4-H is the most extensive youth development program in the world. Over 60 million young people across the United States have been 4-H members since the program began in 1902. 4-H is unique as it is the only youth development program with direct access to the technology provided by university research. Every year, youth select projects they are interested in and complete a project book.
4-H projects capture more than agriculture and offer a variety of categories such as civic engagement, communications/expressive arts, environmental education, family and consumer sciences, healthy living, leadership, shooting sports, and horticulture. If a child has a desired project that does not fall under those categories, they are able to complete a “do it yourself” project where the child creates their project.
How to Select a 4-H Project:
Selecting a new 4-H project and seeing it through to completion can be challenging, but with support from parents, volunteers, and 4-H staff, youth can finish their project and gain valuable life lessons. When selecting a project area, there are some things you should consider. What are your interests? How much will this cost? How much time will this take? Does the project sound fun and worth the effort?
4-H members must attend club meetings to gain the knowledge, skills, and practices needed to navigate through their project. As youth complete their project, they will learn how to set achievable goals, complete a minimum of six hours on their project, keep records, and summarize their project.
Here are some projects approved by Florida 4-H: Florida_4-H_Curriculum-Clearing-House-2019-20.pdf (ufl.edu)
Rewards for Completing 4-H Project Books
Completing a project book opens opportunities for 4-H members to participate in events as well as earn scholarships. 4-H events lead to camaraderie, memories, and life-long friendships with other members. Some of these events include 4-H Day at the Capitol, summer camp, Share-The-Fun (talent show), and the county/state fair.
Youth who complete a project book are recognized for their accomplishments at the year-end ceremony. Youth can receive project pins for submitted project books during the county awards ceremony and win individualized awards. The awards ceremony aims to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of 4-H youth in the program.