A proven 4-H Healthy Living program for youth ages 8 to 14.
About Health Rocks!®
Health Rocks! applies 4‑H’s successful Positive Youth Development model with life skill development and decision-making philosophy to the challenge of reducing tobacco, alcohol, e-cigarette/vaping and drug use.
Through the power of youth/adult partnerships, Health Rocks! instills in youth participants invaluable confidence and communication skills necessary to make responsible decisions and develop the internal strength to resist risky behaviors.
Health Rocks! utilizes the cornerstone 4‑H “Teens as Teachers” model to build leadership skills, leveraging the influence of young people by engaging teens to empower their peers and families to help establish life-long healthy habits.
Impact of Health Rocks!
For more than 20 years, Health Rocks! has used its unique formula to help youth make healthier life choices. The 2019-2020 program resulted in the following positive changes in youth behavior:
- 95 percent intend to avoid underage tobacco use
- 97 percent demonstrated high level of social and emotional thriving
- 92 percent expressed the intent to pursue healthy behaviors and avoid risky behaviors
- 83 percent disapproved of risky behavior (i.e. alcohol and tobacco use) (i.e. alcohol and tobacco use)
Health Rocks! in Action
One county partner commented “how they were overjoyed to be a part of this programming initiative and this curriculum was fantastic as students were learning in a safe place on the consequences of substances while feeling encouraged to ask questions and to be able to critically think how it might affect their own lives.”
An educator who has participated in the program said, “The program allows the teens to enter the community and make a positive impact. The confidence that is built over months is evident in every aspect of their development. Introducing them as leaders in their own communities puts a fire under them I’ve never seen! I’m incredibly grateful to have been offered to facilitate this program.”
Washington State University Extension has been asked by the Washington State Department of Health to be the trainer for the Guiding Good Choices program focusing on the parents’ interaction with youth around alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
Health Rocks! is now requested through many public schools and was highlighted as a tool for Extension agents to use for youth prevention at a Substance Misuse Summit. Nila Cobb (Principal Investigator) presented the Health Rocks! and Health Ambassadors programs to the Substance Misuse Crisis panel on Capitol Hill as an example of an integrated, trauma-informed approach to help children and families.
Health Rocks! on 4-H at Home
This series of activities, for both parents and educators, can help give kids the knowledge they need to confidently make smart decisions about their health and safety.