In just a couple of weeks, we’ll be celebrating one of my favorite 4-H events in the annual Achievement Celebration!
The 4-H year begins in October with 4-H members selecting projects, setting goals, and working on those project areas throughout the year. Hopefully, along the way, they share their knowledge with friends, a school class, or present a demonstration or illustrated talk about their project. We also hope that they will find ways to give back to their communities in one or more of their project areas.
Project learning, leadership, and citizenship are hallmarks of the 4-H program and it is always important to celebrate successful learning! Often the most important lessons don’t come with blue ribbons but do come from perseverance, thinking of others, and working through challenges.
4-H members complete record books which highlight their activities and involvement for the year and provide a platform to work on written communication skills as well as provide a record for someday filling out scholarship or job applications. 4-H members are also encouraged to complete a project record for one or more of their projects. The project record goes into detail about when, where, and what project learning occurred; what challenges were faced and how they overcame the challenge. For our younger 4-H members, this includes a place for a parent to note what they believed their child learned from the program and I love reading these! Older 4-H members have an opportunity for top-placing project records to compete at the regional and, potentially, state level. While record keeping isn’t the most glamorous part of 4-H, our banks and accountants appreciate that we develop good record keeping skills.
Even putting the Achievement Celebration together is project learning as this is handled by a committee of youth and parents so they practice including others, creativity, and teamwork. We are looking forward to an evening to “Show Your True Colors” in 4-H!
Keep learning. Keep showing grace and kindness.
Michelle Beran is the 4-H and Youth Development Agent for the Cottonwood District, Barton County office. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth and Development related questions email Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 620-793-1910.