TILLAMOOK - Still the largest out-of-school educational program in the United States, 4-H is strong and growing in Tillamook County.

"Unfortunately, we do have some kids waiting for 4-H club leaders," said Nancy Kershaw, local Oregon State University Extension Service agent.

OSU Extension Service offers 4-H as an informal, community-focused education program for local youth. The program is open to all Tillamook County children from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The program's mission is to "develop youth and adult potential to improve communities through learning to make a living, strengthening families and communities, becoming lifelong learners, developing leadership and using research-based knowledge," Kershaw said.

Local 4-H clubs focus on a number of topics, including animal science, engineering, art, home economics and natural resources.

The 4-H program in Tillamook County involves roughly 100 volunteer leaders working with more than 500 youth in 80 clubs. Volunteers complete a leader application, provide references, and attend a new leader orientation or complete a video orientation course prior to starting a 4-H club.

Local leaders are needed to head the following clubs: clothing, art, photography, "adventures" (kindergarten through third grade), poultry and pygmy goats.

Those interested in becoming 4-H leaders may contact Kershaw or fellow agent Joy Jones at OSU Extension, 2204 Fourth St., Tillamook, or call (503) 842-3433.

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