NDSU Extension - Morton County


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March 19, 2018 Creating 4-H Learning Environments

Dates to Remember

March 26                   Private General Pesticide Training, Mandan
March 26                   Parents Forever, Mandan
April 6                        Wear Blue Day – for Child Abuse Prevention Month
April 7 & 8                State 4-H Horse Events
April 7                        State 4-H Indoor Archery Championships

Creating 4-H Learning Environments

How many of you can still recite the 4-H Pledge?  I attend many 4-H meetings throughout the year and hear those words echoed through the voices of promise in our community. 

I Pledge

My Head to clearer thinking,
My Heart to greater loyalty,
My Hands to larger service,
And my Health to better living,
for my club, my community, 
my country, and my world.

What does this really mean?  Well in an excerpt from “Treasures of the Trail”, Extension Service, West Virginia University it can easily be explained. 4-H creates positive learning environments that support four basic essential elements. 

I pledge my heart to greater loyalty – Belonging.  Creating positive relationships with caring adults, providing an inclusive and safe environment.  A place where youth gather and feel a sense of belonging. Creating positive club meeting environments where youth feel comfortable sharing ideas and making a difference.

I pledge my health to better living – Mastery.  Engaging youth in hands on learning opportunities, the opportunity for mastery, gaining new skills and advancing those skills.  We model and teach that failure and frustration are part of the learning experience, provide feedback and try again.  It is as simple as that really.

I pledge my head to clearer thinking – Independence.  This is an opportunity to see oneself as an active participant in the future.  Allowing 4-H members to lead meetings, allowing adults to guide youth through the process but not making the decisions.  Include all youth in planning discussions and allowing them to problem solve which for adults can be hard as we see the end results, but it’s through the process of learning that youth find their greatest accomplishments and gain self-determination.

I pledge my hands to larger service – Generosity.  An opportunity to value and practice service for others.  4-H encourages group and individual service and were fortunate to feel the impact of that service right here in our own community whether it is through tying blankets, planting flowers, delivering packages to the Children’s Hospital or planting a garden to share the fruits of their labor.  4-H encourages youth to take responsibility in their community, engage with others and help their neighbor. 

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