Study shows 4-H members give back to communities

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Recent findings from "The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development" from the Institute of Applied Research at Tufts University indicate that young people in 4-H are three times more likely to contribute to their communities than youth not participating in 4-H. Notably, the Tufts research discovered that the structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that young people receive through their participation in 4-H plays a vital role in helping them actively contribute to their communities.

In fact, 4-H'ers all across the nation are empowered to take on the leading issues of their towns, counties and states and make a lasting difference with their peers. 4-H prepares young people to step up to the challenges in their community and the world. Using research-based programming, that infuses high-quality positive youth development principles, 4-H youth get the hands-on, real-world experience they need to become leaders and to make positive differences in their communities.

The research from the Tufts University study also indicated that youth in 4-H thrive through the health and science education and career preparation experiences they receive through 4-H programming. Compared to non-4-H youth, 4-H'ers are more likely to spend more hours exercising or being physically active. 4-H youth also have higher educational achievement and higher motivation for future education - reporting better grades, higher levels of academic competence, and an elevated level of engagement at school.

The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development is a longitudinal study which began in 2001, through the support of National 4-H Council. Youth are measured in "waves" across time which compared those that participate in 4-H to those that do not. The study is currently in wave seven. The 6,885 adolescents surveyed are racially and geographically diverse representing 45 states across the nation.

For information on 4-H contact any of these 4-H youth development specialists in southwest Missouri: Bob McNary in Jasper County at 417-358-2158; Karla Deaver in Lawrence County at 417-466-3102; or Jeremy Elliott-Engel in Newton County at 417-455-9500.

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