EATON – Preble County Commissioners met with OSU Extension Educator Christy Millhouse and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Educator Jackson Hile for their quarterly update on Wednesday, July 7.
Millhouse reported on recently completing 4-H camp for the year, with 74 4-H campers and 26 teen counselors who had been planning and training since January.
“One of the amazing things about camp is that we start with this blank slate every year and we say okay, this is 2021, this is 2022, whatever it is, and the kids plan what programs they are going to offer. They teach those programs, they research what they want to do, and those kinds of things. I think it’s a really neat way to show that leadership in action with our team leaders.
Millhouse shared some of the activities the participants took part in, and said the counselors did a “great job.”
“It’s about camaraderie and that sense of belonging,” she said of the 4-H camp experience.
The 4-H program is now moving into getting ready for fair, she said.
“The other thing that I’ve been doing this summer that’s a little bit different, is I’ve worked with a couple of daycares in the summer before doing programming with their school-age children,” Millhouse explained. Children from a daycare in Eaton have been walking to the Extension office and a former 4-H member has been working on doing coding with them, she said.
“We’re using the little Sphero robots, which are the little round robots, and you can pair them with iPads and they can program them. She’s been teaching really simple coding,” she said. “And they also have a garden they’ve planted at their center, so we’ve been doing some gardening activities.”
The students are also working on a “Clever Bot Challenge” as part of a state level program, Millhouse explained. “The challenge this year is to build a colony on Mars and then they have to build some kind of moving parts. So, this year, it’s kind of a transportation piece.”
She noted, “And then, in the next couple of weeks we’ll have times when all those teams across the state, do a virtual showcase. Basically, those teams meet with adults and then talk about what they’ve made and share those things.”
Millhouse and commissioners also discussed the OSU Extension Office’s upcoming move to the fairgrounds.
Hile, who met with commissioners during a previous meeting, said he had spoken with Preble County Job and Family Services Director Becky Sorrell and said the earliest he’d be able to do programming would be in January 2022. “So, as soon as she can guarantee me the participants, we will go forward with doing programming,” Hile said.
He also clarified, the SNAP Education program is funded at the state level, not the USDA or Preble County JFS.
Commissioners questioned the territory Hile covers.
“There’s no set county. This is my base – Preble County – I’ve done programming in Butler, and but we’re a program in Darke. It’s any county with SNAP,” he said.
Commissioners also questioned what would help get school district’s qualified for the programming, which is based on free and reduced lunch applications, according to Hile.
“I’ve talked to the food directors, about how it works. I simply have to have the documentation. If they’re not going to fill it out, they’re not going to fill it out,” Hile said of parents in the school districts and the free and reduced lunch forms sent home each year.
Commissioners agreed they would like to see the programming more in Preble County, and offered to help get the word out about it if needed.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr