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Essential Elements Make 4-H Stand Apart

Why Join 4-H?

Why do kids join 4-H? To make friends? Learn new things? Have fun? Could be any or all of those reasons. Why do parents enroll children in 4-H? To learn new things? To have fun in a safe environment? To help them become productive citizens? For you it may be one or all of these reasons or there could be something else. For over 100 years, the Florida 4-H Youth Development Program has used a learn-by-doing approach and caring adults to help youth gain the knowledge and life skills they need to be productive, responsible citizens.

Essential Elements

One strength of the 4-H program is that it offers several ways for young people to acquire life skills. The four Essential Elements provide a foundation for cultivating these skills.  Youth who participate in activities based on the Essential Elements increase the likelihood that they will develop life skills that last.  Each of these elements has characteristics that are incorporated into 4-H programming. Below are the four elements with the characteristics of each.

The 4-H Experience

Every 4-H family has the club experience, but does every child have the full 4-H experience? In clubs, 4-H’ers participate in skill development (mastery), community service (generosity), and leadership (independence).  They also make friends (sense of belonging). But did you know there are opportunities for youth to do all this and MORE at the county level? St. Johns County 4-H has lots of workshops, contests, and programs for 4-Hers to participate in for an even richer 4-H experience.

Read more about Essential Elements .

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