Pennsylvania 4-H Youth Attend State Leadership Conference

Nearly 600 young people descended on State College, PA, during the first weekend of February for the Pennsylvania 4-H State Leadership Conference and Junior Leadership Conference. The weekend afforded the youngsters is an opportunity to come together for leadership training, networking, and learning experiences.

The weekend, themed “Leadership in Overtime”, kicked off with welcome addresses by the Director of Pennsylvania 4-H Dr. Joshua Rice and Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. The Pennsylvania 4-H State Council — a premier group of young people selected from around the state to be the official spokespeople for the Pennsylvania 4-H program – and the Pennsylvania 4-H State Office coordinated the weekend event.
Saturday was a full day of leadership workshops for the 13-18 year-old attendees of the leadership conference. Those workshops included topics such as teambuilding, stress management, understanding leadership styles, etiquette, interview preparation, and many others.

The Junior Conference for the 10-13 year-old participants gave the younger members a small glimpse of what they can expect to see when they are older. The workshop topics included communication and being a positive role model.

One of the highlights of the Conference was the keynote speakers. The juniors enjoyed an entertaining talk by Katina Hunter, 4-H alum and current volunteer in Pennsylvania. Friday’s keynote speaker, Clint Pulver, entertained the older teens with his comedy and message about leaving a mark and making the best for the world instead of best in the world.

Lackawanna County 13-18 year-old 4-H members attending the leadership conference were, l-r, Maria Parola, Moscow; Ava Davis, South Abington; Hannah Albano, Dunmore; Meghan Graham, Clarks Summit; Julia Mazur, Olyphant; and Faith Hosie, Jessup.
Lackawanna County Junior attendees were, l-r, Emmy Jones, Factoryville; Katie Jones, Factoryville; and Nora Evans, Dalton.

For more information on 4-H, contact Sandi Graham, 570-963-6842.

Program Helps Kids Succeed

Are you a parent or caregiver of a 5th or 6th grader? Would you like to learn some additional skills to help your child succeed and make your strong family stronger? If so, then register for the free Strengthening Families program this fall.

The Strengthening Families Program, for parents and youth ages 10-14, is a seven week initiative designed to reduce adolescent substance abuse and other problematic behaviors in youth.  It has been scientifically tested and results have shown that children who have completed the program are less likely to become involved in risky behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse.

Parents and children begin each Strengthening Families session with a shared meal followed by breakout sessions for adults and youth. During the last hour, the families reunite to increase family bonding, foster positive communication skills, and learn to solve problems together.

Two sessions will be held in Carbondale and Moosic. The Carbondale session will be held from 5:30 – 8 p.m. on Sundays, starting on February 10 at the Carbondale Area Elementary School. The Moosic session will run on Thursdays from 5:30 – 8 p.m. at the Riverside Elementary East School, beginning January 31.

Youth will benefit from attending the sessions by learning to: prepare for their teen years; communicate with their parents; deal with stress and peer pressure; and avoid alcohol and drug problems.  Parents and caregivers can enhance their parenting skills by: learning to set limits and show love; making house rules; encouraging good behavior; protecting their children from substance abuse; and learning to handle stress.

The free program includes dinner for the family, prizes for attendance, and free child care for younger family members.

For more information or to register for this fun, family oriented program, contact Karen Thomas at Penn State Extension in Lackawanna County at 570-963-6842.

Strength Training Classes Offered by Penn State Extension

Are you over 40 and finding it more difficult to take the stairs or get down and up from the floor?  Strength training can benefit you tremendously with your daily activities while protecting you from osteoporosis and losing your balance.

Penn State Extension, in collaboration with The University of Scranton, will be offering the “Growing Stronger” program, a 12-week highly effective weight-bearing physical initiative for people 40 and over and includes food, health and nutrition education.

The classes are designed to help men and women improve their muscle strength and bone density.  Nutrition topics are also discussed and handouts with additional information are given at each class. The exercise portion of the program includes a five-minute warm-up and 8-12 strength-training exercises that work each of the major muscle groups in the body. The exercises also promote proper body awareness, positioning, flexibility and posture. Equipment used includes free weights and ankle weights. The workout is completed with a five minute cool-down.

The class is being offered on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. at West Side Active Older Adult Community Center, 1004 Jackson Street, Scranton, beginning February 6 at a cost of $115.

The registration deadline is February 1, and space is limited. Registrations will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Direct questions to Karen Thomas at 570-963-6842.  To register, please call 1-877-345-0691 or visit

Glenburn Sewing Lackawanna County 4-H Club Forming

Anyone from ages 8 to 18 who is interested in learning to sew can take advantage of a new program by joining the 4-H Glenburn Sewing Club. For more information, contact Hilda Lewis at 570-563-1369.

Administered in Pennsylvania by Penn State Extension, 4-H is a community of more than 6 million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. Penn State Extension 4-H youth development educators in all 67 counties throughout the commonwealth administer local 4-H programs through non-formal education and outreach.

For more information on the clubs in Lackawanna County, contact Sandi Graham at the Penn State Extension Lackawanna County Office at 570-963-6842 or email [email protected].