Building Blocks of 4-H

The UF/IFAS Extension 4-H youth development Program uses a learn-by-doing approach to assist youth gain knowledge and skills they need to be responsible and productive citizens.

The MISSION of 4-H is accomplished by providing hands on experience opportunities while creating safe and inclusive learning environments, involving caring adults and using the resources and expertise of University of Florida and the nationwide land grant university system.

Positive Youth Development (PYD) occurs from an intentional process that promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, choices, relationships, and support through the three research based building blocks of 4-H mentioned above.

Hence, PYD is not a result of something done TO the youth but rather it is something done WITH the youth.

Three Building Blocks of 4-H

While 4-H is different among counties but the 4-H basics remain the same throughout. Each program/activity we do in 4-H should establish the Essential Elements, incorporate the Experiential Learning Model, and target the Life Skills, which are regarded as the three building block of a 4-H program culture.

Adapted from 4-H Essential Elements of 4-H Youth Development, Dr. Cathann Kress, 2004.
Experiential Learning Model Adapted from 4-H S FS101.10
Hendricks, P. (1998) “Developing Youth Curriculum Using the Targeting Life Skills Model”


When setting up your 4-H club activities be mindful to incorporate these evidence based principles to achieve positive youth development for your club members.


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Posted: October 24, 2017

Category: 4-H & Youth
Tags: 4-H, 4-H Mission, 4-H Principles, Building Blocks, Polk4-H, Positive Youth Development, Shree Ghosh

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