4-H is a worldwide youth development program available in every state and over eighty countries. It is open to all youth aged 5-to-18, who want to have fun, learn new skills, and explore the world. In return, youth who participate in 4-H find a supportive environment and opportunities for hands-on or "experiential" learning about things that interest them. They also get what all young people need to succeed in life--the confidence, compassion and connections with caring adults to make contributions to their communities. The mission of Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development is to unleash the power of youth and adults through diverse opportunities that meet community needs.
The four H’s (head, heart, hands and health) represent four basic human needs: independence, belonging, generosity, and mastery. Research indicates that youth whose basic needs are met in positive ways are likely to grow into active citizens and contributing members of their families and communities. The needs of all youth can be met with these diverse topics, strategies, and methods, because at the heart of the program, are four key concepts which have been proven to develop six powerful outcomes.
Nationally 4-H is a community of 6 million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. The 4-H community also includes 3,500 staff, 518,000 volunteers and 60 million alumni. 4-H'ers participate in fun, hands-on learning activities, supported by the latest research of land-grant universities, that are focused on three areas:
Citizenship - Civic engagement is the broadest mission mandate; it incorporates youth voice, leadership, respect, history, community youth development, SET, and Healthy Lifestyles.
Healthy Lifestyles - "Choose Health" is an initiative of the Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program intended to help all of us confront and take action to change the statistics of childhood obesity. This link includes project resources, promotional materials, and more!
Science, Engineering and Technology- Kids who participate in science activities outside of the classroom are more likely to be comfortable with science. This link takes you to numerous 4-H Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) projects that give families science enrichment opportunities and connect kids to Cornell’s science outreach programs.
Find out more about the history of 4-H and what it can offer you by visiting the other pages on this site, then get in touch with a local 4-H staff person today! We're looking forward to welcoming you to 4-H in our county!
Last updated September 2, 2022