By Jodi Baumgartner

School supplies were donated to OCUSD 220 for homeless youth in the district. From left: Shannon Cremeens, Assistant Principal of Oregon Jr./Sr. High School and the district homeless liaison; Lydia Sherburne, Leaf River Soaring Eagles 4-H member and project leader; and Jodi Baumgartner, Extension 4-H Program Coordinator.

    Ogle County 4-H members collected school supplies for the recent National Day of Service. Supplies were donated to the Oregon Community Unit School District (OCUSD) 220 for homeless youth in the district. Over 150 items were donated, along with over $120 in monetary donations for PE uniforms. The Oregon School District services about 2% of the student population who are identified under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Program as living in transitional housing situations and unaccompanied youth. In addition, multiple families request additional assistance with school supplies each year due to special circumstances.

    Lydia Sherburne, a Leaf River Soaring Eagles 4-H member, came up with this project, which was readily supported by Shannon Cremeens, Assistant Principal of Oregon Jr./Sr. High School, and the district homeless liaison. OCUSD 220 has at least 50 youth identified as needing assistance annually.

    The Steward B. McKinney-Vento Homeless Student Assistance Act protects the rights of homeless students by assuring they have a free, appropriate public education, identifying and providing assistance to meet academic and non-academic needs, and ensuring barriers to education are eliminated. Every school district has a liaison as part of this act and ensures students have the necessary resources.

    For more information about the Steward B McKinney-Vento Homeless Student Assistance Act, please visit the Regional Office of Education 47 website at

    To learn more about 4-H or get involved, visit the Ogle County 4-H website at or call the Extension office at 815-732-2191. Please let them know if a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in 4-H.

    4-H is the youth development program of University of Illinois Extension. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

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