What is 4-H?
“4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning
leadership, citizenship and life skills.”
What is the mission of 4-H?
The mission of 4-H is to prepare youth to become competent,
contributing and responsible adults. This process is accomplished
by involving youth in project work, community service projects
and leadership activities with trained caring adult volunteers.
As a result, 4-H alumni become adults who are capable,
caring and competent and who are able to meet the needs
of a diverse and changing society.
What does 4-H offer?
In 4-H, youth are involved in fun, informal, hands-on learning
experiences which fosters skill and character development.
4-H allows all youth to:
· have fun;
· gain public speaking skills; life skills; and leadership
· gain proficiency in various subject matters of their choosing;
· learn civic responsibility by doing community service projects
set goals, develop strategies to reach those goals, and evaluate progress
In addition, for teens, 4-H offers opportunities to:
¨ take leadership for sharing their skills, knowledge and talents
to make their communities stronger
¨ expand their horizons by participating in state, national
and international events.
· 4-H offers research-based support and training in age-appropriate
learning methods and materials to help plan activities and
projects for young people in safe, nurturing environments.
Who operates 4-H?
4-H is the youth development component of the University
of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System. Cooperative
Extension is located at the land-grant University of every
state in the United States. 4-H Youth Development is delivered
locally and operated at the state and national levels through
a partnership among the land grant colleges and the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. This partnership ensures that
4-H programming is backed by the research and knowledge
base of the nation’s premier land-grant universities
and the support of state and federal governments.
How much does it cost?
There is no state or national dues structure for 4-H involvement.
Individual groups may charge dues to cover expenses, and
some project areas may require extra financial investments
for supplies, equipment and travel.
Who is involved in 4-H?
4-H Youth Development programs are located in all 8 counties
in Connecticut.(link to map of Ct with FC highlited) Each
year, 29,000 youth and 8,000 adult and older teen volunteers
from major cities, suburbs, towns and rural communities
participate in 4-H. Nationally, 4-H youth programs involve
more than 7 million young people from all 50 states and
many U.S. territories.
How old do you have to be to join?
4-H programs are open to youth aged 5 to 19. Adults aged
19 and older are encouraged to join 4-H as volunteers.
Where do 4-Hers meet?
4-H groups can meet in volunteer leader’s or member’s
homes, after school programs, community centers, school-aged
child care centers, schools, camps, and other public buildings.
Youth can join 4-H in a variety of ways.
Do 4-Hers live on farms?
4-H programs have branched out into urban areas. In Fairfield
County, 90 percent of all 4-Hers live in a city or town
How did 4-H originate?
4-H clubs were preceded by corn clubs for boys and canning
clubs for girls, organized early in the 1900’s by
public school educators who wanted to broaden the knowledge
and experience of their students. 4-H became an official
part of the Cooperative Extension System, along with agriculture
and home economics, at about the time Cooperative Extension
was officially established by the U.S. Congress in 1914.
The term “4H club” first appeared in a federal
document in 1918 and by the mid- 1920’s, 4-H was
well on its way to becoming a significant national program
4-H is an American idea that has spread around the world.
4-H, throughout its long history, has constantly adapted
to the every-changing needs and interests of youth. From
its inception until now, 4-H has maintained and sustained
the effective model of adults and youth working together
to provide guidance, experience and opportunities for youth
to develop to their full potential.
How are 4-Hers recognized?
The National 4-H Recognition Model provides the recognition,
support and encouragement for learning in the following
areas of recognition:
of members in an educational activity
- cooperation in learning and working together
competition – recognition for the best team
or individual at a specific time
of excellence – measuring a member’s
a set of standards- commonly called
the Danish System.
In this system, members
ribbons based on
a score determined according to established standard.
In the Danish system,
than one blue, red,
white or green ribbon
can be awarded.
towards self-set goals – personal
goals set by the
for the unique worth
of that individual.
and reasonable goals,
planning ways to
achieve those goals,
part of this process
What about volunteers?
Volunteers are an essential part of the overall 4-H program.
Approximately 8,000 youth and adult volunteers participate
in the Connecticut 4-H program. Adult and teen volunteers
work at the local and state level to support experiential
learning activities for youth. 4-H volunteers have the
opportunity to contribute their time, energies, talents,
and knowledge to help develop 4-H youth in a positive,
educational way. They can be
club, group or resource leaders, middle management volunteers
or committee members.
The strength of a successful 4-H program is a setting where
volunteers and youth work together over a period of time.
That provides the best opportunity for positive youth development.
What is the official 4-H MOTTO?
"To Make the Best Better" is the aim of each member
in improving their project work and in building better clubs and communities.
What is the official 4-H SLOGAN?
“Learn by Doing” is the 4-H member’s way of acquiring
new skills and learning how to get along with others. New
skills come from working with the hands. The ability to get
along with others comes from working and playing with the
Why is the clover green and white?
The green clover, nature’s most common color symbolizes
life. The white H’s symbolizes purity
What is the 4-H pledge?
My HEAD to clearer thinking,
My HEART to greater loyalty,
My HANDS to better service,
My HEALTH to better living,
For my club, my community, my country and my world.
are the four H’s?
Head, Heart, Hands and Health
- Head – 4-H
lets kids take the lead—with the help
of adult partners—in thinking, learning and
- Heart – 4-H helps kids build
strong relationships with peers and adults based
on caring and respect.
- Hands – 4-H lets kids learn by doing and then
use their talents and skills to make their communities
in which to live and grow.
- Health – 4-H helps kids make healthy choices
to keep them physically and mentally able to do what
to at school, at home and in their communities.
County 4-H Educators lead and support the work of 4-H volunteers
and members in that county. They cooperate with other County
4-H Educators, other Cooperative Extension System Educators,
and local, regional and state partners. This multidisciplinary
approach is used often in program design, implementation
How do you join 4-H?
For more information about how to join or get involved
as a volunteer, contact Ede Valiquette, 67 Stony Hill
Bethel, CT 06801, 203-207-3264, firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Cooperative Extension Offices are listed in the blue
(government) pages of your phone book under State of Connecticut-
Higher Education- University of Connecticut.
do 4-H members do?
groups must do certain things do be a “club in
good standing”, but how they accomplish these things
are up to them. 4-H is “youth run and adult facilitated.” All
4-Hers are generally involved in project learning, community
service, and leadership and recreational activities. Youth
in clubs also conduct club business.
In addition to completing and keeping records on their own
projects, members hold club offices, help younger children,
and plan and participate in community service projects and
county activities. County activities include 4-H festivals,
project related events, public speaking, project evaluations
and field trips. State activities, leadership activities,
trips to Washington D.C. and conferences at UConn are some
of the special activities available for teens.
What is a 4-H project?
One of the greatest strengths of 4-H is its "learning
by doing" projects. A 4-H project is the thought, work,
and action involved in learning a specific subject. Activities
such as tours, field trips, judging, and workshops enhance
the learning. Each member chooses a project that fits his/her
interest/s, home situation, and ability. Projects vary in
difficulty according to the age and experience of the member.
Youth want projects that are fun, help them discover new
information, and help them learn new skills.
Adults often see 4-H projects as ways to create more interest
in daily tasks, strengthen family and community ties, develop
leadership skills, and explore vocational opportunities.
What do 4-Hers learn?
Through their projects, members gain proficiency in various
subject matters of their choosing, they also acquire life
skills which help them now and in the future, through their
personal, educational and work lives. Leadership and service
to the community are emphasized. 4-H alumni say the program
taught them skills such as communication, working with
others, creative problem solving, work ethic, decision
making, goal setting, public speaking, managing resources,
management information responsibility, self management,
and honesty. Hands-on activities help young people in “learning
4-H offers learning experiences in more than 200 subject
matter areas. These subject matter areas are divided into
10 emphasis areas:
- Science and Technology
- Plants and Animals
- Consumer and Family Sciences
- Leadership Education
- Healthy Lifestyles
- Personal Development
and Expressive Arts
Education & Earth Science
- Citizenship Education
- Workforce Preparation
projects range from aerospace to zoology! All youth, no
matter their interest, can find a place.
How do they learn?
Three types of learning experiences are emphasized in
4-H youth development programs and activities: hands-on
producing, practicing, observing, etc.); organized activities
(demonstrations, workshops, field trips, camps, etc.);
and leadership/citizenship (conducting, planning, assisting,
informing, organizing, etc.)
In addition to learning subject matter information in their
project work, youngsters learn about leadership, community
service and other life skills. 4-H groups are youth-run and
adult facilitated. 4-H members hold club offices, help younger
children, and participate and plan community service projects.
State activities, leadership activities, trips to Washington
and conferences at the University are some of the special
activities for 4-H teens. 4-H alumni say that 4-H taught
them life skills such as: communication, working together,
creative problem solving, work ethic, decision making, public
speaking and goal setting. The skills they learned in 4-H,
help them today in their personal and in their work life.
4-H encourages youth to discover their
potential in many areas and expand their horizons. Young
by doing” through hands on activities.
As part of the land grant university system, 4-H curriculum
is research-based. Although curriculum is available through
the National 4-H Curriculum collection, 4-hers can use
any curriculum that meets their specific needs.