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PYD Academies

The National PYD Academies are an output of the 4-H PLWG Chartered Committee on Positive Youth Development. 4-H PYD Academies are convened and supported by National 4-H Council in collaboration with Extension 4-H professionals from across the country. The purpose of the PYD Academies is to ensure that 4-H educators possess the knowledge and skills they need to plan, implement and evaluate high quality 4-H PYD programs for youth.

PYD Academy Needs Assessment Conducted with 4-H Program Leaders (2022)

2022 PYD Foundations Academy for Early 4-H Career Professionals (Pilot)

Academy Website

Academy Evaluation Report

The Foundations of Positive Youth Development: Early Career 4-H Professionals Academy provides educators with a fundamental understanding of the science and practice of positive youth development in 4-H. The academy consisted of two virtual learning sessions, followed by an in-person convening on October 9th in Madison, Wisconsin the Sunday before the NAE4-HYDP conference. The academy was recommended for all 4-H professionals within the first three years of their 4-H career, including educators, specialists and 4-H program leaders. Following an assessment with 4-H programs leaders from all five Extension regions that provided clear support for a PYD Academy for Early 4-H Career Professionals, we decided to move forward with implementation. Because the timeline was short, and there was a great deal of content to be developed as well as Extension expertise to harness, we elected to make the 2022 version of the academy a pilot version, limited to 50 early 4-H career professionals.

2022 Helping Youth Thrive – Building 4-H Professional Capacity to Strengthen Youth Emotional Wellness through Positive Youth Development

Academy Website

Academy Evaluation Report

4-H youth development can play an important role in supporting youth mental health, but many 4-H professionals are uncertain of how to respond, unclear what their role is, and lack the knowledge and skills needed to provide 4-H programs that strengthen youth mental health. The 2022 4-H PYD Virtual PYD Academy on Youth Mental Health, May 10-12th,  is intended for all 4-H professionals, from program leaders to front-line educators. The academy will help 4-H professionals understand the current landscape of youth mental health and the specific role of 4-H in supporting youth mental health. Participants will also develop personal competencies for effective PYD practice related to supporting youth mental health as well as strategies to help adult volunteers be prepared for working with youth during this unique time

2021 Helping Youth Thrive – Building 4-H Professional Capacity to Provide High Quality Positive Youth Development Programs

Academy Website

Academy Evaluation Report

The 4-H Virtual Academy was held May 11-13, 2021, with over 950 4-H professionals in attendance. The academy was an outgrowth of the Advancing the 4-H Thriving Model PLWG Task force, and was designed to further the work of the task force during the COVID-19 pandemic when physical meetings were not possible. The purpose of the academy was to provide a high-quality professional development experience that increased participant knowledge and understanding in three areas: (1)The 4-H Thriving Model- why models like this matter for youth development and how the model reflects the research base of youth development and the science of learning and development; (2) Effective developmental settings and why they are the critical link for ensuring that 4-H programs have a positive and significant impact on youth; and (3) Robust equity and ensuring opportunity for all youth to thrive.