The California 4-H program is a part of the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR), a statewide network of the University of California. Led by research-driven programming from UC ANR, 4-H is a youth development program for youth ages 5-19 that promotes hands-on, experiential learning. Youth and adult volunteers from all backgrounds and locations in California are welcome. The purpose of a 4-H club is to provide positive youth development opportunities that enable youth to reach their full potential as competent, confident, leaders of character who contribute and are connected to their communities. We encourage leadership and responsibility and teach life skills and community involvement while the youth try new experiences. For youth, 4-H is about making friends, having fun, and trying new things!
Youth and adult volunteers in Community Clubs meet regularly and have a planned program that is carried out through all or most of the year. 4-H clubs usually meet once a month in the evenings or on weekends for the club meeting. All youth are encouraged to attend the community club meetings. Depending on the age of the child, the meetings may seem boring or overwhelming until they start to understand what is going on at the meeting. At these meetings, the youth officers run the meetings using parliamentary procedure. The president writes the agenda, the secretary takes the minutes, the treasurer gives the financial report (after they balance the club’s checkbook). Committee chairs give committee reports, and youth give project reports; they learn public speaking. The youth run the club and decide how to spend club funds, what events the club will hold and take part in, what rules they will have or change. 4-H is all about belonging to the community and giving back to our community, so clubs participate in community service (also known as service learning).
Youth also attend project meetings. A 4-H project is planned work in an area of interest to the 4-H youth; guided by a 4-H adult volunteer who is the project leader; aimed at planned objectives that can be attained and measured; summarized by some form of record keeping; and with a minimum of six hours of project instruction. Project meetings are held once a month or as often as the project members decide. These meetings are held at the leader’s home or a suitable public location. They typically last one hour. The projects available are limited to having adult volunteers willing to lead those projects. All adult volunteers have been fingerprinted and background checked and trained. They offer their time and experience to help members explore and learn new things.
4-H is for youth between 5 and 19 years of age by December 31st of the program year (July 1 – June 30). Primary members are youth 5 to 8 years old. Primary members may enroll in all projects except for large animal projects and shooting sports projects. Approved primary member animal projects are dogs, rabbits, rats, cats, poultry, cavies, mice, embryology, bees, entomology, marine science, pygmy, Nigerian dwarf goats, and therapeutic animal projects. Some clubs have a primary member project that is designed just for them as an introduction to 4-H. It is also a way for them to establish friendships and bond with other members their age. When they attend the community meeting, it is easier and more fun for them if they see, recognize, and interact with others their age.
For more information, call 951.394.1460
Stephanie L. Barrett
4-H Program Representative
UCCE Riverside 4-H Office
21150 Box Springs Road, Suite 202
Moreno Valley, CA 92557
Additional information can be found at: http://4h.ucanr.edu/