4-H programming focuses on three priority areas called mission mandates. They are SET: Science, Engineering and Technology; Healthy Living; and Citizenship. The three mission mandates align with the research and programming efforts of USDA and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Visit the links below to find out more about these key priority areas for the 4-H youth development program.
“Citizenship is acting with informed concern for self and others through exercising of one’s rights, duties, and responsibilities as a citizen of society.” -National 4-H Council
Since it began, 4-H has placed emphasis on the importance of young people being engaged, well-informed citizens. By connecting to their communities and leaders, youth understand their role in civic affairs and are able to expand their role in decision-making processes. Civic engagement provides the foundation that helps youth understand the big picture of life and learn the skill sets that will allow them to become wise leaders for the 21st century. Citizenship development is a basic part of 4-H, and is reflected in many projects and activities conducted by 4-H members and their leaders.
Citizenship Projects. . .
- Leadership and Personal Development - Acquire life skills to become an active responsible member of one’s family, community, state, nation, or international group
- Citizenship and Civic Engagement – Gain the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and motivation that give youth the capacity to move beyond one's individual self-interest and to be committed to the well-being of some larger group.
- Communication and Expressive Arts – Develop artistic expression and communication; includes photography, theatre, filmmaking, public speaking, and visual arts.
- Community/Volunteer Service – Plan and participate in meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to help young people learn caring, leadership and citizenship.
Outreach Programs Available. . .
Health, the fourth H of the 4-H clover has been a part of 4-H since its early beginnings. The physical, mental and emotional health of today’s youth is again at a crossroad. Programs that promote healthy living practices are essential for young people to establish habits that will assure healthy and productive lives into adulthood. 4-H has become a national leader in health-related educational issues including chemical health, mental and emotional health, foods and nutrition, physical health, and safety.
Healthy Living Projects. . .
- Foods and Nutrition - Learn to plan, select, and prepare nutritious, attractive, and well-balanced meals.
- Health and Fitness – Develop habits for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Personal Safety – Gain and practice skills to avoid harmful situations, handle emergencies, deal with stresses and pressures, and coping and resiliency.
Outreach Programs Available. . .
Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET)
The 4-H Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) Initiative is the 4-H program’s response to our nation’s and state’s concern for improving human capacity and workforce abilities in the areas of science, engineering, and technology (SET). It combines non-formal education with hands-on inquiry-based learning, in a youth development context, to increase literacy and engage youth in improving their knowledge, skills and abilities in science, engineering and technology. 4-H SET combines the strengths of 4-H non-formal experiential-based delivery modes and strong youth-adult partnerships to address SET content as defined by the National Science Education Standards.
A 4-H SET experience is a program that is framed in science, engineering, and technology concepts and based on national science education standards. It intentionally targets the development of SET knowledge, skills, and abilities. Additionally, it integrates the Essential Elements and engages participants in inquiry-based learning, allowing them to build deeper understanding from the learning experiences.
SET Projects. . .
- Biological Sciences
- Consumer and Family Science
- Environmental Education/Earth Sciences
- Plant Science
- Physical Sciences
- Technology and Engineering
Special Interest & Afterschool Programs
All children, youth, and families have the right to access to high quality programs, activities, and opportunities. In 4-H, we believe that these experiences are essential to the healthy development of children and youth, who then can become effective and capable members of society. The benefits of special interest and afterschool programs are young people participating in engaging, exciting programs while developing valuable skills with lifelong value.
Atlantic County 4-H helps other youth serving organizations create and improve programs for youth and students in communities across the county. Partnering and recruiting from the community can lead to a program’s sustainability as there is a direct investment in the success of the program and community. The 4-H Youth Development program has a long history of successfully utilizing adult volunteers to deliver programs that meet the needs of youth.
We can provide special themed programs designed for 1-2 hour sessions taught over a period of 6 to 8 weeks OR training to an organization’s staff, volunteers, and/or parents.
Design It and Explore It Science Programs
Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development and the New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition (NJSACC), The Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities, are proud to offerDesign It and Explore it! These are engaging, inquiry based, and fun STEM programs designed specifically for afterschool. These comprehensive and high-quality programs were developed by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in Boston and the National Partnerships for After School Science (NPASS) through support of the National Science Foundation.
4-H uses the resources created by the Josephson Institute to teach the Six Pillars of Character as part of CHARACTER COUNTS!SM. This program may be presented directly to youth or the adults that work with them. There are several activities for each of the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. CHARACTER COUNTS!SM is the most widely implemented approach to character education.
Challenge your creative and technical skills! Using notebook computers, digital camcorders, and simple editing software, workshop participants will work in teams of three to plan, shoot, edit, and present short digital films. Presenters will share sample student projects, suggested resources, and ideas for incorporating this type of project-based learning in the classroom, after-school sites, a summer day camp, and other youth development programs.
Get Moving – Get Healthy is a joint program of 4-H Youth Development and Family and Community Health Sciences. The activity-based curriculum may be used as a workshop, school or after-school enrichment program, or as a display at a health fair. It may also be incorporated into a larger youth development program focused on healthy living –such as training content for preparing teen Food and Fitness Ambassadors. All of the activities promote healthy eating and physical activity.
R.I.S.E. – Respect and Integrity through Skills and Education
R.I.S.E. is a unique career exploration program that is SCANS based, uses hands-on learning techniques, and focuses on contextual learning. R.I.S.E. can serve as a focal point for any community striving to provide the tools that encourage youth to identify and achieve their dreams. The program is composed of Life Skills, Career Exploration, and Employability.
Other Workplace Readiness & Entrepreneur are also available utilizing various researched programs.
Safe Sitter Training
Atlantic County 4-H is a popular provider of Safe Sitter (babysitting) training for youth. 4-H currently works with several townships (recreation departments) and hospitals to deliver this training to those interested in becoming a Safe Sitter. The multi-day program introduces youth to all aspects of babysitting, including age appropriate activities and safety considerations.
Service learning is a strategy that integrates community needs, intentional learning objectives, and structured opportunities for reflection. Service-Learning projects take community service or volunteer projects to the next level by emphasizing both service and learning to create a more meaningful experience for youth.
4-H offers a variety of teambuilding options for youth and adults. 4-H staff can provide portable group initiative activities for your organization in any setting, or you may bring your team to our 4-H Center for an outdoor experience. All activities promote effective teamwork – with a focus on leadership, communication, trust, patience, and safety.
Atlantic County 4-H is supporting sustainable communities and sustainable commons through our Urban Ag Initiative and work with AtlantiCare Community Gardens. In this program, youth learn about gardening, entrepreneurship and service. Youth participants will be trained on maintaining and harvesting the garden, encouraged to try new recipes, challenged to think of entrepreneur ventures related to urban ag, and will work as a team to identify a need to plan and implement a community service project.