J.S. Kelly, UF/IFAS Extension, St. Johns County, St. Augustine, FL.
Situation: In the 2017-2018 4-H year, the St. Johns County 4-H program had more than 20 volunteer organizational leaders. In an end-of-the-year survey given to 60 youth from a variety of clubs, only 63% of youth surveyed reported writing about their project as part of club experience “some” or “often”. Further, the most common reason points were deducted from record book scores was the inability of the project report to tell a consistent story of how the youth worked to achieve the goal they developed at the beginning of the year.
Objective: Develop a workshop to train volunteer leaders how to teach their members to write goal-focused project reports, subsequently leading to youth writing these goal-focused reports.
Methods: The leader workshop included a PowerPoint presentation with notes, completed project report forms with recommended dates for completing each section, record book examples demonstrating consistent and inconsistent project reports, project book materials, and a post-workshop evaluation.
Results: In the post-workshop evaluation, 92% of respondents (n=12) named at least one strategy for including goal setting in their club plans, 100% correctly identified why goal-setting is an important life skill and 100% identified a way that writing a goal-driven project report enhances the club experience. In 2017-2018 (the 4-H year before the workshop), the average score for a project report/book, was 89 out of 100 (n=47). After the workshop the following year, 2018-2019, the average project report/book score was 92 (n=31).
Conclusion: Youth who learn the importance of setting goals and consistently follow a plan for achieving them are more likely to follow through on their goals in the future.