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4-H Cloverleafs get their hands on leadership training
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4-H kids attempting an exercise that reinforces the importance of communication. The idea was similar to the game of Battleship, in that they were not able to see what each other was creating.One student told the other student what design they were making, while the one receiving the information attempted to recreate their partners design. - photo by Photo provided

Effingham County Cloverleaf 4-H members learned the importance of responsible leadership, goal setting, communication and teamwork during the 2013 leadership officer training.

The 4-H staff facilitated a workshop that will serve as a foundation for youth to transition into leadership opportunities through 4-H and other organizations. Students participating in the leadership training rotated through a series of four stations where they were able to be hands-on with activities and learn how to work together and problem-solve. Each station was led by 4-H staff and high school 4-H teen leaders.

The Cloverleaf 4-H program is an in-school model that meets in every fifth- and sixth-grade classroom. Each class is considered a 4-H “club” and has officers who assist in the facilitation of the business meeting. The officers include president, vice president, secretary and parliamentarian.

One of the skills 4-H wants to instill in the youth of Effingham County is responsibility through leadership. This is accomplished with each officer having specific jobs each month as well as working as an officer team.

“We want 4-H members to have the opportunity not only to be a leader, but also to be successful at it,” said Effingham County 4-H agent Abby Smith. “Shaping young leaders is a matter of working with students to identify and appropriately apply the skills they already possess.”

Georgia 4-H is preparing the next generation of leaders through experiences in leadership and service. The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development found that students involved in 4-H are 3.4 times more likely to contribute to their communities when compared to those who do not participate in 4-H.

For more information on the 4-H program in Effingham County, contact the Extension Office at 754-8040.