Georgia County Government - October 2008 - (Page 113)

ExtensionNews Georgia 4-H Impacts Student Achievement and Youth Leadership By Jeff Christie ACCG Cooperative Extension Liaison hen it comes to the degree of connection between 4-H programs across the country and the school systems in the communities those 4-H clubs serve, the state of Georgia has no equal. This relationship, though, did not happen by chance. Nor did it happen overnight. Georgia’s State Director of 4-H, Dr. Bo Ryles says, “Faculty and statewide 4-H staff are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to enhance the 4-H experience, especially in the context of student achievement.” Students achieving at high levels lead to improved school systems … improved school systems lead to strong communities … and strong communities make for a great state [of Georgia]. Most recently, in its goal to underscore student achievement, UGA Cooperative Extension enlisted the services of Walton County Extension Coordinator Judy Ashley. In 2006, she assumed the extra responsibility of serving as the Extension Coordinator for School Relations. In this role, she focuses on ways to strengthen the partnership between Extension programs and local school systems, in an effort to improve student achievement. As school relations coordinator, Ashley often works with UGA Cooperative Extension 4-H Specialist for Curriculum, Mandy Marable. A former school teacher, Marable brings a wealth of classroom experience and some unique insights to the Georgia W Walton County 4-H Agent Glen Blair demonstrates cooking techniques as part of a 4-H club meeting focusing on nutrition. 4-H State Staff. In her view, “4-H is a bridge between formal and informal education. Through 4-H, the student has opportunities to apply learned knowledge in a real world setting.” In tandem, these two Extension professionals are working to align the work done by 4-H professionals across the state to the Georgia Department of Education’s ‘Georgia Performance Standards’ (GPSs) for student learning. The GPSs not only incorporate the content standards for education, they further define the level of work that demonstrates student achievement of the standards. Further support for the influence that 4-H involvement can exercise over student achievement comes from two recent studies. The first study, from Cornell University Cooperative Extension, cites seven positive outcomes for students who are actively involved in 4-H, in comparison to their counterparts who are not. According to the research, students in 4-H: • Achieve at a higher academic level • Are more educationally motivated • Have higher levels of self esteem • Place more emphasis on a value system • Are more motivated to help others • Communicate at more of an adult level • Report higher levels of involvement in community service and volunteerism Beyond the documented contributions 4-H involvement makes towards student achievement, a recently released Tufts University 4-H study defines and measures the characteristics of a successful youth development program for the first time. In addition to student achievement, the study’s key findings show that: • Community youth development programs, like 4-H, are proven to affect youth success • All youth can succeed – involvement in 4-H increases their potential of doing well • All youth need positive youth development. No young person is immune to the risks and challenges present in today’s society EXTENSION NEWS continued on page 114 OCTOBER 2008 113

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - October 2008

Georgia County Government - October 2008
President's Message
County Matters
South Georgia's Agricultural Heartland Welcomes Economic Diversity, High-Tech Research
What Do You Know About the State's 2008 Constitutional Amendments?
Union County's New Hope Clinic
Counties and the Law: U.S. Supreme Court Increases Burden on Defending Age Claims
Cyber Security Awareness
Are Animal Control Costs Out of Control?
Dave Wills Joins ACCG Staff
Executive DRIVE is the Pinnacle of Gwinnett's Leadership Institute
Preventative Medical Program Succeeds in Chatham County
DCA's Planning & Quality Growth Office Reveals New Regional Planning Approach
Implementation of Georgia's Security & Immigration Compliance Act
The Roundabout: Glynn County's Newest Approach to Traffic Management
Governor Urges Preparation for Digital TV Transition
The Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership
Wharton Named Program Director for Georgia Centers for Innovation
Army Ranger Turned Police Officer Attends CDP Training
ACCG Staff Attends National Conference of State Legislatures Summit
ACCG Editor, Forsyth County PIO Garner NACIO Awards
GDEcD News: Tourism Grants; Scan-Tech to Expand
Benefit News: GEBCorp Marks Eight Years of Retirement Benefits
Georgia's Courthouses and the American Renaissance
Extension News: Georgia 4-H Impacts Student Achievement, Leadership
Research Center: Best Methods for Creating Ordinances in Your County
CCAP Corner: Walter F. Rosso, Cusseta-Chattahoochee County
NACo News: Association Sponsors 'Green' Competitions
Beth Bradley Joins ACCG Staff
County Parade
Index of Advertising

Georgia County Government - October 2008