What is a 4-H Club?
4-H clubs provide hands-on learning in science, healthy living, and citizenship. Kids build confidence, creativity and curiosity, along with life skills such as leadership and resiliency. 4-H stands for Head, Heart, Hands, Health.
Types of 4‑H Programs
4‑H programs are available through local 4‑H clubs, 4‑H camps, and in-school or after-school programs. With support from adult mentors, children select from a menu of hands-on project ideas to complete. 4‑H programs are available for children ages 8-18. . The 4‑H Cloverbud programs are available for children ages 5-7.
4‑H programs are based on the premise that kids learn best by doing. Children in 4-H complete hands-on projects in areas such as science, health, agriculture and citizenship. The projects are completed in a positive environment where kids receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive roles in leadership. Kids can concentrate on one specific area or they can try a variety of programs throughout the 4‑H experience. Regardless of the project area chosen, all 4‑H programs include mentoring and career readiness as core elements.
I particularly love 4-H for its hands-on activities as research shows that active learning (learning by doing) increases engagement and recall.
I also love how 4-H youth:
-Meet new people
-Learn and do new things
-Gain life skills
-Set and achieve goals
-Receive recognition for their efforts and accomplishments
Who Funds 4-H Clubs?
4-H is the youth development outreach program of the Land Grant Universities, the Cooperative Extension System (The Cooperative Extension System empowers farmers, ranchers, and communities to meet the challenges they face, adapt to changing technology, improve nutrition and food safety, prepare for and respond to emergencies, and protect our environment), and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Private sources also fund 4-H. 4-H has no membership registration fee. Most 4-H activities and events are free-of-charge or available at a minimal cost. Each club chooses whether to charge dues.
Where to Find a 4-H Club
4‑H programs are available in every county and parish in the United States. 4-H is known for equality and diversity. They do not discriminate based on gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, etc. Your local 4‑H office is your best resource to find out which programs are available in your area and how to enroll your child.
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Rachel Wise is a certified school psychologist and licensed behavior specialist with a Master’s Degree in Education. She is also the head author and CEO at educationandbehavior.com, a site for parents, educators, and counselors to find effective, research-based strategies that work for children. Rachel has been working with individuals with academic and behavioral needs for over 20 years and has a passion for making a positive difference in the lives of children and the adults who support them. For Rachel’s top behavioral strategies all in one place, check out her book, Building Confidence and Improving Behavior in Children, a Guide for Parents and Teachers.