You might ask yourself how a trip to the shopping mall can be a platform on which to learn life skills. After all, you're just shopping, right? But wait, this is 4-H.
Jeff Davis, Cameron and Calcasieu 4-H youth development programs recently joined together and implemented an activity that combines fun and education on November 23, 2011. “There’s not a whole lot of activities for 4-H’ers in the clothing and textile areas at this time on the parish level for youth to apply the knowledge they were learning in their project books,” stated Silas Cecil, 4-H Youth Development Agent. “After learning about a similar activity a couple of parishes in North Louisiana were implementing, we decided to create our 4-H Mall Cents Challenge after theirs,” Cecil added.
The 4-H Mall Cents Challenge is designed to be a fun and educational while furthering youth’s knowledge and decision making skill about fabrics, textiles, money management skills and fashion. Kohl’s department store graciously allowed the 4-H’ers to utilize their training room which served as a base for the event. Here youth learned about different fabric types, blends and purpose behind using those blends and where their clothes were made in the world by examining the country of origin and identifying those countries on a world map.
The 4-H members were then broken into groups and given specific role responsibilities before drawing for which store they would shop. Roles include: presenter, recorder, cost control and model. Teamwork from group members was crucial seeing they had a set budget to purchase clothes to meet their scenario for different events. When the shopping began, Kohl’s, J.C. Penny’s and Dillard’s agreed to allow youth to select clothes that best fit within their budget. After lunch which was sponsored by Chick-Fil-A and Kohl’s, youth prepared their presentations and revisited each store to model their selections and present their findings.