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4-H teaches critical thinking skills

October 20, 2014

Fast facts

  • 4-H teaches critical thinking skills
  • Targeting Life Skills Model in 4-H helps teach money management
  • County extension office or visit it online at

(250 words)

LITTLE ROCK -- The first phrase of the 4-H pledge is about clearer thinking. 4-H, the nation’s largest youth development program delivers on that promise, said Laura Connerly, assistant professor for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. 

October is national 4-H month.

“The 4-H youth development program has been targeting life skills for more than 100 years,” she said. “ Life skills are those competencies people need to function well in the environments in which they live.”

Connerly said 4-H can help children develop critical life skills. For example, one area of 4-H’s Targeting Life Skills Model is managing resources. 

“4-H Consumer Economics projects and activities guide young people in learning responsible money management,” she said. “Consumer judging, personal finance simulations and entrepreneur camp are just a few of the learning opportunities available through 4-H. 

“Good money management skills lay a foundation for future financial success,” Connerly said. “ 4-H strives to help young people become competent in skills to prepare them for adulthood.

4-H provides many experiences that teach or reinforce skills. Mastery of any skill requires opportunities to try, make mistakes, and try again. Skills are learned in sequential steps related to the age and stage of development.

The 4-H pledge is:

“I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country, and my world.”

To learn more about 4-H contact your county extension office or visit it online at

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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By Mary Hightower
Cooperative Extension Service
U of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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