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Covington County 4-H program among best in enrollment

The Covington County Commission met Tuesday morning and had some key highlights.

The 2020-2021 school year saw over 1,600 students enrolled in the 4-H program. Covington County was in the top five for enrollment in the state during the pandemic year. Despite dealing with the effects of COVID-19, 4-H presented a safe and exciting learning experience for all students. “We are in all schools, and this is a huge accomplishment for Covington County. We offer leadership and citizenship programs, which is a huge help to our teachers. As of the third quarter, we are the highest in the state,” said Extension Agent Katie Lee.

As opposed to working in groups like years past, 4-H organizers had to develop a curriculum for each individual student. Students used Chromebooks, iPads, and computers to follow and even competed against others in trivia contests. Activities included cookie mining, Mars Rover and International Space Station docking simulation, and origami folding with Alabama’s State Seal. They learned how to rock climb, paddleboard, canoe, and help each other at summer camp. They also worked with drones, robotics, rocketry and learned sewing and 3-D art. They also went to July Jamz and set up a disc golf station.

4-H students are typically in fourth through eighth grade. However, students in ninth through twelfth grade learned a simulation of real-life budgeting in the “Your Money, Your Life” program. Lee said a lot of parents have been grateful for their children going through the program. “Numerous parents have contacted me saying thank you. Their children never knew how much a cell phone costs and how to budget for it,” Lee stated. 4-H also provides activities for homeschool children in addition to those in public schools.

The giving back program was a peanut butter and jelly drive. Students were given 45 days to donate PB&J, which was ultimately distributed to food banks in Andalusia, Opp, and Florala. All of the programs helped students become both college and career-ready, develop life skills, develop leadership abilities, and learn to give back to the community.

Citizens Cary and Bonnie Langley addressed their concerns about the Rails to Trails project. Although the commission is not a partner in the project, they agreed to discuss the matter further at a future meeting. “There will be no discussion by the commission, nor any action taken, related to the trails project without including it on the agenda, so the public is fully informed,” said Chairman Greg White.

The commission approved a bid for seed and fertilizer to Andalusia Farmers Co-op and solicitation of annual bids for several routine items used in the road and bridge department. They also approved the purchase of three Mack trucks at a total cost of $292,557, which was in the budget for the year.

The commission also reappointed three of four members to the Covington County Personnel Review Board. Those individuals were Cynthia Donaldson, Bertie Smith, and Ferrell Whatley.

The next meeting of the Covington County Commission will be held Tuesday, August 10, 9 a.m., at the Covington County Administration Building. The public is invited to attend.