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Written by Kindra Plumb   

4-H instills life skills

I’ve written numerous columns about 4-H teaching life skills to youth. Often, the term “life skills” may be used a little loosely. However, 4-H has done a large amount of research and spent a great deal of time defining just how 4-H participation instills life skills into the 4-H member at various developmental stages of their youth.

4-H defines life skills as “competencies that assist people in functioning well in the environments in which they live,” (Targeting Life Skills in 4-H). Adults who work directly with 4-H youth want to help youth become competent in the life skills they will need in adulthood.

Life skills are best learned through practices and different experiences that reinforce the skills. The beauty of 4-H is that kids get to practice and experience these skills, and even make mistakes, in the safe confines of an organization with caring adults to mentor them. Mastery of these skills requires various opportunities to try, make mistakes and try again.

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Holyoke Enterprise January 23, 2014