We offer several programs that serve our community: 4-H Clubs, facilitated by adult volunteers, and AfterSchool programs, offered in coordination with Washoe County School District, led by trained Extension Staff, teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) using research-based curriculum.
Each year in Nevada nearly 50,000 young people participate in 4-H generated activities; over 15,000 of them are in Washoe County. They learn confidence, leadership, record keeping and other transferable life skills. They do better in school as well.
4-H strengthens and promotes healthy youth development to give young people the capacity to act as responsible citizens and agents of community change.
By understanding the complex experiences that youth face and promoting high-quality youth leadership development, 4-H helps youth meet the challenges of adolescence and transition to adulthood. Through youth-adult partnerships, 4-H connects youth and adults to their communities, preparing them for work and life. 4-H engages both youth and adults in intentional, experiential, and inquiry-based learning and also provides emerging research and policy to highlight positive youth development. 4-H partners with the Land-Grant University System to support America’s youth.
The four guiding principles of 4-H youth development programs are:
- Positive Youth Development
- Youth Potential
4-H’ers are often involved in long-term learning experiences with peers and adult volunteers. Active, hands-on learning is a staple of the program. Youth choose topics that interest them, ranging from the broad areas of science, healthy living, and citizenship/civic engagement. Community service, leadership, and public speaking are typical opportunities.
4-H is about having fun, learning, exploring, and discovering. In 4-H, young people make new friends, develop new skills, become leaders, and help shape their communities.
The Essential Elements of the 4-H program include creating an environment where youth feel a sense of belonging, have an opportunity to master skills, practice independence, and develop a spirit of generosity.
The Washoe County 4-H AfterSchool Club Program works with organizations and schools in Washoe County to offer 4-H opportunities in an out-of-school setting. Youth learn transferable life skills through inquiry-based learning using research-based curriculum. In 2020, 4-H Professionals worked with over 20 schools in the Washoe County School District through the 21st Century Community Learning Center Team Up Program as well as School Break STEM/STEAM day camps with public and private nonprofit organizations. Youth involved in these programs have been introduced to robotics, rockets, embryology, animal science, cultures, energy science, healthy living/nutrition, civic engagement, leadership, and many other subject areas.
4-H Health Rocks
Washoe County is among several counties in Nevada that received a grant through National 4-H Council to implement 4-H’s Health Rocks! Curriculum and work with youth to help them learn how to make educated life choices.
Health Rocks! applies 4‑H’s successful Positive Youth Development model with life skill development and decision-making philosophy to the challenge of reducing tobacco, alcohol, e-cigarette/vaping and drug use.
Through the power of youth/adult partnerships, Health Rocks! instills in youth participants invaluable confidence and communication skills necessary to make responsible decisions and develop the internal strength to resist risky behaviors.
Health Rocks! utilizes the cornerstone 4‑H “Teens as Teachers” model to build leadership skills, leveraging the influence of young people by engaging teens to empower their peers and families to help establish life-long healthy habits.
To learn more about 4-H Health Rocks, go to www.4-h.org.