Urban 4-H program offered

WARREN – Children who live in urban settings can participate in the newly formed Urban 4-H club, the Hope Squad, which meets weekly in Warren offering various programs and activities.

Jackie Mills, adviser for the group that formed last fall, said the program offers most of the same activities as 4-H groups in rural settings except that larger farm animals are not raised within city limits.

“The children in the city could raise rabbits or cats. Our goal is we will function like any 4-H with various activities,” she said.

Mills said she first came up with the 4-H urban setting program when she was volunteering as a Master Gardener this past school year at the Warren Alternative School.

“I saw the need for the inner city children to be involved with projects and activities that an Urban 4-H could provide them. I want to be able to expose the youth to different programs and activities such as yoga and drumming. Much of what the youth learn will be life skills they can use in their daily lives,” Mills said.

She said the program is part of The Ohio State University Extension. Children 9 and older can take part in projects, club activities and events.

Mills said Chuck Gantz of the Mahoning Valley Hope Center secured a room for the 5 p.m. weekly Tuesday gatherings. Participants will show their projects for judging. Projects range from making over a room to exhibits on healthy eating and wellness living to cooking demonstrations, she said.

Taylor Varner, 12, who is the group’s secretary, said she got involved because of the craft activities and cooking.

“We do a lot of fun things,” she said noting she made a wallet and other items using duct tape.

Noah Murphy, 9, said it was his cousin, Tyler Cree, 15, of Warren, who got him interested in being part of the program.

“Being able to make different things is what is the most fun,” said the fourth-grader.

Mills said any adult who would like to be an adviser or anyone who would like to share their hobby or interest as a guest can call the office at 330-399-3046.