Gaston County 4-H
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4-H is the largest youth organization in the United States with more than 7 million participants. 4-H is best identified by its green four-leaf clover with an H on each leaf. The four H’s on the emblem stand for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. 4-H is the only youth organization based at land-grant universities and the first experience many youth have with higher education.
Why should I be interested in 4-H?
Because you get to “Learn by Doing” and meet new friends that share your interests. In 4-H, young people complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture, and civic engagement, in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. The group is open to youth between the ages of 5 and 18 (as of January 1). Young people experience 4-H in every county in the country!
You can participate in projects where you make something, develop a skill, raise and/or train an animal, or join a virtual club with kids from anywhere in the world! You don’t have to join a club to be in 4-H, but it is the most popular way to participate. Clubs generally meet twice a month on a regular schedule, which is determined by the members of the club. During meetings, you learn how to accomplish the goals of your projects, how to run a business meeting, and how to do demonstrations about your projects. The clubs may plan recreational activities, community service projects, fundraisers, and field trips. As a 4-H club member, you have the opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, learn about projects, and participate in club trips and activities, and more. Each club is unique, as YOU determine the focus of your own club.
How does 4-H benefit youth?
4-H’ers, regardless of their background, socio-economic status, race or gender, benefit from their participation in 4-H. Positive youth development studies have affirmed that compared to other youth, young people involved in 4-H are:
- Four times more likely to contribute to their communities.
- Two times more likely to be civically active.
- Two times more likely to make healthier lifestyle choices.
- Two times more likely to participate in Science, Engineering and Computer Technology programs during out-of-school time.
- 4-H girls are two times more likely (Grade 10) and nearly three times more likely (Grade 12) to take part in science programs compared to girls in other out-of-school time activities.
How Do I Get Started?
Fill out an enrollment form on 4-HOnline2.0; join a club: pick a project; or stop by the Gaston County N.C. Cooperative Extension Office in the Citizen’s Resource Center to talk with Christie German, 4-H Extension Agent, about your interests! Enrollment in 4-H is FREE!
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