In the 2022-2023 4-H program year, the Clark County Extension team reached 9,938 youth participants, the urban Extension team reached 7,552, and the core urban 4-H team reached 2,649. The core urban 4-H team delivered 123 programs with 1,964.5 contact hours. The remaining Extension team provided 85 programs to 4,903 participants with 984 contact hours. The core urban 4-H team reached 2,649 youth participants via 1-hour, 2-4-hour, and 5+ hour SPIN (Special Interest) clubs. Topics included science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and agriculture, healthy living, and civic engagement, including leadership, communication and art. Of the 2,649 youth, 514 students attended 4-H Afterschool at Valley High School through a grant, and their surveys were analyzed separately. Out of the 2,135, 71% (n=1513) completed evaluation surveys designed to assess indicators of the 4-H Thriving Model (includes those who completed the 1-hour survey and those who completed at least one survey (either pre or post or both) for the 2-4 hour and 5+ hour sessions).

The 4-H Thriving Model is the theory of change for positive youth development (PYD) in 4-H. High-quality 4-H program settings provide youth a place to belong, matter and explore their personal spark. These components help ensure that 4-H programs provide a nourishing developmental context – a place where youth can grow. In the 4-H Thriving Model, the process of positive youth development is described by using seven indicators of thriving: a growth mindset, openness to challenge and discovery, hopeful purpose, prosocial orientation, transcendent awareness, positive emotions and, goal setting and management. The evaluation instruments were adapted from the Mediating Effects of Thriving on Youth Development studies (Arnold & Gagnon, 2019). See Figure 1: 4-H Thriving Model.

Among survey respondents, 6% (n=93) of which were completed in 1-hour workshops, 23% (n=355) were completed in 2–4-hour programs, and 70% (n=1065) were completed for 5-hour or more programs. For gender, 41% of participants were male; 46% were female; less than 1% identified as non-binary; 2% identified as other/undefined; 4% did not want to indicate their gender; and 7% did not provided any information. For ethnicity, 29% of participants were Hispanic/Latinx; 34% were non-Hispanic/Latinx, 20% did not know their ethnicity and 16% did not provide this information. For race, 2% of participants were American Indian/Alaska Natives; 4% were Asian; 19% were Black/African American; 1% were Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander; 21% were White/Caucasian; 16% were Other/Multiracial; 18% did not know their race; and 18% of participants did not provide this information.

Participants who attended 1-hour 4-H programs said they explored things they care about (85%), adults in 4-H listened to their questions and ideas (91%), and adults treated them fairly (93%). These responses indicate strong positive outcomes for sparks, belonging and positive adult relationships—the basis of positive youth development.

Among participants in 2-4-hour programs, 73% liked the activities they did and 77% said that adults treated them fairly, indicating strong outcomes for sparks and belonging and positive adult relationships. In addition, over 80% said that if they keep working at something they will get better at it and studying hard will open future opportunities, indicating strong outcomes for growth mindset and hopeful purpose. Most post-survey respondents (89%) agreed that they cared about their friends’ feelings, indicating high levels of empathy. In terms of problem-solving skills, at the post-survey, 66% agreed that when they had a problem, they knew who to ask for help.

Among participants in programs that lasted 5 or more hours/sessions, 76% agreed they explored interesting things in 4-H; 76% of youth stated that adults in 4-H listened to their questions and ideas and 80% that adults treated them fairly, indicating strong outcomes for sparks and in belonging and positive adult relationships. At the post-survey 76% said that if they keep working at something, they will get better at it and 68% said they liked to try new things, even if they were not good at them at first, indicating an outcome for growth mindset and openness to challenge and discovery. With respect to the future and personal goals, at the post-survey, the majority agreed that it was important to reach their goals. High levels of empathy were evident in that 86% of post-survey respondents agreed that they cared about the feelings of their friends. With respect to problem solving, the majority knew who to ask for help when they had a problem.

In summary, results of 4-H positive youth development programming show strong outcomes in the various areas of the 4-H Thriving Model. For youth who attended 1-hour 4-H workshops, the strongest results demonstrated an impact in youth sparks, positive adult relationships and belonging. For youth who attended 2-4 hours of 4-H programming, the strongest results demonstrated youth had a growth mindset and goal setting and empathy. For youth who attended 5+ hours of 4-H programming, the strongest results were in positive adult relationships, growth mindset and openness to challenge and discovery.

For the complete report, use the link below to download the PDF version.

Solis-Leon, J; Luna, N; Christiansen, E. 2024, Clark County, Las Vegas, Nevada 4-H 2022-2023 Program Evaluation Report, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, 4-H Report

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