ACES / WRITTEN BY TANNER HOOD
LEE COUNTY —
School is back in session and 4-H agents have worked diligently to prepare for another 4-H club year. Students have many opportunities to get involved with 4-H clubs and in their communities through programs offered this year.
4-H is designed to provide students with opportunities to develop skills and learn to be the next generation of leaders.
“Alabama 4-H helps young people see themselves as unique, resilient, life-long learners who actively participate in their own future–setting personal goals and practicing self-determination,” said Molly Gregg, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s assistant director for 4-H programs.
Gregg said Alabama 4-H strives to offer amazing learning experiences for a growing and diverse population of young people. The programs offered by 4-H challenge young people and adults through modern experiences to be the best version of themselves.
WHO CAN JOIN?
One of the best parts about 4-H programs is that anyone from ages 9 to 18 can join. There are also Cloverbud programs for kindergarten through second-grade students.
“4-H believes that all young people, as members of families and communities and citizens of a global society, should have the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Gregg said. “4-H also values results-driven educational opportunities and experiences based on cutting-edge youth development research and best practices proven to have an impact.”
The programs allow students to expand their knowledge outside of the classroom and into real-world situations. To be as effective as possible, the programs are geared toward young people to reach those goals of developing future leaders.
WHAT TYPES OF PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE?
Currently, Alabama 4-H offers over 50 different types of programs and clubs throughout the state. These programs fall under eight different categories:
animals and agriculture
leadership and citizenship
science and technology and
Alabama 4-H Science School.
4-H programs are delivered in five different ways.
There are 4-H clubs that meet outside of school and meet regularly for most of the year.
Enrichment is also an avenue that focuses on an organized group of youth receiving a sequence or one-time learning experience in different programs. 4-H camping is another recognized mode of delivery. It is a form of organized camping with the purpose of teaching young people the values of nature and caring for it.
Individual study allows students to focus on their specific needs in an at-home, tailored learning environment.
In-school clubs are one of the most important modes of delivery for 4-H. In-school clubs are offered to students in grades 4 through 8. A trained, regional Extension agent visits the school and leads the program for no less than 30 minutes.
“In-school 4-H programs are a great way 4-H is introduced to students in hopes they will love it and engage out of school throughout their academic careers in various 4-H clubs locally,” said 4-H program director Nancy Alexander.
In-school clubs give every student the opportunity to be a part of a larger organization and find community. These clubs elect officers and allow students to meet members of the community. The clubs also provide them with more opportunities outside of school.
MORE INFORMATION To learn more about the different clubs and programs offered through Alabama 4-H, visit aces.edu