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Youth gain lifeskills through 4-H participation


Last updated 6/19/2019 at 9:50am

SHARP Kids 4-H Participants pose in front of "Trees of Knowledge" on which they had placed slips of paper with things they had learned in 4-H. - submitted photo

With the school year ending, SHARP Kids 4-H Learning Group held its final 4-H meeting of the year.

To enhance their educational offerings, the Lake Roosevelt SHARP Kids 21st Century Aftershool program formed a 4-H Learning group. The staff was trained in 4-H Positive Youth Development and enrolled as 4-H Volunteers and the students, grades K – 8, participated in monthly 4-H meetings. These monthly 4-H meetings were facilitated by Linda McLean, Colville Reservation WSU Extension 4-H Educator.

The focus of 4-H Is to promote positive youth development. This is accomplished through regular and positive youth/adult interaction and by providing opportunities for youth to gain the personal skills needed to succeed. The goal of the 4-H program is to help youth to develop into caring, contributing citizens of their communities. Whether it is at home, school or work, youth need to know and understand how to interact with others, in a positive manner, so that they may successfully navigate growing from youth to adulthood.

Utilizing the 4-H methodology of "Essential Elements" – Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity - monthly 4-H meetings focused on providing hands-on learning opportunities. 4-H curriculum was used to help teach participants about building character. "We focused a lot on respect and how to be a good friend", stated Linda McLean. "Youth, especially the younger ones, need to develop skills that will help them to interact or "get along" with others." McLean went on to say, "4-H emphasizes those softs skills or lifeskills that help us throughout life. Lifekills such as critical thinking, decision making, teamwork, problem solving, cooperation, communication and more, are highly sought after by employers. By helping youth to develop these skills at an early age, we are helping them to develop into the strong leaders that we will need for tomorrow."

Research shows that through 4-H participation, youth are 4 times more likely to give back to their communities, 2 times more likely to make healthier choices and 2 times more likely to participate in STEM activities.

If you would like more information on this or other Extension programs, please contact Linda McLean, Colville Reservation WSU Extension Director, (509) 634-2305 or . Or you may contact the WSU Ferry County Extension office at, (509) 775-5225 ext. 1116 or the WSU Okanogan County Extension office (509) 422-7245. Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office. 


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