4-H Health Rocks®: Become an Advocate
Learn how advocates help to care for personal, family, and community health!
About the Activity
Everyone needs advocates in their lives! An advocate is someone who supports others in making healthy choices. In this activity, kids will learn what an advocate does, and how to build a Circle of Trust to surround themselves with advocates.
Topic: Healthy Living
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
Brought to you by Nebraska Extension
- Let’s start by looking at what we’re talking about: Write the word “advocate” on a whiteboard or pad of paper. Knowing this is someone who stands up for you and helps you make good decisions.
- Knowing that an advocate is someone who stands up for you and helps you make good decisions, brainstorm characters from your favorite books, movies and shows that you think are examples of advocates.
- Think of single words that represent how these people are advocates and then write them down.Examples: brave, confident, fighter, determined, independent, problem-solver, caring, supporting, teammate.
- Now, think about some things – people, communities, morals – that are really important to you. Go ahead and make another list.Examples: friends, family, school, healthy choices, doing what’s right, honesty.
- Now, think about if you’ve been an advocate before for any of the things you’ve put on their list.
- Now, think about how people in your life have demonstrated the qualities of an advocate. What are the qualities that stand out about them most? Make sure to capture these people on a seperate list.Your grandfather, for example, might be very caring and supportive, while your best friend might be someone you think of as being brave or a teammate. But each of these people can help support you and guide you – especially when you need it most – in their own way.
Guess what? These people who demonstrate these qualities – that’s your Circle of Trust!On your paper, circle the people you see are those helpful people who are members of your Circle of Trust, and add in new ones if you’ve forgotten someone.
- Next, on the Circle of Trust handout, write in the names of five different people you can rely on in times of need and/or in challenging situations. Write down these names on the numbered blanks of the Circle of Trust Handout.
- Now, stand up and shake it out and get ready to flex those muscles! Using the Advocate/Not An Advocate handout as a guide, read each statement and decide if the person is being an advocate, someone who is taking the right steps to make good choices—or if they are not being an advocate. If you think the person is an advocate, make your best pro-wrestler pose. If you think the person is not an advocate, boo and give them a thumbs down!
Questions to deepen wonder and understanding.
Emotions can be complicated, but connecting how we feel to how we act can help us understand how to process our emotions and to make healthy choices.
- Who are the five individuals in your Circle of Trust?
- Why are they members of your Circle of Trust?
- How might your Circle of Trust grow or expand over time?
Investigate and Explore
Take what you've learned to the next level to learn more and explore the possibilities.
Childhood, and particularly the teenage years, pose a lot of challenges to kids – times when they have to decide what is right, what is wrong, and how they will act in situations that test those values. That’s why it’s important for kids to be surrounded with people in their lives – friends, family, teachers, neighbors – who share their values and who can help them make positive, healthy decisions.
One of those tricky times is when kids they may know start experimenting with drugs and smoking (and, today, vaping). When they are facing peer pressure to fit in or be cool, it’s important for kids to know they have people in their lives who love them and support them and will help them make positive, healthy choices.
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