Integrating and promoting character education from the 4-H ambassadors

As 4-H ambassadors fulfill their roles, they can integrate the promotion of character education at various levels for their county 4-H program.

A county with a 4-H ambassador program can provide numerous learning opportunities. Becoming a county 4-H ambassador is a great achievement for a 4-H member. Being a 4-H ambassador also has responsibilities. One responsibility of being a 4-H ambassador is to represent the county 4-H program with honor and integrity. According to Michigan State University Extension, an important quality to promote to youth as 4-H ambassadors is character education. Michigan 4-H Youth Development states that character education helps children and youth become:

  • Conscious of the right thing to do
  • Committed to doing the right thing
  • Competent in doing the right thing

Emphasizing the importance of exhibiting positive character traits in a 4-H ambassadors training is one way to integrate character education in the county. Character education can be included in every meeting to stress the importance practicing the associated behaviors.

After integrating character education in the training, give 4-H ambassadors the responsibility to find ways to integrate character education throughout the county 4-H program. Here are some ideas Michigan State University Extension recommends incorporating to integrate character education in the county through 4-H ambassadors.

As 4-H ambassadors meet or have planning meetings, they can come up with a number of positive character traits to promote to the 4-H youth in their county. The character traits can become the theme of the annual 4-H banquet, written about in the county 4-H newsletter, or promoted to the 4-H leaders at the leaders council or other 4-H committee meetings to teach it to youth in the 4-H clubs. If a county 4-H program is on social media, consider posting positive character traits on the various social media sites.

4-H ambassadors can also teach character education to younger 4-H members during 4-H club meetings or during other educational sessions. For counties with 4-H cloverbud camps, character education can be taught through a series of hands-on activities and where youth are active and moving relating to positive character traits.

Throughout the year, with the different activities that 4-H members participate in, 4-H ambassadors can start a character education or sportsmanship award for their county 4-H program. 4-H ambassadors can set the rules and guidelines in partnership with 4-H leaders or 4-H staff members to reward youth who exhibit positive character in 4-H club meetings and countywide 4-H activities. This award can be presented at the annual 4-H awards banquet or other events that take place to celebrate 4-H youth

As 4-H teaches life skills, positive character is a life skill that assists 4-H members in all areas of their lives. Exhibiting positive character traits should go beyond 4-H and carry over into other areas in the lives of youth. Developing the positive character will help youth become successful in their careers as they exhibit the attitudes and behaviors needed to be good employees or even employers.

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