Resources to help your club meetings be effective! Part 3

Use these helpful tools to evaluate the effectiveness of your 4-H club meetings.

Sitting through ineffective meetings is not how anyone wants to spend their precious time. 4-H club meetings are no exception! According to Michigan State University Extension, planning effective club meetings takes skill and determination on the part of the club leader and the club youth officers. There are many ways that volunteer club leaders can assess club meetings to make sure that youth are getting the most out of their club time.

Over a series of articles, MSU Extension will explore different resources and tools that can help volunteers determine the effectiveness of their club meetings. These resources will provide a variety of methods to assess various aspects of the club.

This article, part 3, will explore the Vibrant Club Assessment Tool produced by the National 4-H Council. The tool is made up of two documents; the “What Is Your Club Like” Vibrant Clubs Assessment questionnaire and the Vibrant Clubs Score Sheet.

The questionnaire is made up of 15 questions to assess situations including:

  • Youth participate in major decisions related to the policies and activities of the club.
  • Youth have opportunities to identify and learn about community issues they care about.
  • Youth are actively engaged in their own learning through practical, hands-on activities.
  • Youth are matched with mentors or older youth in the club.

Each of the fifteen questions asks youth members and leaders to rank their answer to the statement as 1) Strongly disagree, 2) Disagree, 3) Neutral, 4) Agree or 5) Strongly Agree. At the end of the questionnaire, participants should add up their total numerical scores and place them at the top of the page.

Persons filling out the questionnaires are not asked to provide any identifying information, such as their name, age or project area, so that everyone can feel comfortable sharing their true opinions of their club.

After the questionnaires are filled out, totaled by participants and collected, the club leader can analyze the results with the Vibrant Clubs Score Sheet by recording each of the participants’ total scores and averaging them together. The score sheet contains ranges between the club being vibrant, doing well with a need for improvement in only a few areas and the club needing to seek help.

If your club scores in the “need to seek help” category, do not worry! With some help from your local county 4-H staff person, you can implement new strategies to attain a vibrant status.

Part 1 and part 2 in this series contain additional tools and resources that can help you transform your club.

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