In continuing this week’s theme and celebration of National 4‑H Week, we want to highlight our last “H” in 4-H, Health. As the 4-H pledge states, I pledge my…health to better living.” Just living a healthy lifestyle in general is a huge endeavor for anyone to accomplish and it takes a lot of awareness of self to accomplish it well. As a 4-Her, not only are we committing to make healthy choices for our own mind, body, and spirit but we are also striving to make healthy choices and conduct ourselves in a manner that is healthy for our club, community, country, and world.
Our agents and volunteers do an amazing job in guiding and inspiring our 4-H youth to learn just how to be aware of and make decisions that lead to such healthy living. Through hands-on learning activities and the experiential learning model, these positive adult role models engage youth to challenge themselves and apply critical thinking skills in order to gain additional essential life skills that aid in balanced physical, mental and emotional health. From healthy living clubs to competitive events such as the Consumer Choices Contest to enrichment programs such as Health Rocks, 4-H brings real life situations and choices to the forefront and teaches youth to be empowered in their healthy decision making.
HEALTH FOR YOU, HEALTH FOR ME
Are you looking for certain areas to help inspire your children or neighborhood youth to make healthy decisions? Is there a particular area in the healthy living realm that you feel your children need some hands-on learning? The Northwest 4-H District have shared some wonderful publications over the recent years, highlighting varying aspects of 4-H Healthy Living. From inspiring youth and volunteers to helpful tips and resources, the articles below are short reads that give great overviews of the 4-H healthy living lifestyle.
The Application of Healthy Living
Healthy Living Tips & Helpful Hints
Inspiring Healthy Reads
Would you like to become a volunteer that inspires youth to invest in their future? Visit your local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet your 4-H Extension Agent for additional information on how to become a 4-H Volunteer today to inspire youth to make healthy decisions and conduct themselves in a manner that is healthy for their club, community, country, and world!
What makes 4-H different from other youth organizations? One characteristic is our learn-by-doing approach! Our programs are intentionally designed to immerse youth in learning by experiencing and doing activities. Today happens to be National Youth Science Day. For over a decade, 4-H has been using science experiments to use their HEAD and HANDS to connect science to their everyday life. 4-H NYSD is an annual program that provides access and opportunity for kids everywhere to take an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) by participating in a hands-on STEM challenge. This year’s challenge, Game Changers, teaches young people coding skills through physical activity and puzzles. Developed by Google and West Virginia University Extension Service, this hands-on experience includes a computer-based activity on Google’s CS First platform, as well as two unplugged activities that bring coding to life through games, physical activities and puzzles. Game Changers is perfect for first-time and beginner coders, ages 8 to 14.
In today’s world, computer skills are vital and can open doors for youth in every field, as well as help them excel in schools and explore careers related to agriculture, business and even the arts.
All kids everywhere are invited to participate in 4-H NYSD. Additional information can be found at 4-H.org/NYSD, including information on how to register and get involved. Game Changers kits are available for sale at 4-HMall.org/nysd. Each kit comes equipped with all the materials necessary for youth to complete the experience, including instruction booklets for both youth and adult facilitators. For more information, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office or check out this short video on 4-H NYSD.
4-H NYSD 2018 was developed in collaboration with Google, with support from our national partners —Donaldson Filtration Solutions, HughesNet, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force.
These young 4-H’ers are learning all that 4-H has to offer right in their schools through 4-H school clubs and school enrichment programs.
Heart is the second of the four H’s in the 4-H Pledge: head, HEART, hands and health. You can measure things of head, hands, and health, fairly simply. But to take the measure of a person’s heart is a little more tricky, and it is in my estimation, their truest measure. Your heart determines how you think, act, and respond to others. It’s the influence of your character.
In 4-H, we strive to give young people the opportunity to build character through a number of activities. Through service learning, we teach 4-Hers to consider others before themselves. Through democratic decision making, we teach them to be fair, even when it doesn’t mean equal. Through club membership, they learn loyalty. Through projects and fair entries, they learn patience with themselves and others. Through competition, how to be humble winners and gracious losers. And through awards and recognition, they learn the satisfaction of reaching a goal through hard work. We write thank you letters to learn gratitude. And above all, through teamwork, we teach that respect means being kind to others even when we don’t agree, and that all people deserve respect.
At a time when current events may leave us feeling discouraged, I encourage you to consider this instead. Just as a farmer’s fields of green inspire hope for a fruitful harvest, whenever I look out on my own fields of green – young people in 4-H shirts of course – ready to go to work for themselves or others, I too feel hope for a bright and promising future. These young people aren’t just learning to show hogs, shoot targets, sew, bake, or build a robot. They are learning to care about something larger than themselves. And that is, in fact, the promise of youth – which is exactly the stuff 4-H is made of.
For more information on how your family can learn more about 4-H, its enriching opportunities and the positive impacts made on young people, find your local UF IFAS Extension Office and contact your 4-H Agent to explore what 4-H programs are offered in your area.
People often ask- “what do the “H’s” in 4-H mean? A great way to answer this question is with the 4-H Pledge. Our pledge describes what each “H” means. The first line of the pledge is “I pledge my head to clearer thinking.” It is a simple yet profound statement. How much better would the world be if we all thought clearly, more often? 4-H programs intentionally provide opportunities for youth to learn how to make decisions and solve problems. We do this through the “learning by doing” technique. Youth learn by doing- not just listening or watching. During a typical club meeting, workshop or camp, youth will be getting their hands dirty learning about building robots, food safety or how to care for an animal. Participation in contests and judging teams also help youth think on their feet with a clear head. Another way 4-Hers learn to problem solve is through service to their community. 4-Hers are asked each year to identify a problem in their community and develop a plan to solve that problem in the form of a service learning project. As 4-Hers learn new knowledge and skills, they are given challenges to solve, which means that they not only have to have a clear head, they have to work as a team.
Our 4-H volunteers are essential to helping youth develop the first “H.” Our volunteers use 4-H curriculum and learn-by-doing teaching techniques to help youth learn cooperation and problem solving skills. If you are interested in inspiring the next generation of youth people, consider becoming a 4-H volunteer. Contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office to find out about opportunities to share your knowledge, skills and passion to develop future leaders, scientists and citizens to think with a clear head!
National 4-H Week’s theme is Inspire Kids to Do.
National 4‑H Week is October 6 – 12. Take advantage of this important week to highlight the remarkable 4‑H youth in your communities. The Northwest 4-H District recognizes the incredible experiences that 4-H offers young people and the remarkable 4-H youth in our community who work each day to make a positive impact on those around them.
The theme of this year’s National 4-H Week is Inspire Kids to Do, which highlights how 4-H encourages kids to take part in hands-on learning experiences in areas such as health, science, agriculture and civic engagement. The positive environment provided by 4-H volunteers ensures that kids in every county, from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities, are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles and are empowered with the skills to lead in life and career.
WHAT IS 4-H EXACTLY?
4-H is the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization which cultivates youth to become confident individuals that can tackle difficult issues in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six million young people through the 110 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Currently, Florida serves over 230,000 4-H members in the state. Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young people in more than 50 countries. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Florida 4-H is the youth development program of Florida Cooperative Extension, a part of the University of Florida IFAS.
4-H STANDS BY THE CLOVER
A teen volunteer helps a Cloverbud member during a summer workshop
4-H is known best by its emblem, the four leaf clover, one of the most recognized logos in America. Our emblem represents a standard of quality in youth development which is experiential in nature, meaning that young people learn all kinds of things through 4-H in a hands-on way. The four leafs depict four Hs, representing the following: “Head, Heart, Hands, and Health.” For a better overview of the meaning of the four H’s and our iconic clover, be sure to review a great article from the past, What Do The Four H’s Mean Anyway? written by Heather Kent (http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/4hn/2017/06/30/what-do-the-four-hs-mean-anyway/). This week, we will be touching more on our iconic emblem as we spotlight each H of our four leaf clover to inspire kids (and families) to do! Be sure to check back daily for more during National 4-H Week!
So Happy #National4HWeek! The Northwest 4-H District is proud to #InspireKidstoDo, and we invite you to celebrate with us all week by showing your @4-H spirit on social media and in your community! Visit your local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet your 4-H Extension Agent for additional information on a variety of 4-H topics and activities that can benefit you and your family.
Not a member? Join the 4-H family today. The process to become a 4-H member or 4-H Volunteer is relatively simple: visit http://florida4h.org to apply online or stop in to your local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet with your 4-H Extension Agent for assistance. There is no better time to join us then during National 4-H Week!
Did you know that the Saturday of National 4-H Week is the 4-H Day of Service? 4-H Clubs across the nation will be celebrating National 4-H Week with “hands to larger service.” Service is a huge part of the 4-H program (one of the “H”s”) and also helps teach youth compassion for others. Service is also a requirement in order to maintain a 4-H club charter.
Younger youth typically start out with community service. Community service is volunteering in your community. This is usually done through food drives, such as the Peanut Butter Challenge, or volunteering at an animal shelter, collecting coats or blankets for those in need, or a toy drive during the holidays. If you are looking for an easy but impactful service project for your club, I would encourage you to participate in the Peanut Butter Challenge. Each county in the panhandle is collecting jars of peanut butter to donate to local food pantries. The Florida Peanut Producers will match the donation of the county that collects the most peanut butter. Contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office for more info or refer to this flyer.
Older youth are encouraged to move from community service to service learning. What’s the difference? Service-Learning is more than a “one-shot deal.” Instead of spending a day or few hours helping someone, youth identify a need, and develop a strategy to address it. It also incorporates reflection and celebration. Service-Learning projects take community service to the next level by emphasizing both service and learning and is more meaningful for older youth.
- Community Service – Youth prepare and serve a meal at a local homeless shelter.
- Service-Learning – Youth research homelessness in their community and contact local homeless shelters to learn about the types of services they provide. Youth then decide together on a service project that will support this community need. After planning and completing the service project, youth reflect upon both the Service-Learning process and the service project.
Did you know Florida 4-H has a state service project selected by our youth executive board? Each year the State Project Committee of the Executive Board recommends activities in which 4-Her’s can participate that will carry out the state wide community service project of the Florida 4-H Council. This year, the committee decided that the theme for 2017-2019 will be “Living In Florida’s Environment (LIFE)”. This project is focused on creating a greener tomorrow by hosting beach cleanups, planting trees, and participating in citizen science activities.
Youth can receive recognition for their service efforts at 4-H University. It is also a requirement for the District 4-H Spirit Stick Awards. The State Project Committee encourages all youth to participate in at least one state project that is associated with LIFE. The committee would also like to recognize the youth that do participate in these projects. Once a project is completed, please record it on the project report-back sheet found in the tool kit below. These record sheets will need to be submitted to Grace Carter by July 3, 2018. The committee would appreciate if pictures were included in these reports.
The report form can be found in the LIFE Service Project Guide.
Bronze: Youth who complete 1 service project will receive a bronze certificate of completion.
Silver: Youth who complete 2 service projects will receive a silver certificate of completion.
Gold: Youth who complete 3-4 service projects will receive a gold certificate of completion
and will also receive recognition at 4-H University 2018.
Emerald: Youth who complete 5 or more service projects will receive an emerald certificate
of completion and will also receive recognition at 4-H University 2018.