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4-H Youth Development Programs

4-H is one of the oldest and largest out-of-school time (OST) learning programs in the world, annually reaching more than 7 million children and teens. In its early days, 4-H served rural farm youth. Today, 4-H reaches young people in urban neighborhoods and suburban schoolyards as well as rural communities. While 4-H has been known for fairs, livestock shows, and community service activities, 4-H youth development programs respond to the high-priority needs and interests of today’s young people. The programs have been found to promote positive youth development (PYD), leading to participants showing competence, confidence, character, connection, and caring.

4-H’s programs involve groups of youth between the ages of 5 and 18 in research-based experiential education or “learning-by-doing” activities. Adult advisors (paid and volunteer) work with ...

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