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More Than You Imagined!

4-HMore 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 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:

  • environmental sciences

  • workforce preparation

  • leadership and volunteerism

  • character and ethics

  • career exploration

  • child development

  • food and nutrition

  • consumer decision making

  • agriculture and natural resources

  • gardening

  • electrical and mechanical engineering

  • fish and wildlife conservation

  • veterinary medicine

  • animal sciences

4-Hers have fun while they develop good work habits, business skills, responsibility, cooperation, commitment, and sportsmanship. By setting goals, making plans to reach them, and completing projects, 4-Hers learn to make decisions, how to use their time efficiently, and how to meet deadlines. In the course of each project, they demonstrate their new skills and give oral reports to their clubs, gaining experience in public speaking and presentations.

4-Hers also learn to work with each other. Members enrolled in the same kind of projects often cooperate by comparing notes, studying together, and sharing ideas and methods. Youth working on projects learn record keeping, written communication skills and follow-through on commitments. Competing in judging contests helps kids appreciate teamwork and group decision-making. For a team to succeed, each member must be prepared to work and contribute skills to the group.

As youth work together and begin to assume meaningful roles in the process of developing communities, they become invested in their future, the people with whom they live, their surroundings and the larger community.



The effects of 4-H are more than you imagined!

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


A Life-Long Foundation for Youth

A Life-Long Foundation for Youth

In 4-H, youth are valued for their knowledge, ideas and as a resource for the future. To support and nurture this youth potential, the 4-H Youth Development Program involves parents or caregivers and more than 10,000 adult and older youth volunteers who dedicate their time and knowledge to 4-H youth. Opportunities for mental, physical and social growth are offered through organized clubs, individual projects, camps, school enrichment activities, after-school and special-interest programs.

  • The 4-H Club Program provides fun learning experiences through structured educational projects that are supported by parents and project leaders. Projects that teach subject matter and develop life skills - from child development to veterinary medicine - are the method used to enhance learning and growth of each child.

  • 4-H After-School and School Enrichment Programs reach thousands of youth around the state each year throug 4-H - developed curricula and programs - such as:

    4-H SPACES, Kids in Conservation, SERIES (Science Experiences and Resources for Informal Educational Settings), Environmental Appreciation Days and gardening and wildlife programs - are designed to strengthen science skills, enhance personal development and enrich classroom learning. Teachers use the learn-by-doing instruction of 4-H programs to increase students' critical thinking skills.

Colorado 4-H International Programs offer young people and their families the opportunity to participate in cross-cultural experiences to learn about people from other countries and cultures. The home-stay experience provides the unique opportunity to live, work and play side-by-side with a foreign friend.

The International 4-H Youth Exchange program provides 4-H alumni opportunities to visit several overseas host families during a six-month exchange.


4-H Special Interest Programs are offered to provide expanded educational opportunities and support to youth audiences. The DARE to be You and Partners in Parenting programs help strengthen families and reduce high-risk behaviors by youth. The Colorado Youth Council helps youth gain leadership skills through community activism. Through Kids on the Block, children learn about cultural differences and disabilities. STAND (Students Taking a New Direction) is a student-directed prevention effort to reduce alcohol and drug use by teens. The 4-H Scholar Program provides financial support and promotional experience for selected 4-Hers attending Colorado State University. Families are changing - and the 4-H Youth Development Program is responding to change by offering a wealth of diverse and dynamic programs. Since 1914, 4-H has built on its rural roots to serve the development of the whole child in both city and farm communities. 4-H is open to all rural, small town, big city and suburban youth and their families.

For more information on 4-H Youth Development Programs, contact one of the following:

Our expert agents and specialists will help you become involved in the 4-H program or direct you to sources to answer your specific questions. Together we'll build a new foundation to support youth and families for many generations to come.


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