What Is 4-H?

By: Joan Grott Last Updated: August 31, 2010

porter-county-4-H4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, & life skills and now is a great time to get your Kindergarten through 12th grade students involved in the Porter County 4-H Program! Here are some quick facts on 4-H:

  • Since 4-H began in 1902, it has had a “learn by doing” methodology to activities and programs. 4-Hers get involved in a hands-on way, learning by doing!
  • The 4-H Motto is “To Make the Best Better”. 4-H is a continual learning experience and members are encouraged to always strive to make their own best better.
  • Studies show that 4-H members do better in school, are more motivated to help others, feel safe to try new things, achieve a sense of self-esteem, and develop lasting friendships.
  • Nationwide, only 11% of 4-Hers are “farm” kids, only 34% are from rural areas and small towns. The remaining 55% are from areas with populations greater than 10,000, with the majority of those children being from cities of more than 50,000 (and their suburbs)
  • 4-H is one of the largest youth programs in America…all 50 states, Washington DC, and US territories and military installations worldwide. Nationwide there are more than 6.5 million youth involved and more than 540,000 adult volunteers.
  • In Porter County, our 4-H program numbers look like this:
    • Nearly 1100 4-H Members, Grades K-12th
    • More than 200 4-H Volunteers – serving as club leaders, project superintendents, & in other supporting roles
    • Thirteen local clubs in communities around the county
    • More than 80 projects that allow members to explore their interests and build their knowledge of various topic areas. Projects range alphabetically from Aerospace to Woodworking, with lots more in between!
  • Monthly meetings begin in the fall, in conjunction with the school year, and throughout the year members focus on community service efforts, fundraising, and of course, learning!
  • 4-H focuses on not only the topic skills associated with various 4-H project areas, but we pride ourselves on the development of life skills in our members. Ask a tenured 4-H member or 4-H alum, and they’ll likely mention how they learned such life skills as responsibility, communication, decision-making, and teamwork during their time in 4-H.
  • The annual Porter County Fair is a culmination of a year of hard work by the 4-H members and serves as a showcase of excellence for 4-Hers to show off their talents, skills, and abilities.

Want to learn more about how you can get involved in the Porter County 4-H Program? Give us a call at Purdue Extension – Porter County at 465-3557 and we can answer your questions and direct you to a 4-H Club Leader in your community.

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