How We ‘Do 4-H’
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Have you heard the old saying, “if you only do what you have always done, you will always get, what you always got”? I try to apply this saying when planning for how 4-H can continue to meet the needs of youth and families over time. When 4-H was established over 100 years ago, our view of the world was very different. We were an agrarian society and 4-H clubs were established to help us learn to take care of the home and preserve food in ways that would benefit the family! Those same skills are necessary today, however, we have progressed and identified even larger endeavors for 4-H learning. In today’s fast paced world, we expect youth to learn new information and then be able to apply that learning in future situations. In order to accomplish this task, youth must be introduced to critical thinking skills, decision making and communication skills. 4-H clubs are a great place for youth to learn these skills!
As we design activities that challenge youth, we see an emergence of cooperation, exploration, open ended and focused observations. 4-H tries to build upon a child’s natural curiosity and love of exploration! Club leaders that step back and allow youth to “lead” can see the progression in confidence expressed by club members. Our “hands-on” approach to learning has not changed over the 100 years! That model of learning has served us well and we continue to apply that model as we learn new subject matter.
As an organization, 4-H strives to:
- lead educational programs
- focus programming upon current and emerging needs, which are results-driven;
- strengthen life skills;
- encourage volunteerism and community service;
- grow youth/adult partnerships.
Why do we care so much about how young people prosper today? Because we know youth will compete for tomorrows jobs not only with other American youth, but with the most brilliant minds around the globe. North Carolina must educate and graduate people with the right knowledge, skills, ideas and self-motivation to compete globally for job security. I care, because I know our future depends on the youth who are graduating today, and I want to make sure I have done everything I can to assist them in becoming competent and contributing members of our communities.
If you would like an opportunity to assist 4-H with the planning and implementation of programming, give us a call at 336-593-8179, or email our 4-H Agent, Taylor, firstname.lastname@example.org. 4-H is open to girls and boys ages 5-18 without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin or disability. 4-H is a United Fund Agency.