4-H’ers across the nation are responding to challenges every day in their communities and their world.
With an expansive network reaching every corner of the country, 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization. More than 6 million 4-H youth in urban neighborhoods, suburban schoolyards and rural farming communities stand out among their peers: building revolutionary opportunities and implementing community-wide change at an early age.
As the youth development program of the nation’s 109 land-grant universities and the Cooperative Extension System, 4-H fosters an innovative, “learn by doing” approach with proven results. The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development, a longitudinal study conducted by the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, shows youth engaged with 4-H are:
- Nearly two times more likely to get better grades in school;
- Nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college;
- 41 percent less likely to engage in risky behaviors; and
- 25 percent more likely to positively contribute to their families and communities.
Unparalleled Reach and Scope
With 540,000 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 60 million alumni, the 4-H movement supports young people from elementary school through high school with programs designed to shape future leaders and innovators. Fueled by research-driven programming, 4-H'ers engage in hands-on learning activities in the areas of science, citizenship and healthy living.
Leading by Example
The caring support of adult volunteers and mentors inspires young people in 4-H to work collaboratively, take the lead on their own projects and set and achieve goals with confidence. 4-H’ers chart their own course, explore important issues and define their place in the world. 4-H’ers stand up for themselves and their communities.
The core principles of the 4-H movement are reflected in the shared successes of 4-H youth and their communities. So, what are the principles that drive 4-H?
Head, Heart, Hands, and Health are the four Hs in 4-H, and they are the four values members work on through fun and engaging programs.
- Head - Managing, Thinking
- Heart - Relating, Caring
- Hands - Giving, Working
- Health - Being, Living
The 4-H Pledge
I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.