I recently returned from Washington D.C. where I joined 4 fellow Connecticut 4-Hers to attend the first ever Citizen Washington Focus Presidential Inauguration. It was held in conjunction with the Presidential Inauguration. We were there with 500 4-Hers from all across the country who all shared the same interest in democracy and politics. We stayed at the National 4H Center in Chevy Chase, MD. Throughout the week we attended workshops that focused on the Executive Branch of government, our democracy and our role in it. We visited museums and monuments throughout Washington D.C. We had the opportunity to listen to speakers who played a key role in past presidents administration. On Friday January 20th we attended the Inauguration of our 45th President of the United States. Our Connecticut delegation had a great view of the Inauguration from the front lawn of the Capital building. Regardless of your political affiliation it was an amazing experience to see our country’s peaceful transfer of power. On our last night in D.C. we enjoyed a dinner cruise on the Potomac River.
Thank you Connecticut 4-H for this amazing experience,
Does the winter weather have you missing 4-H Fair season? Relive the 2014 Middlesex-New Haven County 4-H Fair with this video created by Connecticut 4-H volunteer Marianne Beckman and Cheshire Public Access.
Mentor Memos – A newsletter of helpful information for adults who mentor children
40 Developmental Assets researched by the Search Institute.
Developmental Assetsare positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people.
Building Assets to Promote a Positive Youth Development
4-H believes that a highly effective approach to positive youth development focuses on identifying, enhancing and capitalizing on the strengths/assets of individual young people and the communities within which they live.
Tips for Building These Assets
Create a strong foundation in a young person’s life by taking time, remaining patient, and giving a whole lot of love and caring.
Value each one of them as individuals
Communicate to one another your family’s values, boundaries, and expectations (as well as those of the community).
Give young people the appropriate amount of freedom to make their own decisions depending on their ages, but also offer options along the way.
Here are the facts
Children and teenagers who have high levels of these assets get involved in fewer risky behaviors and are much more likely to exhibit the positive values. The bad news is most young people don’t have enough assets. About 59% of young people, ages 11–18, have 20 or fewer Developmental Assets, according to Search Institute surveys. The good news is we can change this!
Understanding Developmental Assets
8 crucial asset categories found crucial by the Search Institute in helping young people.
Boundaries and Expectations
Constructive Use of Time
Commitment to Learning
We’re All In This Together
Young people depend on caring adults to provide the external assets.
In your home and family: Ask your children to name a few people who support them. If they don’t name at least three adults, invite some of the adults you know and trust to get involved in your children’s lives.
In your neighborhood and community: Advocate that your community develop meaningful opportunities for young people, such as creative youth programs or service projects.
In your school or 4-H club: Make a point to know every young person’s. Smile when you see them and let them know you expect them to always do their best. Acknowledge their achievements and help them when they’re struggling.
Want to know? Visit www.search-institute.org/assets
Connecticut Fitness and Nutrition Clubs In Motion (CT FANs IM), is a 4-H Afterschool program designed to reduce obesity rates in children ages 9 to 14, through sustainable interventions surrounding food and fitness. The program is a collaboration between the UConn Extension, and the Department of Kinesiology. CT FANs IM, was modeled after the original 4-H FANs Fitness and Nutrition Clubs, a USDA Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Program. Here are some of their recent success stories.
Teen Mentor Gains Real World Experience
Najeia served as a 4-H FANs teen mentor during the summer of 2010 and 2011. She is currently a senior at Tufts University, majoring in community health and American studies, with a minor in sociology.
“I really enjoyed working with the youth in the 4-H FANs program,” Najeia says. “I applied for the program through Youth@Work, and I was thankful to be matched with a health promotion program. It was helpful to me, as it provided a real world experience, and allowed me to take a leadership role while learning many new skills.”
Originally, Najeia was interested in becoming a physician, but through her studies, she has focused on public health. Upon graduation, she plans to work in the field for a few years before pursuing a Master’s degree in public health. She hopes to become a director in a community health organization, where she plans to focus on promoting health equity; in particular, breaking down social barriers that are targeted at marginalized communities.
“I’d like to work with kids in some capacity when I’m in the field,” Najeia says. “As a public health professional, I would like to initiate programs for youth and follow the 4-H FANs model, where youth disseminate health promotion information within the community.”
Najeia is quick to point out that while being a 4-H FANs teen mentor was a good experience, she also had a lot of fun. “I really enjoyed my time there. Particularly when we introduced dance to the kids as a way to exercise. They loved it. Especially the cha cha slide!”
4-H FANs IM Summer Garden
Growing vegetables was a big hit with the students participating in the 4-H FANs IM Summer Program at Roger Sherman School. Amy Sandoval, UConn Extension Public Service Specialist notes, “Youth were so excited when they noticed veggies growing. They would say, ‘Oh, my babies, they are growing!'”
Teen Mentor Attends UConn
Fontaine joined the New Haven 4-H FANs program during the summer leading into her junior year of high school. She continued working as a teen facilitator throughout her junior and senior year.
“I love working with kids,” Fontaine says. “Our mission was to make students aware of what they were eating, and encourage them to get moving and become more physically fit. The program also made me more conscious of how I was eating. I felt that as a role model, I had to lead by example.”
“Just to hear a child say, ‘I ate an apple today or I played outside,’ made me realize that my job meant something. It gave me a sense of fulfillment that I was doing something to benefit someone else.”
Fontaine grew up in the New Haven area, and was surprised to discover that 4-H programs existed in urban areas. As a teen facilitator with the 4-H FANs program, Fontaine attended the 4-H conference in Washington, D.C., a trip that Fontaine says gave her an opportunity to travel from home, and experience a completely different environment.
Currently, Fontaine is a student at UConn majoring in political science. She hopes one day to become an attorney. “I know I have a long way to go, but in due time, I will get there.”
UConn Extension is proud to congratulate Dr. Nancy Bull on her recent induction into the National 4-H Hall of Fame. Dr. Bull has been an integral part of UConn Extension and Connecticut 4-H for many years.