What is 4-H?
4‑H is a Community for all Kids
In 4‑H, we believe in the power of young people. We see that every child has valuable strengths and real influence to improve the world around us.
What is 4‑H?
4‑H is delivered by Cooperative Extension—a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. For more than 100 years, 4‑H has welcomed young people of all beliefs and backgrounds, giving kids a voice to express who they are and how they make their lives and communities better.
Through life-changing 4‑H programs, nearly six million kids and teens have taken on critical societal issues, such as addressing community health inequities, engaging in civil discourse and advocating for equity and inclusion for all.
We believe in:
- all young people’s potential;
- developing young people who are empowered, confident, hard-working, determined, responsible and compassionate—seeing a world beyond themselves so that they have the life-long skills to succeed in college and career,
- ensuring access and equity for all,
- the power of America’s leading public universities,
- the practice of positive youth development (PYD)* by creating positive learning experiences,
- caring and trusted adult mentors who cultivate positive relationships with youth,
- creating safe, diverse and inclusive environments, and
- meeting young people wherever they are.
National reach, local programs for kids
In 4‑H programs, kids and teens complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and civic engagement in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Kids experience 4‑H in every county and parish in the country through in-school and after-school programs, school and community clubs and 4‑H camps.
4‑H’s reach and depth are unmatched, reaching kids in every corner of America – from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. Our network of 500,000 volunteers and 3,500 4‑H professionals provides caring and supportive mentoring to all 6 million 4‑H’ers, helping them grow into true leaders today and in life.
How 4‑H works
4‑H empowers young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime. It’s a research-based experience that includes a mentor, a hands-on project, and a meaningful leadership opportunity.
4‑H reaches almost six million young people through our community of 100 public universities. Programs are delivered by 3,500 4‑H professionals and 500,000 volunteers. Young people experience 4‑H through school and community clubs, in-school and after-school programs and 4‑H camps.
Based on their interests and guided by adult mentors, youth develop their own pathway in 4‑H. They select from a broad menu of local 4‑H programs. There are hands-on, learn-by-doing, opportunities for everyone.
Head, Heart, Hands and Health
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. The pledge is available in English and Spanish.
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.
Prometo usar 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.