Florida 4-H Launches “Take A Stand” Anti-Violence Pledge Card Campaign

By:
Ami Neiberger

Source(s):
Damon Miller dmi@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 846-0996 ext. 225

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — It’s time. Time to take a stand against violence against young people in our communities. The Florida 4-H Youth Development Program is encouraging youth and adults to join the “Take a Stand Against Violence” pledge card campaign.

“Violence is on the minds of everyone today,” said Damon Miller, state 4-H leader and assistant dean for 4-H at the University of Florida. “Signing a pledge card is a simple way to say no to violence and take a stand. We are all responsible for ensuring a healthy learning environment in our community for young people.”

Positive youth development is violence prevention, say organizers. “Young people who develop life skills through club activities like 4-H are going to have healthy development,” said Miller. He said that 4-H club activities often teach young people their connections to each other and help them learn how their actions impact others.

Youth signing the pledge card promise to: treat others with respect, be considerate to others, try to resolve conflicts peacefully and report signs of violence to an adult or school authority.

State 4-H Council President Mamie Wise, 18, had a hand in writing the pledge on the card. “This is an issue that is on the minds of young people today,” said Wise. “This is an opportunity, in a small way, for a young person to do something about it. We are not powerless in the face of violence. We all have a voice.”

Adults also can sign the pledge cards, promising to: treat young people with respect, try to listen to young people and dialogue, help youth resolve conflicts peacefully and report signs of violence to the appropriate authorities.

The pledge drive started only two weeks ago after recent school shootings in California. County 4-H programs participating in the pledge drive are: Alachua, Bay, Calhoun, Columbia, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Holmes, Lee, Levy, Liberty, Manatee, Nassau, Orange, Palm Beach, Polk, Santa Rosa, Wakulla. Organizers anticipate more county 4-H programs will join the effort.

Cards will be on display in the state capitol on April 10th, which is going to be declared “Florida 4-H Youth Development Day” by Governor Bush and the cabinet, in a resolution sponsored by State Comptroller Bob Milligan. Milligan is a 4-H alumnus.

The 4-H program is part of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Through the Florida Cooperative Extension System, 4-H is active in all of Florida’s 67 counties and on five Seminole Tribes reservations in south Florida.

For more information about Florida 4-H, visit http://4h.ifas.ufl.edu/ and click on news and info.

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