Connecting New Hampshire's 4-H Youth to their Future
Citizenship through Community Service
A recenlty completed 8 year longitudinal study 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development conducted at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development by Richard Lerner, Jacqueline V. Lerner and collegues at Tufts University, collected data from 7,000 youth from 44 states. This landmark investigative study found that 4-H youth who participaed in the longitudinal study are 1.8 times more likely than other youth to make contributions to their communities. These same youth are also 2.5 times more likely to have higher scores of measures of civic involement and civic identity.
In New Hampshire 4-H citizenship development is an intentional process used in 4-H clubs.
One hundred nineteen (119) 4-H groups reported having completed Community Service Learning projects involving 1,200 youth and 1,052 volunteers. The time invested engaging youth and adults working in partnership together was 26.035 hours; youth (12,456 hours) and adults (13,578 hours) resulting in 281 community service learning projects being completed by 4-H clubs throughout the State. Leaders reported groups responding to community needs around areas such as the elderly, food drives, roadside cleanups, environmental projects, Earth Day projects, animal rescue projects, helping families in the community less fortunate, children's book drives and community beautification projects.
Reserach demonstrates that participation in 4-H that supports contribution results in 4-H youth being substantially more likely than other youth to make contributions to their communtiy. The application of the 4-H pledge; "hands to larger service", influences youth is a positive way to make a difference for themselves and their community.
SERVING TO LEARN, LEARNING TO SERVE
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