About Arkansas 4-H Youth Programs
4-H is the premier youth development program conducted by the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service.
4-H--the four H’s we emphasize are: Head, Heart, Hands, and Health--is designed to prepare young people to step up to the challenges in their community and provide youth with the skills to lead for a lifetime. The core elements of 4-H include youth leadership, youth-adult partnerships, life skills learning, and community service. 4‑H programs are grounded in the belief that kids learn best by doing. Kids 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.
In 4-H, all youth have value! This is why we offer a wide variety of hands-on, learn-by-doing opportunities for everyone. Youth can concentrate on one focus area or they can try an assortment of programs throughout their 4‑H experience. Based on their interests and guided by adult mentors, youth develop their own pathway in 4‑H with the ultimate goal of learning life skills to help them thrive today and tomorrow.
4-H is conducted in many forms, to include community clubs, special interest projects, in-school clubs, school enrichment, judging teams, and more, so you can be a part of 4-H wherever you live. Youth between the ages of 5 and 19 are invited to join the 133,000 young people involved in the Arkansas 4-H program.
Arkansas 4-H Mission
The mission of 4-H is to provide opportunities for youth to acquire knowledge, develop life skills, form attitudes, and practice behavior that will enable them to become self directing, productive, and contributing members of society.
The 4-H emblem is a four-leaf clover with an "H" on each leaf. The letters in the
emblem stands for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health
My Head to clearer thinking
My Heart to greater loyalty
My Hands to larger service
My Health to better living for my club, my community, my country, and my world.
Mi mente para pensar con más claridad,
Mi corazón para ser más leal,
Mis manos para ser más servicial,
Mi salud para cuidarme más, por mi club, mi comunidad, mi país y mi mundo.
4-H Youth Development--Eight Essential Elements
- A positive relationship with a caring adult.
A caring adult acts as an advisor, guide, and mentor. The adult helps set boundaries and expectations for young people.
- A safe environment – physically and emotionally.
Youth should not fear while participating in a 4-H experience whether from the learning environment itself, adults, other participants or spectators. That means that participants are not afraid that they will be physically injured or made fun of, insulted, or threatened.
- Opportunity for Mastery.
Mastery is the building of knowledge, skills, and attitudes and then demonstrating the competent use of this knowledge and skills in the manner of a proficient practitioner. The level of mastery is dependent on the developmental ability of the individual child or youth. The development of mastery is a process over time.
- Opportunity to value and practice service for others.
Finding one’s self begins with losing yourself in the service of others. Service is a way for members to gain exposure to their community and world.
- Opportunity for Self-Determination.
Believing that you have impact over life’s events rather than passively submitting to the will and whims of others is self-determination. Youth must exercise a sense of influence over their lives, exercising their potential to become self-directing, autonomous adults.
- An inclusive environment (encouragement, affirming, belonging).
An inclusive environment is one that creates a sense of belonging, encourages, and supports its members with positive and specific feedback. Healthy groups celebrate the success of all members - taking pride in the collective efforts of all.
- Opportunity to see oneself as an active participant in the future.
The ability to see oneself in the future is to harness the hope and optimism to shape life choices to facilitate the transition into participating in the future.
- Engagement in Learning.
An engaged youth is one who is mindful of the subject area, building relationships, and connections in order to develop understanding. Through self-reflection, youth have the ability to self-correct and learn from experience. The engaged learner has a higher degree of self-motivation and an inexhaustible capacity to create.
To Make the Best Better
Colors: Green -- nature's most common color, symbolizes springtime, life and youth. White -- symbolizes purity and high ideals.