4-H youth debate issues in the Illinois House of Representatives
Online Staff Report
URBANA – Should all students attend school year round? What is a reasonable age to receive a tattoo without parental consent? Should toys be included in children’s fast food meals?
These were among the issues debated by 81 high school youth in the Illinois House of Representatives during the 4-H Great Debate on April 1 to 2 in Springfield, Ill.
During the event, youth learned about the legislative process, elements of a good debate and persuasive speaking. They also debated six mock bills on the Illinois House floor.
“My favorite part of the 4-H Great Debate was meeting people from all over Illinois and debating issues with them,” said Michael Goke, a participant from Sangamon County. “The fast food bill fired me up, and the year-round school arguments really opened my mind.”
In 4-H, youth learn by doing. The 4-H Great Debate provided youth with the opportunity to learn how Illinois state government works by researching, introducing, debating and passing legislation.
4-H is the largest out-of-school educational program for youth in the United States. The organization seeks to assist youth in developing life skills that will enable them to become caring, competent and contributing members of society.
In Illinois, 268,367 youth participate in 4-H and the other youth programs of U of I Extension. More than 23,658 adult volunteers assist in the programming. For more information about 4-H in Illinois, visit http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/state4h.
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