The Power of 4-H
Learn how 4-H Youth Development helps youth gain skills that will benefits them for a lifetime. Below are some research about the power of 4-H for youth development.
4-H Mission Mandates
The mission of 4-H is to provide meaningful opportunities for youth and adults to work together to create sustainable community change. This is accomplished within three primary content areas, or mission mandates:
- Citizenship: connecting youth to their community, community leaders, and their role in civic affairs. This may include civic engagement, service, civic education, and leadership.
- Healthy Living: promoting healthy living to youth and their families. This includes: nutrition, fitness, social-emotional health, injury prevention, and prevention of drug, alcohol, and other drug use.
- Science: preparing youth for science, engineering, and technology education. The core areas include: animal science and agriculture, applied mathematics, consumer science, engineering, environmental science and natural resources, life science, and technology.
These mandates reiterate the founding purpose of Extension (community leadership, quality of life, and technology transfer) in the context of 21st century challenges and opportunities.
4-H Essential Elements
4-H “Learn by Doing” APPROACH
4-H promotes a three-phased experiential learning process–
Experience the activity, perform: Youth do the activity (with some explanation and guidance), rather than being shown or told exactly how it’s done.
Share the results, reactions, and observations publicly: Youth describe results of the experience and their reaction.
Process by discussing, looking at the experience, analyze, reflect: Youth relate the experience to the learning objectives (life skills and/or subject matter).
Generalize to connect the experience to real-world examples: Youth connect the discussion to the larger world.
Apply what was learned to a similar or different situation, practice: Youth use the skills learned in other parts of their lives.