Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 3:00 pm | Fair 57º


Local News

County Supervisors Expected to Decide Fate of 4-H Program Funding on Friday

The contract between Santa Barbara County and UC Cooperative Extension, which includes support for the county’s 4-H program, might be severed when budgetary decisions are made Friday by the Board of Supervisors.

The 4-H Youth Development Program has existed for nearly 100 years. Its 250 adult volunteers teach young people life skills in the areas of science, healthy living, citizenship, community service, public speaking and leadership.

The county sets aside $153,000 for the Cooperative Extension each year, which help to make the 4-H program possible.

“The 4-H Youth Development Program has been a legacy within programs of Santa Barbara County since the mid-1920s, providing educational and leadership opportunities for generations of Santa Barbara’s young people,” Mary Thieleke Jackson, 4-H management board director, wrote in an email to Noozhawk.

It offers programs such as the 4-H military partnership, which brings activities to military bases and children of military families, and 4-H after-school programs.

The board is expected to make its budget decisions on Friday, after a week of presentations from every county department.

Also in danger of budget cuts are departments such as Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services, Public Health and Community Services.

During the board’s hearing on Monday, children and supporters of the 4-H came together and expressed their concern about the potential elimination of the program.

Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf told Noozhawk that after listening to the young people before her and the rest of the board, she thought the $153,000 would be “a small investment for the future of our kids.”

“If I was a betting person, I guess I would be pretty confident,” Wolf said when asked about the likelihood of the program’s survival. “But I never know until the day of the hearing.”

A national study by Tufts University on 4-H positive youth development in 2009 established that “when compared to other youth, 4-Hers are 25 percent more likely to contribute to their families, themselves and their communities, more likely to see themselves going to college (and) 41 percent less likely to engage in risk/problem behavior.”

The 4-H program is open to everyone, regardless of social economic background, race or gender. It brings adults and youth from throughout the county together to work on programs, events and activities to benefit the young people of Santa Barbara.

“With so much support expressed at the budget hearing on Monday, staff and volunteers are remaining hopeful,” 4-H program representative Sherry Mills said. “UC Cooperative Extension is looking to service the people of the county for years to come.”

The supervisors are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Friday on the fourth floor of the County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara.

Noozhawk intern Linda Sturesson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >