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4-H Youth Development: Head, Heart, Hands, Health- a community of young people across Pennsylvania learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills to become productive members of society. Youth become knowledgeable, caring, competent, and contributing members of their communities. As the youth development program of Penn State Cooperative Extension, 4-H empowers youth to strive for excellence. The research link to the land-grant university provides the strength for youth development that other youth organizations do not have. Research to sustain those strengths must continue to be a part of the program. Sequential, experiential, age-appropriate learning opportunities to improve the quality of life for youth and families are offered to youth ages 5-18 in the areas of: - Science, engineering, and technology (SET) - Healthy Living, and - Citizenship. Context is also an important key in the 4-H Youth program. The Pennsylvania 4-H Youth Development program provides a safe place for youth to learn; interact with family, friends, and caring adults; and develop a sense of belonging leading to positive youth development. Volunteers act as mentors who work in collaboration with young people to learn leadership, citizenship, and life skills. Adults are expected to act as positive role models, be engaged in learning about their roles as mentors, and provide support needed by youth to reach their goals. Youth are expected to do their own project work, set learning and life skill goals, and participate in leadership opportunities to become committed participants in their communities. They are to treat their peers and adult mentors with respect and to follow the 4-H Youth Development Code of Conduct. In addition, the 4-H Youth Development program will continue to serve as the gateway to Penn State and the opportunities for youth and adults offered through the larger University system.
The Pennsylvania 4-H Youth Development Program recruits volunteers to work with youth ages 5-18 who are learning citizenship, leadership, and life skills. Volunteers will be screened and expected to attend orientation and training sessions.
- Christy Bartley
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