…And I lived to tell the tale.
When I was eight and joined 4-H, I distinctly remember pouring over the list of project books I could choose from. I settled on Love-a-Horse (maybe stereotypical for an 8 year old girl) and Quick Breads. That year my family ate a whole lot of biscuits. This is quite likely where I first acquired my phobia of canned biscuits. I don’t like the POP!
The 4-H project is a cornerstone of the 4-H program. Each year, all 4-H club members are expected to enroll in at least one project. What the total experience may look like may vary a bit from county to county, but some things to remember:
- For many youth completing a “project” means completing a formal project book, and it’s a good idea to give 4-H club members some guidance by engaging them in a formal project book. However for reporting purposes a “project” is a series of learning experiences of six hours or more within an area of interest. This may or may not be accompanied by a formal project book.
- When it comes to dissemination of project books- you need a plan. How many can a youth acquire? How will you get them to the members? How are the costs covered? How are youth awarded for their efforts? If you don’t have a plan- talk to your 4-H RSA! I have it on good authority- that she can help!
- Be sure any project books you give out are those which are listed on the Florida 4-H Curriculum Clearinghouse. All the curriculum listed on the clearinghouse has been vetted through our state 4-H action teams. If you are interested in engaging youth in a project that is NOT already listed on the Curriculum Clearinghouse, send it to the appropriate Action Team (Healthy Living, Science, or Citizenship-Leadership) for review and consideration for statewide approval.
- Speaking of quality control- and I was once guilty of this myself- if the cover of a project book looks like it was created in the Disco era- THROW IT OUT! Yes, it feels like you are wasting good information. No, don’t try to save it. Yellow edges, wear and tear… appearance matters and it speaks volumes about our organization.
- The 4-H Project Annual Reports are an excellent accompaniment to any project book a 4-H member might complete. They are also a great way of helping families keep track of cumulative 4-H experiences which is very helpful when they apply for national trips and scholarships in the latter part of their 4-H careers.
For more information of 4-H Projects, check out: