4-H is an organization for youth ages 5 to 18 years of age. It's a national organization which helps young people develop knowledge and skills to become productive citizens. 4-H also helps youth to meet the diversities and challenges of today's society and brings together youth and adults to design programs that will teach skills for living. 4-H upholds the theme of "learning by doing." It reaches people in their own neighborhoods with delivery methods suitable to their needs. 4-H also helps provide a stronger bond between family members.
The 4-H program is a voluntary, non-formal, educational program offered to all boys and girls regardless of race, color, national origin, place of residence, or handicap. The California 4-H program is conducted by University of California Extension, which is a part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, at University of California at Davis. County and regional 4-H programs are directed by professional Extension staff who also provide training and support to volunteers who work with 4-H members.
Young people in 4-H learn about citizenship, leadership, cooking, arts and crafts, mechanics and technology, horticulture, agriculture, and other subjects. To teach young people about these subjects, the 4-H program uses the learn-by-doing method of instruction. The 4-H project that each member selects according to interest and ability is the program's cornerstone. A 4-H project is a practical, but challenging, planned course of activity on a specific subject. Projects involve setting goals and evaluating progress. The skills and knowledge learned in 4-H project work help members become more productive individuals and citizens.