La Plata County 4-H finds collaboration is essential for maintaining strong communities. During the last five years, we have developed a partnership with Celebrating Healthy Communities, which is a coalition of organizations working for our youths and families.
This year, we have collaborated on social events, provided feedback on media campaigns and educated and promoted asset-building. All of which has had positive results for our 4-H program and members.
For instance, 4-H helps sponsor the Snowdown Wipeout obstacle course. This family-friendly event takes place annually on the Saturday of Snowdown. Our 4-H Youth County Council members planned, organized and implemented an obstacle course station. The event required our members to build teamwork skills in a fun manner. In addition, it promoted our program’s commitment to community service.
4-H has also been engaged in a focus group for the CHC media campaigns. CHC’s “Too Busy” and “They Are Listening” campaigns target youths and parents about the importance of substance abuse prevention. 4-H members have enjoyed taking an active role in producing positive media messaging.
An integrated part of 4-H youth and volunteer development is the concept of asset-building. 4-H and CHC use the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets as a guide.
“The Developmental Assets are 40 research-based, positive qualities that influence young people’s development, helping them become caring, responsible and productive adults,” the institute says. “Based in youth development, resiliency and prevention research, the Developmental Assets framework has proven to be effective and has become the most widely used approach to positive youth development in the United States and, increasingly, around the world.”
Each month, 4-H shares a different “Asset of the Month.” CHC provides this important information for us to share in our monthly newsletter. It also is accompanied with data, an essential question and tips about how to build the asset in our daily lives.
November’s developmental asset is “Achievement Motivation,” which addresses motivation to do well in school. Local data indicate that 76 percent of La Plata County youths report positive school motivation.
The essential question to explore this asset is: Does our family talk about the relationship between education and life goals? Tips to build this asset include: reinforcing strengths you see in your children directly to them, using spontaneous rewards to celebrate your child’s success, monitoring your teen’s stress level and gaining a better understanding of what motivates him or her in and out of school.
We hope to continue collaborating with CHC in years to come. If you would like to get more information, to schedule a Developmental Assets Workshop or to receive the La Plata County 2015 Assets data, email Cody Goss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I would like to wish a very special happy 90th birthday to Ms. Emma Shock. Emma is our dearest 4-H volunteer. She has been a dedicated volunteer for 60 years. She is very active as Mount Allison Go-Getter’s club leader, cake decorating project leader and Foods and Nutrition superintendent. She also acts as a chaperone and representative for state and national 4-H events.
Thanks so much, Emma.
Greg Felsen is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach him at email@example.com or 382-6463.