When people unfamiliar with 4-H are introduced to our organization, they may hear the name and see the clover emblem with an H on each of the four leaves and wonder “What do those H’s stand for?”
Head, Heart, Hands, and Health are the four H’s in 4‑H, and they are the four values members work on through fun and engaging projects.
As it is the month of February, I thought it was only fitting to focus on the “H” for “Heart.” Volunteers and club members in 4-H show a lot of heart in many different ways!
Volunteers promote positive youth development of their club members by focusing on the 4-H Essential Elements, with the element pairing up with “heart” being generosity. Volunteers may support this by:
- Providing opportunities for youth to practice and demonstrate skills to others.
- Allowing time for youth to reflect on successes, setbacks, growth, and pride.
- Planning developmentally appropriate activities and accommodating diverse learning styles.
- Providing numerous opportunities for youth to serve as teachers of others.
- Planning meaningful experiences with youth as partners in decision making.
For our 4-H community club youth, generosity comes in the form of opportunities to value and practice serving others. This helps contribute to youth feeling their lives have meaning and purpose. Youth may show “heart” by:
- Accepting differences of others.
- Learning appropriate conflict resolution and social skills.
- Further developing their cooperation and communication with others.
- Demonstrating caring behavior by showing empathy, sharing, having nurturing relationships and concern for others.
How can 4-H youth show their “heart” through community action? Community service activities, or service-learning projects, are a great way! Here are some ideas:
- Show the earth love by completing a clean-up project.
- Write thank you notes to community helpers, like teachers or emergency and health care workers.
- Send ecards to patients in the children’s hospital.
- Donate goods and supplies to a local shelter or those serving overseas.
Thank you to our 4-H volunteers and youth for all the heart you show in making the best better!