University of Maryland Extension

Edith Williams Receives Certificate from Maryland General Assembly

June 14, 2014 marked the15th Anniversary of the Lucky Clovers 4-H Reading Buddies program in Montgomery County. This program at the Aspen Hill Library for grades K-3 has delighted hundreds of neighborhood children over the years with stories, learning stations, activities, games, and crafts. A highlight of the anniversary program was the presentation of a special certificate from the Maryland General Assembly to Edith C. Williams, the founder and mentor of the program. Edith was an Extension 4-H Programs and Activities Specialist at the Maryland 4-H Center, retiring in 2000. Kendra Wells, a longtime volunteer with the Lucky Clovers, was also present at the library program.

In the spring of 1999 Edith described to members of the Lucky Clovers her idea about an ongoing service program at the library—something that gave older youth the chance to teach and interact with younger children. Within three months time, a literacy grant application was submitted to National 4-H Council, a budget established, a logo and mascot designed, and the basic format of the program was shaped. Under Edith's guidance, the first program was launched out on the lawn of the library in June with a theme of “Places to Go in the Summer.”

The 4-H Reading Buddies program instills leadership, organizational, and social skills in our youth. As a bridge to the community, it is a very visible symbol of 4-Hers in service and an excellent 4-H promotion. The Lucky Clovers teens will be giving a workshop at the NR4HVF on Saturday, November 22 on how other states can start their own 4-H Reading Buddies programs.

A superlative baker, Edith still bakes treats for the program on a regular basis. She was awarded the Dorothy Emerson 4-H Citizenship Award in 2013 by the Maryland 4-H Foundation, and currently serves in a governor-appointed position on the Citizen Review Board for Children in the Montgomery County government. Edith lives in Rockville, volunteers non-stop at her church, and recently celebrated her fiftieth wedding anniversary with her husband, Clyde.

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