4-H Programming and Reporting
Outcome and Impact Objective Description: Demands of life in home, school, and community today and challenges of family, civic life, and workplace tomorrow require young people to develop a wide range of personal and interpersonal competencies. Youth who gain life skills such as communication and conflict resolution generally find ways to connect with positive adults and diverse peers, navigate the social world, and become productive in school and community settings. Skills in critical thinking and decision-making help youth avoid risks and build assets needed to succeed in and beyond school.

Experiences in public speaking, project work, club leadership, and community service that served to equip 4-H youth through the past century continue to be valuable tools for building life skills and the achievements correlate with them: positive relationships with peers and adults, learning and achievement, and contributions to their communities.

Five life skills are targeted for reporting in all LRFAs: Communication, Problem Solving, Decision-making, Teamwork. Summaries of research and planning tools for incorporating life skills in 4-H programs are contained in: YouthLifeSkillsPlanningGuide10-24-08.doc

Life Skills Fact Sheet FS-Life Skills.doc
LifeSkillsPSpeakResearch.ppt for perspective on program planning and research on Oral Communication/Public Speaking

Resources and Research
Extension program outcome reports will indicate the areas in which youth and adults are learning life skills, their knowledge gains and continued practice of those skills. However, reports are generally based on one self-reported indicator "did you learn a life skill?" and include such a variety of projects, settings, and audiences that it is impossible to detail what, how, and why life skills were gained.
Thus a team of 4-H agents and program assistants, specialists, and Extension partners, assisted by NC State students, is working together to develop a matrix for describing and guiding life skill development, then researching specific niches and processes in 4-H programming in which specific life skills are learned. An overview of the research issues, including descriptions of life skills, measurement of life skills, and research questions related to life skills is available from our first webcast recording and PowerPoint.
Ongoing Discussion
Life Skills Evaluation Webinar 12-4-09
LS-PublicSpeakingResearch Webinar 1-21-10

Sample Resources
Note content and life skill progression across three years. Pictures and formatting omitted due to file size limits.

Literature Review
A cache of resources for teaching, programming, and evaluation as well as research and best practices are placed below to support programming, evaluation, and research. Materials are organized into five clusters, and each cluster site includes files on Research on Practices and Outcomes and Resources for Programming, Teaching, and Evaluation.

1) General Life Skills Resources
2) Life Skills-Communication Cluster
3) Life Skills-Personal Dev Cluster
4) Life Skills-Project Mgt Cluster
5) Life Skills-Teamwork Cluster

Life Skills Matrix
describes developmentally-appropriate sequences for life skills teaching and delivery scenarios for each age group.

Life Skills Research Projects are described that document process and outcomes of life skills learning in 4-H contexts.