Showing 4-H animals with character – Part 2

Here are some ideas for volunteers and parents to help youth understand good character.

Showing animals in the summer is a way for many kids in 4-H to show to the public what projects they have been working on over the past year. Many fairs and shows are very competitive and exciting. It is important when working with youth who are showing animals that we make sure their character is showing through as well.

Louisiana State University Research and Extension created the Showing Character Curriculum that uses the Six Pillars of Character from Josephine Institute of Ethics CHARACTER COUNTS! Framework. The information below was taken from this curriculum.

This article will break down how youth can practice the pillars of character in Fairness, Caring and Citizenship when it comes to showing their project animals.

Fairness refers to being equally good to everyone.

  • Making fair decisions, using the same rules for everyone.
  • Treating everyone the same so no one had an unfair advantage.
  • Admitting mistakes and correcting them promptly.
  • Being supportive of all participants whether they win or lose.

Caring refers to showing concern for the welfare of others.

  • Stay alert to the needs of the animal and display compassion.
  • Display kindness and understanding to all people.
  • Share resources and equipment with fellow exhibitors.
  • Be sensitive to the needs of families who are first time exhibitors.

Citizenship refers to having a concern for people and making their home, school, neighborhood and country the best it can be.

  • Know and fulfill responsibilities and obey laws, rules and regulations.
  • Stay informed of recommended production and exhibiting practices and issues.
  • Keep the show facilities clean and free of litter and trash.
  • Be a team player and add to the strength of the club by displaying only truly ethical behavior.

In Michigan 4-H, our goal is to help youth develop skills and grow individually to become successful adults. Having good character is an important part of who we are and how to be successful in life.

To learn more about this curriculum and activities to do with your youth that shows character, contact your local Michigan State University Extension Office.

See part one of this article series: “Showing 4-H animals with character – Part 1

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