Carbon County officials recognize people who, through their talents and efforts, make the county a good place.

During the county commissioners' meeting Thursday, the board proclaimed the week of March 17 as 4-H week in Carbon County. Representatives from the organization were present at the event and gave each of the commissioners a gift for the proclamation.

Before presenting the recognition, Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman, read the proclamation.

It states "The youth of Carbon County is one of the county's most valuable resources ... 4-H members contribute to environmental improvement, community service, food production and participate in programs that aid in youth development, health, nutrition, home improvement and family relationships ...

"4-H youth apply leadership skills, acquire a positive self-concept and learn to respect and get along with people ... Therefore, the Carbon County Board of Commissioners proclaim the week of March 17-23, 2013, as '4-H Week in Carbon County' and urge all citizens to give recognition to the people involved in the 4-H program."

Nothstein, thanked the group for all of their efforts.

"It's always a pleasure for us to be able to do this for the 4-H kids," he said.

Georgia Farrow, the Carbon County 4-H agent in the Penn State extension office, thanked the commissioners.

"Without their support a lot of the things we can do with the program, we wouldn't be able to do," she said, noting that many other 4-H organizations across the state do not have the same support from the county commissioners as they do in Carbon. "Our kids appreciate it."

She added that 4-H is a great asset for the county because it helps teach kids not only about fun activities, but also important life skills.

Nothstein also thanked the 4-H leaders, volunteers and families who make the program possible.

He urged the kids to cherish their time in the program.

Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard also thanked members and read a statement he prepared on research he did regarding the program.

"So many people think the 4-H program deals mostly with the raising and showing of livestock," he said. "The program reaches so much further with programs to better the nutrition in their lives, community development/citizen programs, and consumer education programs, to mention a few."

In other matters, Dan Reavy, director of External Affairs for Verizon Pennsylvania, visited the board to provide an update on an initiative the Verizon foundation and Domestic Violence organizations are working on.

Last November, Verizon designated a $10,000 grant for domestic violence awareness programs impacting youth in Luzerne and Carbon counties.

Reavy explained that the idea was to try and reach 1,500 teens in grades seven through 12 through outreach and mentoring programs that relate to dating violence, which is becoming more of a realistic problem.

"Hopefully we will combat this in a positive nature," he said, adding that they are delighted with the progress the initiative is making so far.

To date, the foundation has worked with the Weatherly School District; and will be making a presentation at the Carbon Career & Technical Institute in Jim Thorpe. There are also plans to complete outreach presentations in Panther Valley, Lehighton and Jim Thorpe school districts.

Nothstein thanked Reavy and Verizon for their support of valuable programs to help teens in the county.