Jennifer Hansen, Extension Educator, 4-H & Positive Youth Development
Now is the time to start making plans for the new 4-H year. If you are new to 4-H the Nebraska Extension program would LOVE to help your family become involved as part of the “4-H Family!”
If your child is 5-7 there is the Clover Kids level of 4-H membership. Clover Kids can do special projects designed for their age level, as well as taking part in “club projects” of all sorts. Clover Kids may also exhibit at the county fair and will receive comments and encouragement on their exhibits and will receive a special Clover Kid ribbon and maybe even a premium for each exhibit.
The traditional 4-H program is designed for children 8-18 as of January 1 of the current year. 4-H members at this level can choose from hundreds of projects and investigate careers and interests to see if it is really something they want to do. If they try a project and decide they don’t like doing something, you might have just saved thousands of dollars in college tuition!
4-H uses a “Learning by Doing” approach so both children and adults learn through the program. There are a number of ways to be involved in 4-H. Traditional 4-H clubs are the life-blood of the program with 4-H members learning with their friends as parents and other caring adults guide them as 4-H Leaders in the projects and activities. There are also camps, after-school activities, school enrichment, and programs/events to help youth across the county and state become involved with the 4-H Program.
Over 150 projects are available to 4-H youth. Projects in the area of robotics, computers, healthy eating, fitness, meal preparation, rocketry, clothing care and construction, first aid, woodworking, animals, plants, gardening, public speaking, theater, and many others, develop skills needed for a positive and successful future.
4-H prepares young people for higher education and potential careers. 4-H does this by emphasizing life skills, such as critical thinking; problem solving; respecting self, others, and the environment; communication; serving others; choosing healthy lifestyles; and managing change and challenges. 4-H also provides youth the opportunity to meet people across one’s community, county, the state, nation, and even the world! Lifelong friendships are often formed with youth involved with 4-H. Because the program includes a large range of ages, youth have an opportunity to serve and become a role model for others.
4-H youth and their family members are encouraged to attend meetings together. Work on projects can take place at home – in the yard or around the kitchen table – with guidance from Mom or Dad, an older brother or sister, a neighbor, friend, or other adult. 4-H members need support and encouragement of their families. Growing together through 4-H enhances family strengths.
Strong Roots, Promising Future
For over 100 years, youth and adults have been working together – learning, doing, growing, and serving. Today, 4-H in Nebraska reaches approximately one-third of our state’s youth. Educational opportunities have expanded over the years. 4-H has something to offer for everyone! Go on-line to: http://4h.unl.edu or contact your local Extension Office fore enrollment information. Make joining 4-H part of your new year’s resolution as a member, parent and/or leader!