Purpose: Volunteers are key to the success of the local 4-H Youth Development Program and should represent all segments of the community. The primary purpose of volunteer involvement is to help assure that the 4-H Youth Development Program is designed and delivered in a way that best serves the community.
The secondary purpose of involving volunteers in the 4-H Youth Development Program is so that adults, too, can benefit and learn because of the university link to their county. All volunteers need to participate in educational updates to assure they are using current techniques and information.
Goals: The personal goals of volunteers involved in the 4-H Youth Development Program are as numerous as the number of volunteers, but six general goals will apply to many volunteers who choose to be involved in the 4-H Youth Development Program. They are:
Functions: The activities of volunteers will vary depending upon the roles, programs, and counties to which they are assigned. Functions of volunteers, however, can be stated in general terms and give insight into volunteer roles that lead to an effective county 4-H Youth Development Program. Three main functions are listed below with brief explanations.
4-H Youth Development Program Assistants are hired in some counties to help facilitate a quality 4-H Youth Development Program. County-based Program Assistants work under the direction and supervision of a 4-H Extension Educator who is ultimately accountable to provide local leadership for the 4-H Youth Development Program. The Extension Educator may delegate some of the tasks related to the seven functions that guide the activities of a successful 4-H Youth Development Council to the Program Assistant. The county usually hires Program Assistants, and job descriptions are developed locally. Program leadership, program planning, and volunteer identification, screening, and development should remain the responsibility of the Extension Educator.
Functions: The specific activities of the local 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator may vary in each county. Even so, the functions described previously for the 4-H Youth Development Council will also apply to the Extension Educator. The Extension Educator must be attentive to leading and to making available opportunities for volunteers to share in the responsibility of carrying out the functions. Extension Educators complete different aspects of the six functions than the volunteers; it is through a partnership that they will create a quality 4-H Youth Development Program in their county. When the Extension Educator and the volunteers work cooperatively on the functions (listed below), the 4-H Youth Development Program grows stronger and stays current.
Extension Educators provide the link between Land Grant University research and Indiana residents by creating innovative learning opportunities that address local issues. Dedicated to helping improve the quality of life for current and future residents, Educators collaborate with local, county and state agencies, partner organizations, businesses and schools to analyze needs, develop, implement and oversee vibrant and sustainable research-based educational programs, and provide resources and expertise to the local community.
Functions: The specific activities of the 4-H Youth Extension Specialists vary from position to position, but the functions are consistent.
To remain current professionally.
4-H Youth Development Council Structure
4-H Youth Development Council Functions
Key People in the 4-H Youth Development Program
4-H Youth Development Program Assistants
4-H Youth Development Extension Educators
Purdue Extension Youth Specialists
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