INTRODUCTIONIn nearly every county of the United States, the 4-H Youth Development Program provides an opportunity for young people and adults to learn relevant information, develop life skills, and gain special abilities that enable them to contribute to their communities. Each local 4-H Youth Development Program is guided by local decision makers who understand the mission of Extension and how 4-H helps to achieve that mission. This publication is designed to help those 4-H decision makers contribute to the development of a quality 4-H Youth Development Program in their community.
HOW TO USE THE 4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL HANDBOOK
Individuals in 4-H leadership roles should review the responsibilities of the 4-H Youth Development Council volunteers and the salaried 4-H staff. It is important that each function of the 4-H Youth Development Council is understood and accomplished. Relevant laws and state 4-H departmental policies must be followed. This handbook will serve as a reference tool and will help 4-H Youth Development Council members and salaried staff fulfill their roles and responsibilities in representing youth and adults. Its contents should be discussed with those who are invited to serve on the 4-H Youth Development Council.
The 4-H Youth Development Program across the United States contributes to the development of capable, productive, self-disciplined, and mature citizens. There is strong evidence that 4-H programs have had significant impact on the leadership capabilities and well-being of millions of people in the United States. But we cannot rest on our laurels. We (4-H Youth Development Councils, volunteers, and salaried staff) must work together to make 4-H programs high-quality, relevant, up-to-date, and appropriate for today's youth and tomorrow's adults. 4-H Youth Development Programs will make a significant contribution to the future of the United States if we continue to enthusiastically shape those programs based on the best of what we know. Together we can celebrate 4-H - its past, the present, and our future.
POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
For your reference included here are two presentations discussing (1) Eight Essential Elements of Positive Youth Development and (2) Life Skills Development.