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Volunteering in Arkansas 4-H

The Arkansas 4-H Youth Development program involves more than 16,000 adults in fun, hands-on learning opportunities to more than 136,000 youth.

If you are interested in volunteering ask yourself these questions - 

  • Decide that you have the time and interest to help youth explore and chart positive futures.
  • Consider volunteering to lead a 4-H group in your community, your school, or any other location where there are youth who need a positive, committed adult role model in their lives.
  • Want to share your skills, knowledge and talents while having fun and you're sure to make a difference in their lives.

4-H offers a variety of programs, activities and events designed to support and enhance volunteer participation and involvement in kids' lives. The work volunteers do with young people is also supported by university developed educational materials and resources available through your County Extension office.

Volunteer Opportunities

4-H Club Leader
Works with a 4-H community, after-school or in-school club to assist  members in planning the annual club program, conducting club business and enrolling individually or as a group in one or more 4-H projects. Members of a community club are usually from a small geographic area.A after-school or in-school clubs are associated with a school. Clubs must have a minimum of six members, meet a least six times a year and have two non-related adults present during club meetings and activities.

Project Club Leader
This position is nearly identical to the Community Club Leader with two important exceptions:
1.the project leader is an "expert" or serves as a resource in one specific project area
2.project clubs are usually county-wide and are not restricted to specific locations within the county.

Project Clubs must have a minimum of six members, youth club officers and two non related adults present during meetings and activities. An example of a Project Club Leader includes a Horse Club Leader, Shooting Sports Instructor or a Livestock Club Leader, in which on-going programming is offered, membership is county-wide, club officers are elected and conduct the meetings.

Special Emphasis Volunteer
This is an individual who works with a 4-H group and offers a series of activities designed to meet the needs and interests of youth within a community or county. This is different than a Project Club Leader in that the youth do not belong to a "club." (Officers are not elected and the activities are generally shorter term and culminate in the completion of an activity.) An example could be a Day Camp Volunteer, who organizes a series of day time educational activities during the summer, but doesn't engage the members in club meetings or activities. The special emphasis volunteer often coordinates the program or a part of it.

School Enrichment Volunteer
Any individual, often a classroom teacher, who works with a 4-H program in a formal classroom setting. This program may be either short or long term (throughout the school year). School enrichment programs are offered during school hours to enrich the formal education experience. A school enrichment program focuses on hands-on experiences and provides real life application of knowledge gained, increasing the understanding of difficult concepts, development of life skills and fosters the development of youth as young adults. Examples include health/nutrition volunteers, Speech or Demonstration Judges, etc.

Youth Protection Standards
The Arkansas 4-H Youth Development program is committed to helping create safe environments for young people to learn, have fun and develop socially, we work to ensure that the adults we entrust to work with young people only have the best interests of youth at heart.

The purpose of the Youth Protection Standards Program is to provide a safe and secure environment for youth and adults involved in Extension programs, implement best practices related to management of volunteer service risk, and protect the image and integrity of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and its associated groups. In order to serve as a volunteer, all potential volunteers who have direct, face-to-face contact with youth, must be screened through the Youth Protection Standards Program. The YPS program includes a criminal background check that searches 48 jurisdictions, state and national sex offender lists. The Arkansas Department of Human Services Child Mal-Treatment registry is used as a second report to check child mal-treatment.

At the discretion of the Associate Director of 4-H Youth Development, any individual may be denied the opportunity to serve as a volunteer, resource person or have any contact whatsoever in any Extension program or with any Extension clientele, for any reason, or for no reason.

Mandated Reporter Training Information


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Online Enrollment for Youth and Adults

Arkansas 4-H Online is a web-based system used to enroll youth and accept   applications for adults in the Arkansas 4-H Youth & Development Program.       Please contact your county Extension office for questions about your enrollment.

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