Gain communication skills through 4-H experiences

Communication is an important skill to have to be successful. 4-H provides lots of opportunities for youth and adults to gain skills around communication. This article will explore some of those opportunities.

According to Michigan State University Extension, 4-H members and volunteers work together in different ways throughout the year in an organized 4-H club. During a club meeting, volunteers, as well as youth, are communicating in many different ways. Many clubs are run by youth in leadership roles communicating directions or leading discussions that club members need to have. Discussion topics could range from deciding decorations for fair or what community service project they want to do. Ultimately, all members of a club are communicating through talking, listening, body language and recording notes or recordkeeping.    

4-H also provides opportunities for youth to explore areas of the communication field that they might be interested in learning more about or going into as a career. These opportunities take place each year, at an event called 4-H Exploration Days. Youth age 11 to 19 from around the state come to Michigan State University (MSU) and participate in a camp-like experience where they can select from over 200 educational sessions. While on campus, youth stay in the dorms and explore what MSU has to offer.    

Five of the sessions offered for youth are specifically related to communication. These sessions include News Reporting, Produce Your Own TV Show, Public Speaking and American Sign Language, both beginning and advanced levels. These sessions give youth hands-on experiences related to a communication field of work. Youth are able to practice what they are taught and come away with a better understanding of why communication is so important in today’s society.     

There are many other sessions where youth are engaged in communication and learning new skills. To learn more about signing up for 4-H Exploration Days and taking a communication session, visit your local MSU Extension office.

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