club members personally contacted the members of the council to gain their support and participation.

“The support from the council has been incredible,” Booker says.

Besides teaching 4-H members about county government, the program is designed to better inform the council members about contributions that 4-H is making in each of their districts.

An online reporting system has been established so that the 4-H clubs can easily log its volunteer hours and community service activities, Booker says. The data will be compiled for each council district, and participating clubs will provide semi-annual reports of their community activities to their council members.

The district reports will be pulled together into a countywide annual report to the council and county executive. An initial report will be presented to the county council as part of Monday’s recognition.

Booker says initial projections are that in 2004 King County 4-H programs have contributed community service hours valued at nearly $5 million.

As part of the program, participating 4-H clubs will ask their council members about community needs and projects within their district that they would like to see supported and develop programs to address them.

The 4-H Program is the nation’s largest youth development program, with more than 80,000 participating members in Washington state.

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Media Contacts

Carris E., WSU King County 4-H Youth Development Educator, 206-205-3177