The 4-H program is a national organization that helps young people develop lifelong knowledge and skills to become engaged citizens.
Through 4-H, youth are taught how to meet the diversities and challenges of today’s society by bringing together youth and adults to design programs that will teach skills for living. 4-H is truly a model of the “learning by doing” teaching concept. Programs offered through the 4-H program can be tailored to fit individuals as well as local communities.
The 4-H program is a voluntary, non-formal educational program offered to all youth regardless of race, color, national origin, residence or handicap. The Texas 4-H and Youth Development Program is conducted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, which is part of the Texas A&M University system. County and district 4-H programs are directed by extension staff, who also provide training and support to volunteers who work with 4-H members.
Young people in 4-H learn about citizenship, leadership, foods and nutrition, healthy lifestyles, veterinary science, horticulture, agriculture and other subjects. To teach young people about these subjects, the 4-H program uses the learning-by-doing method of instruction.
The 4-H project each member selects according to his or her interests and abilities is the program’s cornerstone. Projects involve setting goals and evaluating progress. The skills and knowledge learned in 4-H project work help members become more engaged individuals and citizens.
4-H gives them a chance to pursue their own interests — from photography to computers, from building rockets to raising sheep. A list of 4-H projects is available online. They go places — to camp and to state and national conferences. They learn to be leaders and active citizens.
In 4-H clubs, they serve as officers and learn to conduct meetings, handle club funds and facilitate group decision-making. In a growing number of communities, 4-H youth serve as youth representatives in municipal or county government or as members of teen courts. They give back to their communities.
4-H members get involved in volunteer projects to protect the environment, mentor younger children and help people who are less fortunate. To learn more about the Denton County 4-H program, call the 4-H office at 940-349-2884.
Lee Standley is the county extension agent for 4-H and youth development with the AgriLife Extension Service. He can be reached at 940-349-2890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.