Head, Heart, Hands, Health. These four words express the core values of an organization called 4-H. 4-H is a valuable program that helps youth master a variety of skills, develop a sense of independence, and learn in a positive environment. I urge legislators to continue to support 4-H because this program benefits our youth.
The diverse projects that 4-H offers help youth learn a wide array of skills and promote lifelong learning. While gaining practical skills, kids can learn in a fun way about topics such as cooking, electricity, public speaking, rockets, and more!
A 2012 study shows that youth in 4-H reported better grades and more engagement at school. After high school, 76% of 4-H’ers chose a career that related to a 4-H project they participated in. With close to 200 projects to choose from, 4-H assists youth in mastering life skills and encouraging future learning.
Furthermore, 4-H teaches independence by assisting the youth in making decisions and taking responsibility for them. The program develops self-determination, organizational skills and speaking experience.
By completing projects, keeping records, and evaluating your progress with an adult, members establish strategies for achieving long term goals. In a survey given to 4-H teens, nine out of ten participants responded they could stand up for causes that were important to them, as well as make alternative plans if something does not work. 4-H encourages independence, which undoubtedly transfers to other areas in the 4-H’ers life.
Finally, 4-H provides a safe learning environment. 4-H is a great place to meet new friends. Throughout Illinois, over 200,000 students have participated in a 4-H program last year; specifically, one in fourteen Illinois youth was engaged in a 4-H event in 2015!
Providing programs for ages 5-18, 4-H encompasses a wide range of youth. It provides exceptional role models in the form of club and project leaders. Almost 21,000 adult volunteers in Illinois guide young 4-H’ers to grow positively. By creating an inclusive environment, 4-H encourages members to better themselves, their families, and their communities.
Thank you to all the state and county legislators who currently support 4-H. I ask everyone to please consider offering your support to this worthwhile program. 4-H positively influences our youth and our community.
Josh Rossi, Morris