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CO-OP PAGE 6 OCTOBER 2012 SPOTLIGHT


Forty-one years of 4-H leadership A salute to a veteran leader during National 4-H Month


exactly that. For forty-one years, she has served as 4-H leader for local elementary, junior high, and high school students.


“I


Her involvement has placed her behind the wheel more times than she can recall— driving club members to district and regional events, national competitions, speech contests and other 4-H gatherings across the country. New Jersey, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina—Fort Towson 4-Hers get around. It’s part of Brents’ goal to provide kids with experiences that enrich their lives and further their education.


Brents became a believer in 4-H while teaching at Swank in 1972. “I had kids who wanted to get more involved so we participated in Share the Fun and some speech contests,” she recalls.


She discovered 4-H had plenty to offer her students, particularly those kids who lacked the resources to raise livestock or get involved in sports. In 4-H, members build leadership, citizenship and life skills through more than 1,000 projects on topics as varied as GPS mapping, computers, pets, photography, gardening, and entrepreneurship. “If a kid says, “I’d like to do that,’ I try to make it possible,” Brents says.


She locates curriculum materials and helps members pursue their subject of interest. She


can’t cook. I can’t clean, but I can sure haul kids,” jokes Alecia Brents. The Fort Towson schoolteacher has a lengthy resume of doing


THAT’S A FACT


A study conducted by the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, shows youth engaged with 4-H are:


• • • •


Nearly two times more likely to get better grades in school;


Nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college;


41 percent less likely to engage in risky behaviors; and


25 percent more likely to positively contribute to their families and communities.


studies with them, often on Sunday evenings or whenever their busy schedule allows. She joins kids on walks in the woods to identify trees and plants. Along with way, she learns a lot herself. “I tell my kids I am still learning and I will always be learning,” she adds.


As members progress through 4-H, they build self confidence by competing and interacting with others. For Brents, watching a club member win a ribbon—or a $6,000 college scholarship—makes it all worthwhile.


Over the years, Fort Towson 4-Hers have won $30,000 in college scholarships and numerous state championships. “The scholarships make it possible for many of these kids to go to college,” Brents points out.


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Choctaw Electric Cooperative employees are your neighbors and friends. We live here and we know this system like the back of our hand. Trust Choctaw Electric to be there when you need us.


CHOCTAW ELECTRIC Cooperative


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Best Western Inn & Suites breakfast buffet • friendly service


I


t’s important for a small town to have clean, comfortable lodging for visitors. In Hugo, that place is the


Best Western Inn and Suites, located at 2111 East Jackson.


Conveniently located near area businesses and attractions, the Best Western offers travelers a pleasant stay with well appointed rooms featuring free high-speed Internet access, free long distance access, toiletries, iron/ ironing board, coffee/tea maker and hair dryer. King size beds and other upgraded amenities are available in select rooms.


With friendly, helpful staff and a breakfast buffet loaded with over 30 items, the Best Western in Hugo is a terrific “home away from home” hotel. Contact them at 580/326-5100, or book online at book.bestwestern.com.


Brents herself won a $3,000 conservation leadership award from the local Soil Conservation Service for her 4-H work. She used the money as a down payment on a new car. “Mine had over 100,000 miles,” she recalls.


Once behind the wheel, Brents promptly drove her new car to pick up a waiting band of 4-Hers, who gladly hopped in.


ON CEC LINES


CEC


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