What is 4-H?
4-H is delivered by Extension—a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. Youth complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture, and citizenship in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Youth ages 5-18 experience 4-H in every county in the country.
For more than 10 years, 4-H has partnered with Tufts University to study the effectiveness of its youth development programs. This first-of-its-kind research study of 4-H’s unique hands-on approach gives youth the opportunities to learn by doing and build
4-H in Washington State is available and active in all 39 counties. 4-H reaches kids in every corner of the state – from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. Based on their interests and guided by adult mentors, youth develop their own pathway in 4-H through a community club model. There are hands-on, learn-by-doing opportunities for everyone.
“I have learned many things in 4-H this year. I have learned
about working as a team, about speaking in front of people, and about making my community a better place.”
“At first I thought 4-H was for people with animals. Now that I’m in 4-H, I realize it’s so much more! It’s honesty, friendships, kindness, and working as a team. 4-H has truly helped me in more ways than I can count.”
4-H Target Programs
4-H programs are grounded in the belief that youth learn best by doing. Youth complete hands-on projects in areas like science, health, agriculture, and citizenship in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles.
Regardless of the project area, all 4-H programs include mentoring and career
readiness as core elements.
STEM & Agriculture
4-H science programs provide 4-H youth the opportunity to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through fun, hands-on activities and projects. 4-H science programs are available through local clubs, schools, local partnerships, and grant-funded programs. 4-H celebrates National Youth Science Week every October.
4-H healthy living programs help 4-H youth learn how to lead lives that balance physical, mental, and emotional health. Focus areas for 4-H healthy living programs include nutrition, childhood obesity, drug awareness, bullying prevention, health and fitness, safety, stress management, and food science.
4-H citizenship programs empower young people to be well-informed citizens who are actively engaged in their communities and the world. One unique learning opportunity for Washington State youth is the Know Your Government (KYG) program offered annually with a culminating event at the state capitol. The KYG program strengthens the connection between youth and our political and social networks through education, experience, application, and inspiration.