The opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
A community development approach to service-learning: Building social capital between rural youth and adults†
Version of Record online: 22 JUL 2013
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company
New Directions for Youth Development
Special Issue: Youth Programs as Builders of Social Capital
Volume 2013, Issue 138, pages 75–95, Summer 2013
How to Cite
Henness, S. A., Ball, A. L. and Moncheski, M. (2013), A community development approach to service-learning: Building social capital between rural youth and adults . New Directions for Youth Development, 2013: 75–95. doi: 10.1002/yd.20059
- Issue online: 22 JUL 2013
- Version of Record online: 22 JUL 2013
Using 4-H and FFA case study findings, this article explores how community service-learning supports the building of social capital between rural youth and adults and the positive effects on community viability. Key elements of practice form a community development approach to service-learning, which opens up doorways for youth to partner with adult leaders and decision makers, gain credibility as resources and problem solvers, address community issues, and raise awareness of the value of school- and community-based youth programs.
Case study evidence suggests that rural 4-H and FFA youth and adults benefit from the bonding relationships they form through working together to solve community issues over time. Positive community outcomes are noted as well, including increased community capacity and community recognition. By focusing on social capital as a key outcome of community service-learning, 4-H youth and community development extension professionals, educators, and other practitioners have contributed to the viability of rural communities.