Thursday, September 15, 2011

4-H Ledge Program

Check out the link read it here:

By Precious Dorch-Robinson, UF/IFAS Osceola County Extension Summer Intern
4HOsceola County’s Extension Office located in Kissimmee, FL is passionate about helping the youth become role models through service, leadership, and communication skills. 4-H, the youth development program holds a fiveday event for ages 14-18 called the 4-H Legislature Program. This event allows the youth to be engaged with Florida government for five days in Tallahassee, FL. Each day they learn about local, state and national government by participating in hands on activities. They learn about mock legislature, laws and bills. 4-H Legislature allows them to network and gain leadership skills by understanding the different roles within government. They had the opportunity to learn the duties of Senators, Representatives, lobbyists, pages, reporters and Governors. Each morning they meet in the capitol to debate on bills, and then they attend at evening assembly. After the assembly, they engage outdoor recreation activities. The assembly is the awards banquet with a dinner. At the banquet, they win awards for their debates on governmental policies at the capitol. Recreation activities range from swimming to canoeing to exploring Tallahassee. They learn to enhance public speaking skills, presentation skills, interpersonal communication skills, confidence and bravery.

The mission of 4-H Ledge is to help youth gain an inside perspective to legislation and to encourage new knowledge by communicating effectively and working in groups.

Leah Santiago, 16 year-old from Osceola County, is the 4-H president of the Osceola County Council. This was Leah’s first time participating at 4-H Ledge but she has been in 4-H for five years. Hearing exciting stories from senior 4Hers influenced Leah to signup for 4-H Ledge. Leah said: “4-H Ledge is a fantastic opportunity to experience Florida government first hand. It’s a great way to meet new friends and interact with people all over the state.” She really enjoyed the debate in House and Senate; through her experience with Ledge she learned the importance of confidence, decision making and independence. With her previous knowledge about government and hands on activities in legislation, Leah is interested in learning more about bills being passed in government. She feels the youth can benefit from Ledge and plans on participating in Ledge again. Teens are able to appreciate government and understand the democratic process. While listening to debates it will increase their ability to respect and listen to others opinions. Teens can socialize with their peers and exchange ideas about government to enhance their knowledge. The various activities at Ledge aid teens in becoming leaders and increases civic engagement. The youth can participate in various roles at Ledge and they have specific duties. They can be Florida governors, senators, house representatives, legislatures, lobbyists or apart of the Media team. They all fill out a voterregistration form to determine the minority and majority parties. These two parties are called Green and Gold Parties and the leaderof each party informs the public of their platforms. Informing the public of their platforms allows the kids to engage in public speaking and it increases their critical thinking skills.

Besides debating on platforms, they debate on bills. While debating on bills they are negotiating and initiating quick decision making. The debate on bills is a great way to increase teambuilding skills and communication. The debates are influenced only by facts so views can be viewed thoroughly and fairly. As a governor, one can veto or pass bills, but this duty is only for the President of the 4-H Council. They learn how to draft and edit bills when being appointed the speaker of the house. Participants of the media team are only selected if they have prior 4-H legislator experience. As a reporter for the Media Team they must have some journalism experience and be familiar with word processing programs. They are responsible for writing objective articles and taking photos for the 4-H Legislature newspaper the “Legislative Times.” Also, they develop the PowerPoint presentation that is shown at the banquet. Strong research skills and background information is encouraged when participating in 4-H Ledge. They make decisions on which bills will impact their community and determine the consequences. They use sources outside of publications to obtain information about bills by meeting actual senators and representatives. The Osceola Extension office arranges these meetings so they will be prepared for their debate. When they speak with county officials it will prepare them for a formal setting and help initiate future business opportunities.

4-H legislature is a great opportunity for the youth of Osceola County to learn outside of the classroom and immerse them in real life government. The experience at Ledge will enhance young adult’s knowledge of government and give them a boost of self-esteem by learning to communicate effectively. Debating government issues will help them gain critical thinking skills while learning how to negotiate and persuade an audience. 4-H Ledge is learning by doing and this program truly enhances the lives of kids who participate. To find out more information on 4-H Ledge please visit the Osceola Extension website,

Follow Me On Twitter: 91WriterzStatus
YouTube: 91WriterzStatus
Comment Rate Subscribe and Reply!
Check Out:

No comments:

Post a Comment