The Indiana & Marshall County 4-H Program Philosophy and Expectations:
The Indiana 4-H program serves the youth of Indiana by providing a strong educational youth development program. This program delivers educational experiences in a variety of settings. Caring, capable and contributing adults assist in the 4-H program as models for youth. The rich heritage of the 4-H Program is one to be valued and passed along to future generations.
The Indiana 4-H Youth Policy and Procedures Book sets out certain standards and guidelines to be used to assure that 4-H is a positive youth development program. County 4-H policy is guided by the county 4-H policy making or governing board (i.e., 4-H Council) as provided by the County Extension Board. Legal authority for the 4-H Program rests with the Director of the Cooperative Extension Service at Purdue University. No county 4-H policy may conflict with state 4-H policy or with federal guidelines and requirements.
Deadlines for county and state participation should be carefully constructed so as to encourage rather than to discourage participation. Such deadlines should be well published. Members not complying with established and published dates and deadlines for exhibition may be denied the opportunity to exhibit.
It is the policy of 4-H to be an inclusive organization. No county policy or practice should be used to arbitrarily exclude youth from either membership or participation. Youth should participate in 4-H Youth Development opportunities at levels and times that best suit the youth's development and support family involvement.
4-H Mission and Vision:
4-H Mission: The Indiana 4-H Youth Development mission is to provide real-life educational opportunities that develop young people who positively impact their community and world.
4-H Vision: Indiana 4-H Youth Development strives to be the premier, community-based program empowering young people to reach their full potential.
4-H Awards and Competitions Guidelines:
The Indiana 4-H Program is a federally assisted program and as such, all programs, activities, events and competitions (state, area, county, local) must be non-discriminatory according to federal law. Additionally, the 4-H Program may not accept sponsorships, donations, or awards that are based on discriminatory practices.
Gender specific competitions and awards are not permissible under Title IX (Non-discrimination on the Basis of Sex) of the Educational Amendments enacted by Congress in 1972. This act states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
MARSHALL COUNTY 4-H POLICY
County 4-H Policy is determined by the County 4-H Council with the advice of the local 4-H Leaders, County Extension Educators, State 4-H Staff and others interested in the program.
It is the policy of Marshall County 4-H to include as many youth as possible. No county policy or practice should be used to arbitrarily exclude youth from membership. Youth should participate in 4-H youth development opportunities at levels and times that best suit the youth’s development and support family involvement.
4-H Club work is a major and important part of the Cooperative Extension Service. The primary aim of the 4-H program is to provide opportunities for mental, social, physical, and spiritual growth.
4-H Members "learn by doing". 4-H is a practical, informal, primarily out of classroom educational program. "Learn by doing" projects offer many opportunities for 4-H members to purposefully use their hands and minds. Projects are the useful tasks by which youth are challenged and the medium through which their solid growth occurs.
The 4-H program is home and family centered. It supplements the training young people receive through the home, church, school, and other educational agencies. 4-H nurtures the concept of continuing education as an ongoing need for everyone in a democratic society that is part of a changing world.
The purpose of this handbook is to provide information on the 4-H club organization within Marshall County and to list the general rules that govern 4-H work. Specific rules pertaining to only the 4-H project involved will be listed separately under the headings of the particular project.
MARSHALL COUNTY 4-H COUNCIL
The County 4-H Council is responsible for the total 4-H Club Program in the county. The purposes of the Council are to help plan a county 4-H program, secure the necessary support, cooperate with local leaders, collect and disburse funds, and in general, coordinate all activities connected with an active 4-H program.
The purposes of the Township 4-H committee, council or local parents committee are to serve as an advisory group to the 4-H leaders, secure leadership, provide representation on the County 4-H Council and Fair Board, and carry out the directions of the County 4-H Council in operating the 4-H program.
4-H Volunteers are adults who advise and encourage 4-H members in planning and carrying out their projects. A 4-H Club may have several leaders with different jobs.
Township Coordinators - In a multi-leader township the coordinators give overall guidance to the township program. They help set up project work sessions, organize local clubs and help relay information to and from the County Extension Office.
Organizational Leader - Provide support and leadership to a "club" a 4-H members. Share information with members and help individuals achieve their desired results. Recruit parents and other volunteers to assist with programs and projects and serve as the linkage between the County Extension office and your club. Time commitment varies, but most clubs meet on a regular basis throughout the year and conduct community service activities.
Project Leader - This is a very defined role to assist members with knowledge and subject matter information related to a single project. Most project leaders have some previous experience in a specific area, but if you are willing to learn and be a teacher, plenty of educational opportunities exist. Time commitment varies, depending on the project. Many are short term, but some can be on-going over the course of a year.
Special Interest Leader - This is a short term position that brings together the interests of the volunteer with the interest of the youth. Special interests are usually short term with a definite beginning and ending. If you have a special skill, talent or hobby you would like to share, chances are there are young people who would like to learn from you.
School Enrichment Leader - This volunteer utilizes developed Extension Curriculum Enrichment materials to deliver educational programs within schools, youth groups and after school type programs. Topics vary greatly from foods to bugs and time commitment also varies depending on the needs of the organization. Volunteers are provided with materials and orientation to their use.
All active volunteers with the Marshall County 4-H program are required to undergo a screening process before they assume their volunteer duties. This process helps insure that all 4-H members are given a safe and secure learning environment throughout their 4-H tenure.
Individuals wishing to become 4-H volunteers should contact the Marshall County Extension Office.