Gore Receives Recognition for Leadership, Support
The lives of an estimated 2,000 children are enriched yearly by a program steered by Linda Gore.
That program is 4-H, and Gore has served as 4-H youth development agent with the Moore County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service since 2002.
“A study done last year shows that 4-H kids do not drop out of school. They stay in school,” Gore says.
That’s reward in itself, says the woman who recently earned three honors in quick succession.
In December she earned a Master of Arts degree in the Liberal Studies program at N.C. State University.
Next she received the Marshall and Jan Stewart 2010 North Carolina 4-H Leadership Award in recognition of “exemplary leadership” in the 4-H professional field. It carries a $500 scholarship.
Now Gore has picked up the Outstanding Support for Military Children Recognition Award. It recognizes service ranging from recruiting teens for Speak Out for Military Kids training to delivering care package items for shipment to service members.
Why does she pursue this work?
“To see the smile on that child’s face when a project has just been successfully completed. It’s especially good when that child is shy, then turns out to be a good leader or exceptional public speaker. That’s reward in itself,” Gore says.
The Stewart award was established by Dr. R. Marshall Stewart and his wife, Jan Stewart, when he was associate director, department head and state 4-H leader. In 2006 the departments of 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences were merged, and Dr. Stewart was named associate director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.
“Linda’s support for military families is obvious through her efforts to provide special program opportunities targeting these heroes,” said the nomination for the military children support award. “Linda has gone the extra mile to support military families and youth.”
Because of the county’s proximity to Fort Bragg, Moore County is home to a larger than average population of military families. For this reason Gore underwent training at the state and national levels to prepare for this special service.
Today’s 4-H program differs from the 4-H clubs of yesteryear, when the movement was based in the rural agricultural environment. 4-H dates to 1902 with formation of the first corn or tomato clubs in Ohio and Minnesota. The four Hs of the green and white clover emblem stand for head, heart, hands and health.
Although elements of the rural agricultural background remain in the program, 4-H has been expanded to encompass such diverse interests as photography and computers, sports and the arts. It retains such traditional programs as animal husbandry, agriculture, cooking and camping.
4-H retains its initial goal of developing citizenship, leadership and life skills in young people through experiential learning programs. The scope of the modern-day 4-H program is expanded to focus on science, engineering and technology as well as citizenship and healthy living.
Gore coordinates the work of 17 clubs, including after-school and community programs and home school groups, as well as traditional clubs.
Among the more successful initiatives is the popular embryology project carried out in 48 classrooms in 11 elementary schools across Moore County. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade witness a basic science lesson through the development of an egg into a baby chick.
Amanda Hickman, principal of Vass-Lakeview Elementary School, is among the enthusiastic supporters of the 4-H embryology program. New to Vass-Lakeview, she has never met Gore but had experience with the 4-H education project at her former school.
“It brings learning to life,” Hickman says. “It is a great vehicle of engagement and gives relevance in learning that children might not otherwise receive. Many children have never been on a farm and it gives them a window onto a new world.”
Hickman says she speaks from the perspective of both a classroom teacher and a school administrator.
A native of Moore County, Gore grew up in a rural community but not on a farm. Nevertheless, she had plenty of experience on the farm working in tobacco and picking berries as a young person. She was a 4-H’er from childhood.
Gore earned her undergraduate degree in sociology from Shaw University and has worked with the Cooperative Extension Service since 1989.
She is married to Ralph Gore and is the mother of two sons, Jovan, a recent Mount Olive College graduate, and Robbie, who works in Lee County, and one daughter, Charlotte, a sophomore at Union Pines High School. She is a member of Carthage Church of Christ, where she is youth leader and a Sunday school teacher.
And by the way, she adds, there is always room for more 4-H members and for volunteers to help with the program. Gore says everyone is invited to call her at (910) 947-3188 for more information about 4-H.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at email@example.com.
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