Tis the Season – TUFTS Summary

CSU Extension Website

By Lacey Mann, CSU 4-H Extension Agent, Bent & Prowers Counties

Southeast Area—TUFTS University recently completed a seven-year 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development.  The summary of key findings includes 4-H youth have higher developmental assets, more engaged in citizenship, report higher academic competence, have healthier habits and are more likely to participate in science, engineering and technology programs.

You are probably wondering how this translates directly to you as a community member? When youth are engaged in positive youth development programming they are incorporating the five “Cs,” competence, confidence, connection, character and caring/compassion.  These five “Cs” ultimately result in the sixth “C,” contribution.

The five “Cs” tied directly to active 4-H membership foster a member’s ability to enhance their social, academic, cognitive, health and vocational opportunities.  As they gain more experience their confidence is boosted because they are able to connect with peers, family, school and community.  Their respect for societal and cultural norms leads to a sense of sympathy and empathy for their surroundings.  In the end they contribute to themselves, family and their community.

Here is a direct example: a shy eight year old living a few miles from the nearest town decides to join the local 4-H club that meets monthly.  The member enrolls in a general project, rocketry, and then gives a demonstration to their club about how to successfully launch a rocket and follow its flight plan from launch to recovery.  The 4-H member begins to talk with fellow club members and learns they have similar hobbies and interests.  Those members join together to pick up trash on the side of the road as their community service project.  They also decide they would like to plant flowers in the planters up and down Main Street to help spruce up the city streets.  Those members display their various projects at the county fair and qualify for state fair competition, they are excited to be on an even bigger stage and showcase what they learned throughout the project year.  Later that fall the members decide to attend the Dare to Be You Camp where they meet a hundred new 4-H member friends.  At the camp they learn Cowboy Ethics, nutrition, how to dance and write letters to servicemen and women overseas.  Then they realize the 4-H year is over and cannot wait to sign up and do it all again.

4-H members are from all walks of life and come from dirt roads to city streets.  They share the same desire to learn, make new friends, experience new activities and engage in active citizenship.  TUFTS sums up why 4-H is a successful program because the members are caring, and competent because of the committed adult volunteers assist and guide them to become the best they can be.


As this holiday season sets in I want to thank you all, volunteers, leaders and members for making this one of the most rewarding careers around.  For more information on the TUFTS study or how 4-H can enrich your life, please contact your local CSU Extension Office; Baca County 719-523-6971, Bent County 719-456-0764, Cheyenne County 719-767-5716, Crowley County 719-267-5243, Kiowa County 719-438-5321, Otero County 719-254-7608, Prowers County 719-336-7734. 4-H is a cooperative effort between CSU Extension and the County.

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Contact: Lacey Mann
CSU Extension Agent
4-H Youth Development
(719) 336-7734

Filed Under: AgriculturecommunityCountyEducationFeaturedSchoolYouth


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