In the late 1800s, 4-H was founded on the principle that if youth
were taught the proper ways to grow corn for increased productivity,
they would then influence their own families to use the proper methods
of planting and cultivating crops for higher yields. Since that
beginning, 4-H programs have expanded to cover topics that cross all
cultural and economic levels. Curricula for these programs range from
traditional agriculture projects to those that are more suited for the
urban environments. For the most part, each curriculum is accompanied
by a project record book that encourages youth to learn technical
knowledge, money and time management, responsibility, showmanship and
leadership. Through the FRTEP, University of Florida Extension
Agents/Specials and with the support of the tribe, the participation of
Seminole youth in 4-H projects has increased from 35 in 1995 to 459 in
Five new projects were added in 2006. These are Music, NASA Space, Water Buffalo, Youth Arts and Crafts and Photography.
Through the work of the Seminole 4-H Youth Development
Coordinator, the FRTEP Agent, 4-H Program Assistants and Adult
Volunteers on each reservation, the goals for grant years 2006-2009 are
- Increase youth participation in planning and implementing
- Officer training
- Leadership conferences
- Volunteer recognition
- 4-H Banquets and other 4-H events in their home counties.
- Coach more experienced 4-H members to actively hold offices, lead
events and encourage greater participation in regional and state
- Expand participation of 4-H members by 20% in a wide range of projects, including children from ages 5-7.
The impact of these activities will lead to the development of more
positive behaviors such as responsibility, leadership and a "helping"
attitude among youth involved in 4-H projects. In addition, delinquency
activities such as vandalism, robbery, drug use and other negative
altercations with law enforcement officials will decrease by 5%
annually, thus building stronger families.