4-H and life skills make successful adults

When kids join a 4-H club, little do they know they will learn life skills that help them make good decisions for the rest of their life.

Now is the time to find out about 4-H in your county – check out all the various clubs and projects youth can get involved in! The 4-H program year begins in September and youth can sign-up now, or anytime, to join a yearlong club of their interest. Not interested in a long-term commitment? Explore a new interest in a “spin club” – a short-term special interest club.

Michigan State University Extension 4-H youth programs offer youth a variety of opportunities. From animal science to zoology and sewing projects to food and nutrition, 4-H offers hands-on educational experiences, which help youth develop critical life skills that help them become successful adults.

Some key life skills youth learn in 4-H include goal setting, responsibility and citizenship. These life skills prepare youth to become successful in their careers, jobs, families and communities, both now and in the future. For volunteers looking for ways to be intentional about teaching these life skills in their 4-H clubs, Michigan 4-H has life skills pocket cards and skill sheets available. The series of pocket cards gives examples of questions to ask your 4-H club members when they finish a project such as “what did you learn?” or “define a life skill you learned by doing this project.” Appropriate questions are provided for various ages to prompt these kinds of discussion.

The skill sheets are similar, but provide a more in-depth focus on specific project areas. Questions pertain to individual projects and are age appropriate as well. These materials are available for purchase through the MSU Bookstore. For more information on MSU Extension 4-H and life skills, contact your local MSU Extension office.

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