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Washington State University

4-H Youth Development

Program Contact: Nancy Baskett, 4-H Program Coordinator
425-738-0104 • nbaskett@wsu.edu

What is 4-H?

4-H is the youth development education program of Washington State University Extension, which is conducted jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, your state land grant university (WSU) and King County.

No matter the location – suburban, urban or rural communities, all 4-H programs are guided by research-based curriculum and youth learn by doing.  4-H enables youth to develop the 21st Century knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to become competent, caring, and contributing citizens of the world. These life skills include positive self-esteem, effective communication, teamwork, leadership, healthy life choices, problem solving, and much more.

All 4-H programs are similar in that they focus on experiential education in four program areas: STEM, CITIZENSHIP, HEALTHY LIVING, and MENTORSHIP.

Here in King County, there are many different ways to connect with 4-H, including volunteer-led clubs, after-school programs, in-school programs, teen conferences, and fairs.

  • In the north, we have Cooped Up In Seattle, Seattle’s first urban farming-focused 4-H club featured on NPR
  • In the south, students in Olympic Middle School in Auburn have held school-wide STEM days for 6th, 7th and 8th graders where they participated in hands-on engineering projects.
  • We also offer opportunities for youth from across the county, including unique teen leadership opportunities such as Know Your Government, an annual 4-day teen conference in Olympia and support the statewide Teen Equity and Inclusion Taskforce, started by a King County 4-H teen to support youth voice and inclusion in Washington state 4-H clubs.
  • And of course, there is the King County Fair where youth from all over the county compete and showcase their projects from the last year, hoping to make it to the Washington State Fair!

Who Can Join 4-H?

4-H is open to all youth who have reached their 5th birthday (on or before October 1st of the current 4-H year) through those who have not reached their 19th birthday (on or before October 1st of the current 4-H year). The 4-H year runs October 1 to September 30.

There are four age groups in 4-H:

  • Cloverbud: ages 5-7
  • Junior: ages 8-10
  • Intermediate: ages 11-13
  • Senior: ages 14 to 19

Youth must be at least 8 years of age on October 1 to participate hands-on with large animals and in shooting sports.

Learn more about joining 4-H at: https://extension.wsu.edu/king/home/4-h/join/

Adults 18+ can apply to volunteer with us.

4-H Association Support

King County 4-H clubs are supported by the King County 4-H Association, a body of volunteers that provides direction, awards, grants, and other resources for King County 4-H.


4-H History and Partners

4-H is the youth development education program of Washington State University Extension (website), which is conducted jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (website), your state land grant university (WSU (website))and  King County government. Today 4-H is everywhere–in cities, suburbs, small towns, and rural communities. 4-H is the largest youth development organization in the nation. The United States has more than 6 million members and 600,000 leaders. Around the world, 4-H type clubs now exist in at least 82 countries. In the 21st century, 4-H serves a broad clientele with expanded program focus using a variety of ways to deliver its effective “learn by doing” approach.

Vision

Washington State University 4-H Youth Development is developing young people to become productive citizens who are engaged in positive change, meeting the needs of a diverse and changing society.

Mission

4-H youth development education creates supportive environments for all youth and families to reach their fullest potential. This will be accomplished through a systemic approach of foundation and mission driven science to meet our goals.

4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization. We reach out to kids and their families to build skills for real life. WSU 4-H Youth Development is committed to providing safe and inclusive environments for all youth and adults regardless of race; sex; gender; sexual orientation; gender identity/expression; religion; age; color; creed; national or ethnic origin; citizenship; physical, mental, or sensory ability; genetic information; and/or status as an honorably discharged veteran or member of the military.

4-H Youth Development education creates a supportive environment for all youth and families to reach their fullest potential. This will be accomplished through a systematic approach of foundation and mission-driven science to meet the 4-H goals to:

  • Provide formal and non-formal experiential learning
  • Develop skills that benefit youth throughout life
  • Foster leadership and volunteerism in youth and adults
  • Build internal and external partnerships for programming and funding
  • Strengthen families and communities
  • Employ research-based knowledge and the land grant university system
  • Embrace and expand the traditions of the 4-H Youth Development program

Data & Planning

  • 4-H reporting, including statistics and financial reports
  • Strategic planning, goals, budgets, etc.

 

Leadership

Youth leadership is what 4-H is all about. In 4-H, you are in charge of your own programming. Adult volunteers work with you and/or your club to plan your activities to meet the goals you have set for yourself.

Club leadership – you may choose to serve on a committee, as an officer or to lead an event. Each individual club has a slightly different structure; once you’ve joined a club you can set goals for what leadership roles you might want to take.

How to Connect with Us!

We warmly welcome you to King County 4-H! Whether you are new to the Clover or already part of the 4-H family, we hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for on our website. If not, please email or call. If you would like to visit, please note our new address is in Renton off 7th Street, on the opposite side of the Habitat for Humanity offices.

4-H Office | WSU Extension, King County

560 Naches Avenue SW, Suite 130, Renton, WA 98057

Martha Aitken, Interim Director, King County Extension
(425) 738-0110| aitkenm@wsu.edu

Nancy Baskett, 4-H Program Coordinator
(425) 738-0104 | nbaskett@wsu.edu

Michelle Lanphere Green, 4-H STEM Coordinator
(425) 738-0105 | michelle.green@wsu.edu

Already a member or volunteer? Re-enroll here after 10/1

Learning links at home – 4-H and more!

Follow 4-H on Facebook

Research Shows 4-H Helps Young People Excel Beyond Their Peers.

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