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EDUCATOR SPOTLIGHT: Brenda Hill
Extension Educator, FCS
Opened to settlement in the Land Run of April 22, 1889, Cleveland was one of the seven counties organized as the Oklahoma Territory in 1890. Its first citizens named it for President Grover Cleveland.
Osage Indians had fought the Plains Tribes here where settlers built cities and broke the sod for farms. Explorers pushing westward had marveled at the Cross Timbers in the eastern part of the county and the vast prairies beyond. Colonel A. P. Chouteau established a trading post near Lexington, and Jesse Chisholm ran one of his cattle trails through the county. Washington Irving killed a buffalo in the vicinity of present-day Moore and wrote about it in A Tour on the Prairies.
Cleveland County is the home of the state’s largest comprehensive university, the University of Oklahoma in Norman. While other cities were battling to become the capital, Norman’s mayor skillfully directed a bill through the Territorial Legislature designating Norman as the site for the first institution of higher learning.
Although Cleveland County is the eighth smallest Oklahoma county in area, it has the third largest population and two of the state’s nine largest cities, Norman and Moore. Farming, oil production and horse breeding are important industries.
The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) has been presented several times by Cleveland County FCS Educator, Brenda Hill. Brenda’s focus is on “Grab and Go” bags in case of emergency evacuations or sudden disasters. This program has reached over 200 Cleveland County residents and over 600 school children.
Cleveland County’s Oklahoma Home and Community Education (OHCE) members are very active in their community, volunteering in 2013, 27,696 hours which has a community value of $613,190. A primary focus has been on military personnel stationed overseas. Members have made cooling ties for the HUGS Project, sewn quilts for fallen soldier’s families, and clipped thousands of dollars of coupons for deployed military families. County OHCE members staff The Norman Christmas Store in the area where struggling family members give time by making projects in order for them to be able to shop free for their families at Christmas. This past year, about 437 families participated in this project.
Elementary children asking Brenda Hill, Cleveland County FCS educator, questions about MyPlate during Farm to You’s nutrition segment. Surprisingly over half of the children said they loved vegetables!
As FCS Educator, Brenda works each Spring with Pioneer Elementary 4th and 5th graders and their Physical Education instructor teaching the importance of good nutrition and exercise not only in their lives but also in the lives of their families. She also teaches canning classes to county residents and is active in promoting the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) , Grab and Go bags in case of an occurring disaster.