A New Curriculum to Help Youth Thrive
Over the past two years 4-H Thriving Model professional development committee, consisting of 4-H professionals from across the country, has been hard at work developing the 4-H Thriving Model curriculum for 4-H professionals and volunteers. We know there is tremendous need for these materials, and we are excited that Phase I of the curriculum is nearing completion and should be available in early 2022. Phase I focuses on the Developmental Context area of the model and includes Sparks, Developmental Relationships and Program Quality.
As Phase I is rolled out, the professional development committee will continue to create modules that will focus on Thriving Trajectory which will be available in late 2022 or early 2023.
The great news is this Phase I/Phase II strategy will help create a synergy across the 4-H system as we all work on the same concepts at the same time.
Phase I of the curriculum contains 3 modules with activities designed to introduce each concept of the Developmental Context of the 4-H Thriving Model. Inherent in all modules is a community of practice design that helps educators and volunteers develop an application plan. A future meeting is scheduled to share what worked, what didn’t, and what’s next.
Each activity is developed using guided inquiry embedded in an experiential learning framework. Activities include:
- Background information on the model element (e.g. sparks, developmental relationships, growth mindset, hopeful purpose, etc.)
- Identification of PRKC and VRKC competencies
- Learning objectives
- A list of materials and time needed
- Key concepts and vocabulary definitions
- Highlights emphasizing attention and action related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Detailed directions for facilitating the using the experiential learning steps “do, reflect, and apply”
- Follow up Community of Practice (CoP) meeting to reflect on individual application plans with support from their peers
Activities are currently undergoing pilot testing and revision. As the pilot process is completed curriculum modules will proceed through the National 4-H Curriculum peer review process. Following the review, the curriculum will be professionally designed, and when completed all modules will be posted in PDF form for download from the Extension Helping Youth Thrive website.
This process of curriculum development, including a contractual agreement with Search Institute for material used in the Sparks and Developmental Relationships modules, has been deliberate and careful to ensure that the highest quality curriculum is produced. While we know these materials are needed and anticipated eagerly throughout the system, we are delighted that we are so close to completing Phase I. So please hang tight! We will keep the availability of the curriculum updated through the 4-H PYD Champion Network.
We are still looking for states to pilot some of the modules! Pilots do not need to engage the whole state, big numbers aren’t necessary. This is a great way to get your hands on the curriculum in the beta testing phase. If you are interested in helping, please contact Gemma Miner, co-chair of the Helping Youth Thrive Professional Development Committee.