Lee County 4-H

Lee County 4-H

What is 4-H?

4-H is a youth organization that belongs to the members, their families, and other interested adults who serve as volunteer leaders. Professional leadership is provided by University of Illinois Extension staff. Support for 4-H programs is a joint effort of local organizations, county government, the University of Illinois, and the United States Dept. of Agriculture.

In 4-H, young people (ages 5 to 19) share, grow, and learn together from various projects, events, and activities in informal situations under the guidance of their families and other volunteer adult leaders. 4-H members can decide what they want to learn about by selecting 4-H projects that interest them. Group activities and events such as trips, camps, fairs, shows and workshops provide additional learning experiences and opportunities.

A 4-H project is a practical, challenging, planned group of activities centered around a specific subject. Projects involve setting goals, evaluating progress, and learning new skills and knowledge. There are over 150 projects a 4-H'er may select from.

4-H is open to all youth and adult volunteers regardless of their race, color, religion, gender, racial origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation or disability. Most 4-H clubs have meetings for the entire membership once a month. During these meetings, decisions are made about group sponsored activities such as community service efforts, project opportunities, and fund-raising. A small program fee of $20.00 per year is assessed to each member. If a member joins more than one club, he/she will only pay one program fee.

Purpose of 4-H

The purpose of 4-H is two-fold:

  • To help youth learn life skills through a fun, action-oriented, and practical program.
  • To provide an opportunity for parents and other interested adults to work with youth as partners in their development. All volunteers working with youth are screened through the Dept. of Child and Family Services (DCFS), Illinois State Police, and the Illinois Sex Offender website.

The major focus of 4-H is on youth development. Providing youth with an opportunity to develop and practice leadership, citizenship, communication, presentation, and social skills is an integral part of their 4-H experience. In addition to club-level activities, youth are offered developmental experiences at the county, state, and national levels. 4-H Youth Development Educators and Program Coordinators provide structure, guidance, and support to youth, parents, and volunteers in the 4-H program. Participants have fun learning, working, and succeeding together in their homes, communities, and beyond.

How to Join 4-H

If you are interested in becoming part of the 4-H program, please contact Kathy Book. Boys and girls may enroll in 4-H anytime throughout the year. Members should keep in mind that some projects and events have enrollment and ownership deadlines.

After choosing your 4-H club, you can enroll online at http://il.4honline.com  Your new leader will have specifics for enrolling online.