What is 4-H?
4-H is designed to meet the interests of the youth. It helps youth discover and develop life skills and set personal goals. Involvement in project areas gives members the help needed to improve specific skills and explore new ones Activities within clubs also introduce members to the importance of helping others through community service. 4-H is family oriented in that children and parents are encouraged to work together on projects and activities. 4-H is also enjoyable and an excellent opportunity to meet other families in the area.
The 4-H program in Colorado combines the efforts of youth and families, volunteer leaders, Colorado State University, Colorado State University Extension, county and state government and the US Department of Agriculture.
More Than You Imagined!
The 4-H emblem, a clover bearing an “H” on each of its four leaves, represents the characteristics each member develops: head, heart, hands, and health. Head involves thinking, making decisions, and learning new things, while heart entails caring about other people, accepting responsibility, and developing values. Hands symbolize the effort to acquire and perfect new skills and to help others. Health involves protecting the well-being of yourself and others.
The focus of Colorado State University Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program is on prevention and intervention. Colorado 4-H offers kids more than a chance to win a blue ribbon. It’s a learning laboratory for them. The idea is to involve them in hands-on activities so they can feel good about accomplishing something and share in a friendly learning environment. In 4-H, kids make decisions about what they want to learn and how to do it; they choose projects they are interested in, and work toward a goal they have set. Adult volunteers help guide those experiences and encourage growth and achievement through hands-on-learn-by-doing techniques.
Kids have more choices in 4-H than they imagined!
Kids in 4-H learn and grow by completing projects – constructive activities ranging from archery to woodworking. 4-Hers choose projects to enhance their communities, launch a rocket, explore insects, raise animals, learn to sew, build things, or just satisfy their curiosity about a topic.
Extension agents, specialists and volunteers contribute technical knowledge in subject areas, such as:
- Creative Arts
- Family & Consumer Science
- Natural Resources
- Personal Development
- Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
The effects of 4-H are more than you imagined!
The 4-H Youth Development Program is based on the foundation that youth are a vital resource…that the youth of today comprise our most important building block for the future. The world is changing rapidly today, and societal changes continually put pressures on our nation’s youth. Young people face challenges created by unique family environments, negative peer pressure, youth unemployment, economic stress on families, crime, and violence, drop-out rates, and drugs and alcohol. The American work force, the economy, the social structure, education, justice, and democratic government all depend on the next generation of educated, concerned and involved youth. Colorado State University Extension 4-H Youth Development Programs reach nearly 100,000 Colorado youth every year. The 4-H Program helps youth build a solid foundation of knowledge and life skills. 4-Hers learn responsibility, resiliency, citizenship and good work habits. The 4-H Program offers a wealth of opportunities for young people to learn decision making, leadership and communication skills, interpersonal relations and community service.
Assisting young people as they prepare for the future continues to be the central mission of 4-H. The 4-H vision is to be a world leader in developing youth to become self-directed, productive, contributing members and leaders of society through interaction with adults who care.