Presentation on theme: "The Maryland 4-H Youth Development Program"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Maryland 4-H Youth Development Program UME Volunteer PolicyPart IVThe Maryland 4-H Youth Development ProgramThis is the fourth portion of the UME Volunteer Training. This section focuses specifically on 4-H volunteers’ roles as youth development practitioners. Presentations for other UME programs utilizing volunteers will be developed in the future. University of Maryland Extension programs are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, gender, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, or national origin.
2 Maryland 4-H Mission Help all youth reach their full potential Teach useful life skillsCommunity focused, research basedCreate competent, caring and responsible individualsThe Maryland 4-H Youth Development Program provides a supportive setting for all youth to reach their fullest potential. Youth learn beneficial cognitive and life skills through community-focused, research-based experiential educational programs. Achievement of this mission will create competent, caring, responsible individuals.
3 Maryland 4-H Vision Recognized leader in youth development Address present and emerging issuesEmploy proactive approachesExperiential and age-appropriate curriculumCollaboration and networkingDiverse Audiences, programs and methodsThe vision of the Maryland 4-H Youth Development Program is to be a recognized leader for educating and helping youth to become competent, caring, responsible individuals. The program achieves these goals by addressing present and emerging youth needs; employing a proactive program approach; using a focused, experiential designed, age-appropriate curriculum; working collaboratively with established networks of human and financial resources; having diverse program, audiences, staff and delivery techniques.
4 Maryland 4-H Teaches Life Skills Decision MakingAcquiring KnowledgePersonal ResponsibilityCreative ThinkingCommunicatingUnderstanding SelfGetting Along With OthersThe ultimate purpose of 4-H is to help members learn skills that will be useful for a life time. Every 4-H program, project or activity has learning one or more life skills as its primary purpose. Winning a blue ribbon may be an honor, but learning a skill is what’s really important. Learning to make wise decisions
5 Taking the University to Youth in Communities 4-H Youth Development is the only youth program with direct access to technological advances in agriculture and life sciences, home economics, human development, and related areas, which result from land-grant university research.The foundation of 4-H Youth Development is in the practical application of the land-grant university knowledge by youth in their communities.
6 Focus on CommunitySociety loses out when youth fall through the cracks in institutions that could prepare them for a productive future. Community counts – for better or worse – in response to these institutional gaps and unmet needs for support, care and opportunities for healthy development of our young people.Milbrey McLaughlin, Stanford University, Community CountsGiven the social forces that have changed both the landscape of family and community life and the expectations for young people, there is an ever increasing interest in the concept of youth development as a community approach to helping children achieve healthy outcomes as they transition to adulthood.
7 Social Forces have changed Community Life Informal community support for young people has weakened…..High rates of family mobilityGreater anonymity in neighborhoodsExtensive media exposure to themes of violence and heavy use of drugs & alcoholDeterioration and disorganization of neighborhoods and schools
8 Youth Development: A Paradigm Shift Addressing youth problems is critical…But, problem free is not fully preparedPositiveDevelopmentPrimaryPreventionHigh RiskTreatmentYouth policy and investment in youth during the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s were primarily focused on eliminating and preventing problem behaviors, such as teen pregnancy, substance abuse, delinquency and school drop out rates.Given the mixed results of these investments in the 90’s, a paradigm shift in how policymakers and funders are directing their youth dollars began. There has been a shift away from problem based programs to those built upon the principle of positive youth development which focuses on the assets that youth need to be fully prepared and fully engaged.In the last decade there has been a realization that investments need to address the entire continuum of youth needs: from treatment, high risk and primary prevention, as well as positive development.
9 What is Youth Development? Youth Development is the acquisition of attitudes, competencies, values, and social skills that will carry youth forward into successful adulthood.- National Research CouncilThe National Research Council describes the importance of adolescence as the pivotal period between childhood and adulthood.It is the time that youth need to acquire the attitudes, competencies, values, and social skills that will carry them forward into successful adulthood. Said another way, youth development is the transformation of children into competent, confident, connected and contributing people of character who are fully prepared and fully engaged in their communities.
10 Essential Elements of a Youth Development Approach The Youth Development Approach considers the whole young person, not just a single characteristic or problem.Youth Development is dependent on family and community development as it occurs in the context of the family, community and society.Youth Development is designed to focus on the positive outcomes we desire for young people, not the negative outcomes we hope to prevent.
11 What is the Essence of 4-H Youth Development? To engage young people in the work of the Land- Grant University and USDATo teach knowledge and life skills which enhance quality of lifeTo create opportunities which promote positive youth development
12 Features of Positive Youth Development Physical and psychological safetyAppropriate structureSupportive relationshipsOpportunities to belongPositive social normsSupport for efficacy and matteringOpportunities for skill buildingIntegration of family, school, and community effortsThe NRC also asked what features of community programs help ensure that youth develop the personal and social assets that foster young people’s healthy development and well-being. They found that the features of positive developmental settings are:Physical and psychological safety and securityStructure that is developmentally/age appropriate, with clear expectations for behavior as well as increasing opportunities to make decisions, to participate in governance and rule-making, and to take on leadership roles as one matures and gains expertiseOpportunities for adolescents to experience emotionally and morally supportive adult relationships, Opportunities to learn how to form close, durable, human relationships with peers that support and reinforce healthy behaviorsOpportunities to feel a sense of belonging and being valuedOpportunities to develop positive social values and normsOpportunities to develop a sense of personal efficacy and to develop confidence in one’s abilities to master one’s environment; Opportunities to make a contribution to one’s communities and to develop a sense of mattering.Opportunities for skill building and masteryStrong links between families, schools, and broader community resourcesSince these features typically work together in synergistic ways, programs with more features are likely to provide better supports for young people’s positive development.
13 Assets that Facilitate Positive Youth Development Physical DevelopmentGood health habitsGood health risk management skillsIntellectual DevelopmentKnowledge of essential life skillsKnowledge of essential vocational skillsSchool successGood decision-making skillsAnd morePsychological & Emotional DevelopmentGood mental healthGood coping skillsGood conflict resolution skillsStrong moral characterAnd moreThe physical development domain focuses on: Good health habits, Good health risk management skills.Within the area of Intellectual development the following assets were noted: Knowledge of essential life skills, Knowledge of essential vocational skills, School success, Rational habits of mind – critical thinking and reasoning skills, In-depth knowledge of more than one culture, Good decision-making skills, Knowledge of skills needed to navigate through multiple cultural contexts,The Psychological & Emotional Development domain includes many assets: Good mental health including positive self-regard, Good emotional self-regulation skills, Good coping skills, Good conflict resolution skills, Mastery motivation and positive achievement motivation, Confidence in one’s personal efficacy, “Playfulness” – planning for the future and future life events, Sense of personal autonomy/responsibility for self Optimism coupled with realism, Coherent and positive personal and social identify,Prosocial and culturally sensitive values, Spirituality or a sense of a “larger” purpose in life, Strong moral character, A commitment to good use of timeLooking at one asset in more depth, we can examine conflict resolution skills. This asset involves: Anger management, Problem solving, Decision making CommunicationThe final domain is social development. These assets include: Connectedness, Sense of social place / integration, Attachment to prosocial institutions, Ability to navigate in multiple cultural contexts, Commitment to civic engagement, Navigating multiple cultures includes: Comfort with other cultures, languages, socio-economic levels, Civic engagement involves: Connection to community, Opportunities for involvementSocial DevelopmentConnectednessSense of social place / integrationAttachment to prosocial institutionsAbility to navigate in multiple cultural contextsCommitment to civic engagement
14 The 8 Essential Elements of Youth Development A positive relationship with a caring adultA safe environmentAn inclusive environmentEngagement in learningOpportunity for MasteryOpportunity to see oneself as an active participant in the futureOpportunity for self-determinationOpportunity to value and practice service for others
15 4-H Youth Development Creates Opportunities for Youth to Experience: IndependenceBelongingGenerosityMastery
16 Eight Essential Elements Broken Down into Four Concepts BelongingPositive Relationship with a caring adultAn inclusive environmentA safe environmentMasteryEngagement in LearningOpportunity for MasteryIndependenceOpportunity to see oneself as an active participant in the futureOpportunity for self-determinationGenerosityOpportunity to value and practice service for othersWith regards to these Essential Elements and our focus on Volunteers as Youth Development Practitioners, the Positive Relationship with a Caring Adult merits a closer look in and of itself. Also, it is important to realize that volunteers play critical roles in ensuring that youth programs also incorporate the other seven essential elements
17 If Youth Needs are met in Positive Ways: Youth develop characteristics most of us relate to character…
18 Characteristics of Volunteers serving as Youth Development Practitioners made it clear they saw the potential in the young people they encountered;made the young person, not the activity, their priority;conveyed a sense of power and purpose for themselves and for the young people around them;were described as authentic—real, not phony, with a genuine interest and concern for young people;McLaughlin, Irby, & Langman (1994)
19 Questions?This presentation was originally created Dr. Lisa Dennis, 4-H Youth and Adult Leadership Specialist, and revised by Amy Rhodes, Sharon Pahlman, and David Gordon 2010.