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Virtual 4-H Citizenship Program


One of our 4-H Educators, Dustin Homan, and one of our 4-H volunteers, Alice Sweeney, worked on a virtual Citizenship Program this month with some 4-H Youth students! 

Homan says "Youth who are under the age of 18 may feel disengaged and discouraged from being civically active during an election season. However, youth are forming their opinions, values, and beliefs during adolescence--a prime time for 4-H to cultivate positive norms. With more than 1.5 million young people under the age of 18 in Indiana, they will soon become a powerful voice and voting block (Indiana Youth Institute, 2021)." 

He started this program to help these young 3-6th graders learn about citizenship and being civically active. He worked with these young 4-Hers to answer the question "What do you think it means to be a good citizen?" over 7 meetings. These meetings had themes like "Our Democracy: Campaigns and Elections," "All About Indiana," and "Our Community Helpers."  

This program aimed to involve Marion County youth, both those who were already enrolled in 4-H and those who were not enrolled. 

At the end of the program, all of the participants said they "have done a community service project and were inspired by 4-H to volunteer in their community, liked helping people, and usually or always felt a responsibility to help their community." 

This program started each session by having one of the participants lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4-H Pledge. At the first session, one of the participants admitted that she was embarrassed that she didn't know the pledge of allegiance. This participant eventually gained confidence and lead the group in reciting the pledge! 

At the end of the program, all participants were part of the Marion County 4-H program and 2 participants were first-time members.

These students were not only able to learn more about citizenship but got to meet two local elected officials and a local policewoman. Getting to meet these local leaders helped the participants learn about how their local government works. 

Thank you Dustin and Alice for your hard work in educating Marion County youth! 

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