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4-H and Youth Development

Fans of the 4-H, scouting, and other organized clubs that focus on positive youth development may not be surprised to learn that those types of memberships help students' long-term success.

A new study reports what many adults and educators may know from experience, or at least intuitively: that students who experience positive relationships with their peers and adults in programs that work to build character, confidence, and competence, are more likely to do well in school and in life. They are also more apt to be civically engaged and to contribute to their communities.

The study sponsored by the National 4-H Council, concludes that all children regardless of their economic status, geographic location, race or ethnicity get significant benefits from structured afterschool programs, whether they are raising calves in a 4-H program or playing basketball at a Boys and Girls Club.

I don't know if a study was needed to get this point across, as for most people this is a common-sense deduction. But it doesn't hurt to remind people how important it is to have high-quality activities available for children beyond the school day.

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