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Showing posts from February, 2019

4-H program development using the Tarnside Curve of Involvement

By Michael Compton

Growing the 4-H program in local communities can be a challenge. To connect 4-H to targeted audiences, a program approach that focuses on growth using a continual process can be very beneficial. Luckily there is a model to help do so!


Tarnside Consulting developed its Tarnside Curve of Involvement for fund development. It can also be applied to program and volunteer development and partnership building. It's a simple six-stage process that is easy to follow and implement.

When I worked as a 4-H program coordinator in a local office, I used this model and had great success. Here are some examples of how I applied the model and its six stages.

Awareness Awareness means creating ways for others to learn what 4-H is. I worked with local 4-H clubs and we went to events where there were large numbers of people. We went to sporting events, parent-teacher conferences and other local community events. We set up information booths, held prize drawings and brought youth to …

Take a customer-service approach to youth programs

By Nancy Hegland

I recently heard a county commissioner talk about the importance of giving excellent customer service to county government customers. The same is true for youth programs. Youth, parents, volunteers, partners and external stakeholders are all customers and it's essential that we consistently serve them well.

How can we do this? We train all program and support staff in our organization on it. They learn to give our customers a welcoming and culturally relevant experience that exceeds their expectations. In youth development organizations, our varied customers have very different expectations.

I like the University of Minnesota Center for Tourism’s “At Your Service” training. It teaches the foundations of customer service, increases awareness of culture and how it affects customer service, and helps learners to feel confident and committed to providing superior customer service.

It's important to consider customers' needs. Have you thought about the customer s…

The importance of media literacy in the age of fake news

By Ann Nordby

Fake news is an article that tells a lie. But calling an article “fake” doesn't mean that it's a lie. How can anyone tell the difference? By acquiring a few critical thinking skills and becoming a savvy media consumer.

My colleague Jessica Russo has blogged about the importance of civil discourse. I couldn't agree more. In addition to being able to discuss their differences, young people also need to be able to decipher the media messages they are receiving.

It’s a myth that anyone with common sense is media literate. Nobody is born with this skill, just as no one is born knowing how to read. Media literacy is the ability to understand media messages, how they are constructed and why they are being sent. It’s a 21st century skill, essential for participating in the workforce and a democracy.

Sadly, a recent Stanford University study revealed that most young people in the U.S. don't have this skill. In an 18-month study of middle school, high school and uni…

Human rights and youth development

By Kathryn Sharpe

I recently had conversations with young people about: Should rural access to broadband be considered an educational necessity given how much of school learning requires online research?Why do we allow people to be homeless even during the bitter cold?Is access to healthy food a right or a privilege?
I realized that to fully address these seemingly unrelated topics, I needed a larger framework than just our society’s norms or laws, so I drew upon human rights. Seventy years ago, in the long shadow cast by World War II and the Holocaust, nations from all over the world signed the International Declaration of Human Rights (IDHR).This agreement asserts that the “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”
But why are human rights relevant for young people today? In a world that is increasingly interconnected through media, communications, trave…