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Virginia Cooperative Extension helps people improve their lives by providing research-based educational resources through a network of on-campus and local Extension offices and educators.
Virginia Cooperative Extension responds to the needs of individuals, families, groups and organizations with educational programs in the three broad areas of agriculture and natural resources , family and consumer sciences , and 4-H youth development. Residents of Virginia can participate in our programs through their local Extension office.
4-H is the comprehensive youth development program of Virginia Cooperative Extension. Youth between the ages of 5 and 18 engage in hands-on learning experiences under the guidance of adult or teen 4-H volunteers trained by 4-H agents. 4-H programs use experiential learning opportunities to teach the latest research -based subject matter knowledge and to foster skill development in effective citizenship, leadership, and other life skills. The 10 areas of 4-H curriculum focus are: Animal Sciences; Communications and Expressive Arts; Environmental Education and Natural Resources; Jobs, Careers, and Economics; Plant and Soil Sciences; Citizenship; Family and Consumer Sciences; Health, Nutrition, and Wellness; Leadership and Personal Development; and Science and Technology.
Youth also participate in educational experiences at six 4-H educational centers. 4-H has both a school-based and community-based delivery model, so maximum access to Virginia's youth is provided. The specific learning experiences a 4-H member participates in are shaped locally and supported at the state and national levels. 4-H members learn how to: make decisions, manage resources, work with others, and utilize effective communication skills. 4-H serves as an effective prevention educational program. Involvement in 4-H reduces the potential for dysfunctional involvement in the community by youth. The mission of 4-H is to develop youth and adults working with those youth to realize their full potential--becoming effective, contributing citizens through participation in research-based, informal, hands-on educational experiences.
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