4-H Youth Development helps young people build the skills they need to anticipate change, develop appropriate coping skills and maximize the use of their abilities and interests to benefit their communities and plan positive futures. 4-H activities help develop youth self-esteem and positive decision-making skills.
Teachers can integrate 4-H hands-on learning and developmental activities into classroom or extracurricular youth activities. Youth development professionals can start 4-H clubs or integrate 4-H learning activities into ongoing youth activities in churches, after-school or community programs. Risk prevention specialists can use 4-H activities designed to prevent kids from engaging in negative activities that place them at risk.
4-H networks and develops partnerships with youth-serving organizations; educational, cultural and human service organizations; and business, industry, government and other community groups to create youth-centered, caring environments for kids. For more information, see The Unique Benefits of Partnering with MSUE 4-H Youth Development Programs of Oakland County.
Other helpful resources in working with young people:
- Research shows that youth development programs like 4-H play a special and vital role in the lives of America's young people. According to the latest findings in the second annual report from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development (PYD) youth have the capacity to thrive when presented with resources for healthy development found in families, schools, and communities regardless of their background, socio-economic status, race, and gender. As the 2007 Tufts University Study of Positive Youth Development notes, "early and ongoing involvement in youth development programs help children develop confidence and leadership skills where they learn what they like, are able to make choices, be leaders, and have their voices heard."
- The Search Institute is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide leadership, knowledge, and resources to promote healthy children, youth, and communities. Search Institute helps people understand what kids need to succeed and to take action based on that knowledge.
- The Developmental Assets are 40 common sense, positive experiences and qualities that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible adults.
Please contact Tom Schneider at MSU Extension-Oakland County, 248-858-0889, if you have questions.
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