Civic Engagement Project

What is it All About?

Discover what is important to you and to other people, set goals, take action and build a stronger community. Through this project, youth become active members of the community, investigating a public issue, learning about the roles of governing officials, and carrying out a plan to solve a problem.

Grow in Your Project

Starting Out

  • Find out about active involvement in the community
  • Create ground rules for your group or project area
  • Learn different ways you can make decisions
  • Understand the difference between public and private
  • Look at the issues that face your community

Learning More

  • Explore your interests
  • Write out your goals and pick a project in your community you might like to help or change
  • Write a mission statement
  • Create an action plan

Going Further

  • Put an action plan into motion
  • Record and evaluate the work you are doing
  • Celebrate your accomplishments
  • Share your story
  • Plan for the future


Resources

Annual Statewide Service Learning Projects

Each year, Wisconsin 4-H develops a new service learning project for youth to work on in your club or community. Check out our first two projects:

  • Community Marks the Spot Project (2022)—In this project, youth will plan a non-competitive game that takes players to different locations around their community, like a scavenger hunt. The locations they choose will highlight a special theme the youth want to learn more about, strengthening their sense of belonging. Through the game, players will go on a fun adventure to explore the community.
  • Plarn Mats Service Learning Project (2021)—We have created a service project that will not only help the environment, it will help those in our community experiencing homelessness. The Plarn Mat service project guides youth through creating plastic yarn (plarn) made from plastic bags, and then using the plarn to crochet mats. Youth of all ages can participate in the project.
  • Cloth Face Coverings Service Learning Project (2020)—Cloth face coverings help keep everyone safe. Youth in grades 3 and higher can sew your own cloth face coverings in a few simple steps. Make them for yourself, your family, and your community.

Take Your Project Further!

  • Investigate the departments in your county government and find out what they do
  • Interview someone from your local Chamber of Commerce or Economic Development Agency to learn about the goals for your community
  • Get to know the other people in your club and what they like to do for fun
  • Interview a neighbor and identify the similarities and differences between you
  • Create and carry-out a plan to help someone outside your family
  • Discover the history of your school or community
  • Tour city or state’s hall, Courthouse or capitol
  • Apply to be a page in the State Legislature, attend National 4-H Conference or attend National 4-H Congress
  • Attend Citizenship Washington Focus or Leadership Washington Focus
  • Contact your county Extension office to participate in 4-H County Council or county committees
  • Volunteer for a local, county, or state political campaign for a candidate you support
  • Interview a county official about his/her roles and responsibilities

Applying Project Skills to Life

Enhance Your Communication Skills

  • Give a presentation about the history of your school or town
  • Make an appointment with your state legislator and share your thoughts on an issue
  • Read newspapers or newsmagazines on a regular basis
  • Research a community issue and share your ideas with appropriate board or governing body
  • Give a presentation on the importance of citizenship and community involvement
  • Prepare a demonstration or presentation on your activities and involvement with citizenship

Get Involved in Citizenship and Service

  • Help pick up trash at the local park
  • Volunteer to be a tutor or a mentor in your school Complete a community service project that includes other project areas
  • Adopt and maintain a local park or road in your community
  • Develop a citizenship project that will help meet the needs of your community
  • Present information about your club’s service project at a countywide event.
  • Plan a special “Grandparents Day” and record stories of their school days.

Learn about Leadership

  • Organize friends to clean-up a neighborhood park
  • Ask your local nursing home residents how they would like to celebrate the next holiday and involve others to carry-out the plan
  • Get approval and then create and conduct a survey for students on a school issue; then share the results with the administration
  • Serve as a Youth Delegate to either your state Democratic or Republican Party Convention

Showing What You’ve Learned

  • Create a poster about the best things in your community
  • Create a video about your community and what visitors should know about it
  • Create a “Welcome to our School” kit to be given to new families
  • Map the resources for youth and families in your community
  • Create a notebook explaining the Bill of Rights and examples in your everyday life
  • Give a presentation about the Checks and Balances of the 3 Branches of Government and how they’re important to you
  • Report your exploration of an issue and define how each branch of government plays a role in its creation, interpretation and carry-out
  • Video your group at a service project and interview members about what they did and what it meant to them
  • Research candidates for the next Governor election and put a notebook together sharing their stance on different issues
  • Create a notebook about the things you learned on a national 4-H trip and how they impacted you
  • Illustrate in a visual display the process of how a bill becomes a law
  • Create a visual representation about the different branches of government and how they work together


Adapted with permission from Wyoming State 4-H, Project Information Sheet, Civic Engagement. Retrieved from: http://www.uwyo.edu/4-h/projects/leadership-civic-engagement/civic-engagement.html.

*Resources available at your local Extension office or shop4-H.org.

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