Club Community Service
Throughout its history, 4-H has provided opportunities for meaningful involvement in community service activities.
The 4-H Club Citizenship/Community Service Project is the process by which youth learn how to become more effective in working with a group to make decisions and take action to improve their communities. This process is most easily learned by practice. Community Service activities by youth must be limited in scope to those things which youth themselves, working as a group, can accomplish, or can stimulate others to accomplish. The members, not the leaders, should do the project.
4-H Citizenship Officer
The key to the effort is to utilize the already on-going 4-H Clubs. Each 4-H club may elect a 4-H Citizenship Officer in addition to the traditional local 4-H club slate of officers. Perhaps an Adult or Junior Leader can be assigned to work with this Citizenship Officer.
The 4-H Citizenship Officer in turn is given the responsibility for involving his or her entire 4-H club in selecting and carrying out at least one community service activity. This leader is urged to use the community service process, which follows, in working with the club.
Public Exhibit, Recognition, and Awards
Each 4-H Citizenship Leader and the other members of his or her club are asked to prepare an exhibit/display for the County 4-H Fair. Exhibits/displays will not be judged for ribbon placement, but feedback may be given.
Clubs participating in the 4-H Club Citizenship/Community Service Project will be recognized at their own township 4-H Achievement Program with a small gift for club members and leaders. If only the report is done, the club will receive a certificate.
Please attach the REPORT FORM securely to the back of the display.
The purpose of the exhibit/display is to inform the public about what was done and to encourage other clubs to get involved in club citizenship projects. The exhibit at the County Fair can be a poster, display (up to 14" deep, 28" long and 28" high), etc. Pictures with captions are a great way to make your point but they are not a necessary part of the exhibit/display. Creativity is encouraged; but do remember to be effective in telling what you did.
Displays can be many things. If your club sang songs and did a puppet show for a children's home, you could display your puppets and a song sheet on a poster with pictures of you in action. If you adopted a section of highway or a trash dumpster which is a local eyesore and you keep it clean on a regular basis your display might show before and after pictures, or a group shot of the members with all the bags of trash and a bucket of trash could be part of your display.
The report must be submitted on the report form. In completing the report form, remember that the main objective of the 4-H Club Citizenship/Community Service Project is to teach young people how to make group decisions and to take action to improve their communities. This means the 4-Her needs to be involved in the selection of the activity as well as the completion of that activity.
Citizenship/Community Service Projects
Purposes in conducting a citizenship/community service activity:
- To make the community aware of the group's existence
- To make the community a better place to live
- To provide an activity for group cooperation
- To teach community structure and procedures to participants
- To learn personal satisfaction by making a meaningful contribution
Community service projects should be more than contributing money from the club's treasury. They can involve anyone who needs assistance in one way or another. All members of the club should agree on the project. Try to involve all in accomplishing the project.
One of the biggest problems with community projects is not finding out if the service is needed. In talking with one nursing home about Christmas caroling they said there is already too much caroling and that it becomes annoying. They suggested visiting and doing a program on another holiday, such as Valentine's Day.
It would be a very frustrating experience if you made dolls for a hospital children's ward and then found out they couldn't use them because of hospital regulations. That is why it is so important, after you have listed your ideas, to check it out with the organization for whom you plan to do the service. You might also check with these places before you do your idea brainstorming. Ask what would be helpful to them.
This should not be done by the 4-H Leader alone - the idea is to teach youth how to get things done. Maybe all club members should attend the meeting of the county council if, for example, permission to label county roads is needed but, by all means, do a service which is wanted and needed. All parties will be happier for it.
When the project is done-evaluate. This will help your group improve and/or reinforce the successes they achieved. It should be a learning experience. It is not just what you do, but the knowledge of how to do this type of thing that is a real life-skill builder.
The 4-H club is designed to promote 4-H in the community. Clubs will make a free standing display that fits within a 6 foot by 6 foot space. This display should use the current year’s fair theme if available. 4-H clubs are encouraged to use their displays in their communities (at schools, places of worship, community centers, local businesses) to promote 4-H at times other than the fair.
Club Health/Safety Display
Many 4-H clubs have a Health/Safety officer and do health/safety activities during their meetings. The Club Health/Safety Display is a chance for club members to share information they have learned with the public at the fair. Displays can be posters, tri folds, or free standing displays. If your display is larger than 36 inches wide by 36 inches deep, by 36 inches high, please contact the county extension office at least two weeks before fair to determine the area it should be set up in. Examples of Health/Safety topics could include, but are not limited to:
- Bicycle safety
- Working with animals
- Sports safety
- Healthy living
- Group exercise program/challenge
- First aid
Please include pictures of your club members participating in health/safety activities. Your display should educate the public about your topic.
Education Stations are a chance for 4-H clubs to share what they have learned with the public at the Marion County Fair. Clubs are encouraged to prepare an interactive demonstration, science experiment, or make and take craft that fair goers can participate in. Tables will be provided, but the club will be responsible for the supplies and equipment used. Please contact the Marion County 4-H office at least two weeks prior to the fair to schedule your time and location for your education station or sign up as directed through the Marion County 4-H weekly update.
Clubs can also apply to conduct their education stations at the state fair and receive a stipend if selected.