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Johnson County

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Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
Suite 1500
Olathe, KS 66061

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Monday - Friday,
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax

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K-State Research and Extension is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Johnson County Extension at (913)715-7000. Notify staff of accommodation needs as early as possible.

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

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Character: What is Personal Character

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What is personal character and what opportunities exist for a youth to try and discover their own character. The traditional education system doesn't always have time to let youth explore, experience and reflect back on activities. The 4-H program is built around the idea of 6 pillars of character. Over the next few months I will explore the different pillars and go in depth on their impact which can be found in our Johnson County 4-H youth.

A 4-H Member of Character...

  1. Trustworthiness: includes honesty, promise keeping and loyalty.
    • Plans and completes goals
    • Adheres to enrollment and entry deadlines
    • Develops project exhibits that show originality and creativity
  2. Respect: includes courtesy and proper treatment of people and things.
    • Listens and follows advice of leaders
    • Helps others in the project and gives positive feedback (encouragement)
  3. Responsibility: includes the pursuit of excellence, accountability and perseverance.
    • Enrollment and entry deadlines observed
    • Willingly plans and makes exhibits for project
    • Cleans up when done
    • Voluntarily participates in a variety of 4-H activities
    • Works independently with leader/parent guidance
  4. Fairness: involves consistently applying rules and standards approximately for different age groups and ability levels.
    • Accepts winning and losing with grace
    • Follows rules and regulations for showing and presenting of project work
    • Recognizes each project has different rules and standards
  5. Caring: promoting the well-being of people and things in a person's world. It denotes action and not just feelings.
    • Willingly assists wherever needed
    • Exhibits projects which are well planned and constructed
    • Shares knowledge with others
    • Demonstrates positive behavior towards others
    • Demonstrates kindness and concern for others
  6. Citizenship: includes making the home, community and county a better place to live for themselves and others.
    • Shows leadership with younger 4-Hers
    • Models good sportsmanship
    • Works at a variety of 4-H activities
    • Is involved in community activities

Adapted from What is the Real Purpose of 4-H Non-Livestock Projects by Carol Parmenter, University Outreach and Extension 4-H Youth Specialists, University of Missouri

4-H Citizenship Project
The 4-H Citizenship project is designed to help members find out more about themselves, family, friends, community and world. The project will lead to opportunities for meeting people, working with groups and learning about other countries and cultures.

Opportunities youth have through learning/doing:

  • Ages 7-10
    • Learn about self, family and friends
    • Find out what good citizenship is
  • Ages 11-13
    • Learn how to be a good neighbor
    • Find out how groups and clubs work
    • Study other cultures through exchanges
  • Ages 14 and Older
    • Learn about township, city and county government
    • Explore careers in police and fire protection, health and sanitation and tourism
    • Attend Citizenship Washington Focus
    • Consider going on an exchange program abroad or hosting from another country

Kansas 4-H Citizenship in Action
Over the Presidents Day weekend a few of our Johnson County youth will be participating in the annual Kansas 4-H Citizenship in Action event. This event is for Kansas 4-H youth to learn how the state legislative process works and how their voice and participation in decision-making can make a difference in their communities.
Delegates will tour the Capitol, get tips on how to meet and talk with their legislators, and discuss how youth can have a greater impact in their communities. Sunday will feature time at the Capitol, legislative sessions, and a dinner and dance at a local hotel. Monday is reserved for delegates to meet with legislators. This event allows for 4-H's motto of "learn by doing" to become front and center as the youth are actively engaged in our state legislator process and understanding the importance of citizenship first hand.