Title

4-H: Putting the Pieces Together for Positive Youth Development

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Through the core 4-H programs of In-School Club meetings, Project Achievement and Summer Camp students who are a part of the 4-H program have the opportunity to feel a sense of belonging, engage in meaningful projects and activities and achieve life successes. It also provides a positive adult-youth partnerships where student can set and achieve personal goals. Students gained leadership skills, communication skills and positive self-confidence through their 4-H experiences.

Brief Program Description

Following the 4-H slogan of “learn by doing,” young people are able to participate in educational 4-H experiences that assist them in acquiring leadership, citizenship, and life skills. The structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that young people receive through their participation in 4-H plays a vital role in helping them achieve success in life.

Summary

The structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that young people receive through their participation in 4-H plays a vital role in helping them achieve success in life. The 4-H Program is delivered in a multitude of methods all across the United States; Club Meetings, Summer Camp, and District Project Achievement are the core of the 4-H Program. Georgia 4-H is preparing the next generation of leaders through In School Programs. This work is providing enhanced resources to school systems throughout our state through delivery of 4-H programming during the school day. This collaborative partnership is an exemplary model of state agencies working to create students who are competent, confident and committed. The 4-H study of Positive Youth Development affirmed that students involved in 4-H are reported to have better grades, higher levels of academic competence, and an elevated engagement at school. 4-H is preparing the next generation of leaders through 4-H Project Achievement. 4-H Project Achievement participants develop research, writing, and presentation skills that help youth perform better in school related tasks and tests, become self-directed learners and contributing members of society and produces work ready young adults. Through the 4-H Project Achievement process, youth explore an area of interest, gain knowledge and skills in the area and prepare presentations and evidence of learning. 4-H is preparing the next generation of leaders through the Summer Camping Program. Youth of all ages experience adventure, friendship and fun in a safe and natural environment. Through 4-H summer camp, 4-H youth have opportunities for experiences in responsibility and enhancement of social skills allowing them to co-exist and thrive with others in society. 4-H summer camp offers an environment where by youth learn early on the value of cooperation, a life skill necessary for success in community and the workplace. 4-H is the only youth program with direct access to technological advances in agriculture and life sciences, home economics, human development and related areas that result from land-grant university research. The foundation of 4-H is in the practical application of the land-grant university knowledge by youth in their communities.

Evidence

Following the 4-H slogan of “learn by doing,” young people have been able to participate in educational 4-H experiences that assist them in acquiring leadership, citizenship, and life skills. Using Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning model, a holistic approach to learning that involves concrete experience, reflection, cognition, and behavior, Extension professionals plan and implement programming for youth ages 9-19. During in-school 4-H club meetings, Extension professionals use resources and research of the University of Georgia to complement in-school instruction and provide learning opportunities in various learning environments and settings. This unique opportunity brings relevant educational content in combination with a rich contextual learning experience, providing a strong 4-H youth development experience. One 6th grade teacher that allows monthly 4-H science lessons in her classroom commented, “By providing the 4-H club to 6th graders, students are given the opportunity to join a club that helps the community as well as learn valuable information about the environment. Many students don't have the opportunity to learn agricultural science due to never living in a true rural setting. Because of 4-H, these same students experience new things. By having a 4-H Agent come to the classroom, students get information from an expert that helps with the retention of content.” With the 4-H Project Achievement program, Georgia 4-H’s premier research, writing, and public speaking competition, young people have the opportunity to explore an area of interest and share their knowledge with others. In this individualized study, youth acquire knowledge while developing skills in researching, assembling, and presenting information. When asked what is the most important thing they learned during the Project Achievement process, one middle school aged youth commented, “the most important thing I learned is to give good eye contact to the audience I am talking/presenting to. Another is to speak in a loud voice so the audience can hear me. Lastly, I learned that I don’t need to put the paper in front of my face because then no one can see or hear me.” Georgia's 4-H summer camping program, offers youth outdoor adventures, friendship, and fun in a safe, nurturing environment. While many camp activities help young people learn about the natural environment, the opportunity for self-discovery, independence, and cooperation with peers is offered by a week away from home in a residential camping setting. Youth develop self-confidence and individual responsibility in addition to being able to practice good habits leading to healthier lifestyles.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Abby Smith is the 4-H Youth Development Agent in Effingham County. She graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Master of Education in Counselor Education and a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. She is responsible for coordinating, developing, implementing, and evaluating the 4-H program in Effingham County in Southeast Georgia. She directs 1800+ 4-H youth with project work, leadership, and citizenship activities, camps, conferences and public relations, and manages over 50 volunteers who assist with 4-H programming.

Kasey Bozeman is the 4-H/Youth Extension Agent in Liberty County. She holds a M.S. in Environmental Education from Nova Southeastern University and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Piedmont College. She is currently earning an Ed.D. in Curriculum Studies from Georgia Southern University. Kasey is responsible for coordinating, developing, implementing, and evaluating the 4-H program in Liberty County. She directs 800+ 4-H youth with project work, leadership, and citizenship activities, camps, conferences and public relations, and manages 50 volunteers. Her specific areas of interest include working with military families and teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities.

Patricia West is a County Extension Agent/4-H Youth Development in Bryan County, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a Master Degree in Agricultural Leadership. She received her Bachelor of Liberal Studies with a Science focus from Armstrong Atlantic University. She lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband, four children and granddaughter.

Keyword Descriptors

youth development, 4-H, leadership, communication

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

4-H: Putting the Pieces Together for Positive Youth Development

Harborside Center East and West

Following the 4-H slogan of “learn by doing,” young people are able to participate in educational 4-H experiences that assist them in acquiring leadership, citizenship, and life skills. The structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that young people receive through their participation in 4-H plays a vital role in helping them achieve success in life.