Understanding the “WHY?” Behind Maine 4-H Project Records

Maine 4-H designed the Maine 4-H Project Records based on current research regarding Positive Youth Development using the Thrive Model established through Oregon State University (2018).

These records have youth:

Identify and nurture their spark.

  • For example: The Intermediate and Advanced project records expression page asks youth to share about their interests or passions related to project work.

Learn and practice goal management skills.

  • For example: The Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced project records ask youth what their goals are for learning and to identify how they plan to meet those goals. They also ask youth to reflect at the end of the year what they might change in their goals for the next 4-H year.

Develop a growth mindset.

  • For example: The Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced project records ask youth to think about advice they would give to a peer, including any mistakes made and how they might address them in the future.

Develop self-reflection skills.

  • For example: The Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced project records Section 4 asks youth to revisit goals and think about what they have learned over their 4-H project work. In addition, the 4-H Life Skills Comparison matrix digs deeper into reflection and asks youth to make connections about what they learned, what skills they developed, and how.
  • Cloverbuds are asked to describe why they felt an event was their favorite or what about an activity was important to them (ex. Think back and tell me what it was you liked about this particular activity). Cloverbuds are pushed a bit deeper by asking them to describe a service project they were part of and details surrounding that activity.

Express emotions.

For example: The Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced project record the 4-H Life Skills Comparison matrix specifically asks youth if they had fun and why. This gets at their emotions related to project work. For Intermediate and Advanced, the project expression also asks youth to bring in their emotions, by sharing what is important to them.