Extension 4-H program honored by Ohio National Guard

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COLUMBUS — Just two days shy of the fourth anniversary of “Operation: Military Kids,” the Ohio National Guard honored Ohio State University Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program with a 2009 Adjutant General Recognition Award.

The award

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Major General Gregory Wayt, the Ohio National Guard’s Adjutant General, presented the award at the Ohio National Guard’s annual Family Readiness Conference in Dublin, Ohio April 4.

Accepting the honor on behalf of Ohio 4-H were Bobby Moser, vice president and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, and Keith Smith, director of OSU Extension.

The award was bestowed for the support that 4-H professionals and volunteers have given to children of deployed parents.

About the program

“Operation: Military Kids” is a national initiative in 49 states and the District of Columbia that partners 4-H with the military’s family-support organizations as well as other community partners.

The aim is to organize programs for military youth to help them find positive ways to cope with the stress of their parents’ deployment. Ohio was among 20 states to begin programming when the program launched on April 6, 2005.

Recent figures from the U.S. Department of Defense show that Ohio is home to 33,000 military youth.

Activities

“Operation: Military Kids” programs include camps geared specifically for youths whose family members have been or soon will be deployed.

“Hero Packs,” knapsacks filled with items specifically geared for children with a parent about to be deployed, are distributed. The packs are assembled by 4-H members and community volunteers throughout the state, and distributed at mobilization briefings and other events.

This year, Ohio’s “Operation: Military Kids” program plans to work with regional centers operated by the Ohio National Guard’s Family Readiness Program to offer more services throughout the state.

Learn more

For more information, visit http://operationmilitarykids.ohio4h.org or contact Theresa Ferrari at ferrari.8@osu.edu or 614-247-8164.

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