Communications and Expressive Art
When a former 4-H member is asked, "What did you gain through 4-H that has made the most impact on your career success?" the skill most often mentioned is public speaking. For most county agents and councils, that's all the evidence they need to realize the importance of including public speaking and demonstrations in the local 4-H program.
Focusing on speeches and demonstrations has served many well over the years but the core curriculum actually broadens the scope of communications to include reading, listening, interpersonal communication, writing and family communications. The communications program in Kentucky 4-H is based around the concept of helping youth to explore, develop, and define their communication abilities in regards to such areas as public speaking, personal expression, interaction with others, and professional correspondence. The communication programs presented take a variety of approaches and techniques to improving youth skills, including but not limited to project books that involved personal evaluation and reflection of skills, competitive speaking and demonstrations, extemporaneous speaking, expression through art, and personal/professional relationship activities.