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Brittani Garner
Program Coordinator, 4-H Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
3351 N. President Howard Brown Blvd.
Decatur, IL 62521
Phone: 217-877-6042
FAX: 217-877-4564
bagarner@illinois.edu

Jenna Ward
Extension Program Coordinator
University of Illinois Extension
3351 N. President Howard Brown Blvd.
Decatur, IL 62521
Phone: 217-877-6042
FAX: 217-877-4564
jrward@illinois.edu

Macon County 4-H

Macon County 4-H

YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE BEGINS TODAY IN 4-H.

When you join 4-H, you are joining the largest out-of-school youth program in the country. There are 6 million kids across the county in 4-H and 200,000 of them live in Illinois. 4-H is in every county in Illinois. Wherever you live, 4-H is there. Depending on what your interests are, there is a 4-H program where you belong and feel welcome!

4-H offers so much for you to do. You find the path that makes sense for you! Join a club or after-school program, attend camp, sign up as a 4-H Teen Teacher, participate in a 4-H event, have fun, explore your interests, build leadership skills and make connections to new friends, mentors and future employers.

EXPLORE AND ENGAGE – EXPLORE YOUR WORLD AND ENGAGE IN REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCES

Who We Serve

One in every 14 kids in Illinois is involved in 4-H.

The 4-H Year begins on September 1 and whatever your age is on that date determines how you join 4-H. If you 5 to 7 years old? Then, you’ll join a Cloverbud Club which has activities that are just right for you. If you are 8 to 18 years old, your 4-H Club will include a variety of ages, and every member brings something important to the club experience. Some 4-H Clubs focus on a single topic, while others allow members to choose from dozens of projects to learn about.

4-H may have gotten its start in rural America, but today 4-H Clubs are in all cities, suburbs, towns and neighborhood. Clubs are easy to start… all you need is an adult volunteer and five kids who agree to meet at least six times during the year.

What We Know About 4-H Kids

For 10 years, Tufts University studied the factors which impact youth success. They discovered that kids involved in 4-H programs are:

  • Nearly four times more likely to make contributions to their communities. 
  • About two times more likely to be civically active. 
  • Nearly two times more likely to participate in science programs during out-of-school time. 
  • Two times more likely to make healthier choices. 

Why 4-H Works

4-H produces youth leaders because it follows the principles of positive youth development in all the program we offer. What are those principles?

  • 4-H Clubs create a safe sense of BELONGING for members. Youth know they are part of a club where they are physically and emotionally safe, where adults care about their wellbeing, and where other kids have their back and support their efforts.
  • 4-H Clubs allow members to develop their INDEPENDENCE and helps them see their future, a future where they determine the path and are actively making choices to see it become real.
  • 4-H Clubs inspire members to help others by demonstrating GENEROSITY and providing opportunity to work as a team to improve their community.
  • 4-H Clubs provide the tools for youth to MASTER skills needed for successful personal and career growth.

Just like all living things, young people need nourishing, supportive and protective environments in which they can grow into healthy and contributing members of the community. Youth need to know others care about them. They also need to believe they are capable of being successful and be confident they are impacting their world. In addition, they need opportunities to practice helping others. 4-H fills in these gaps for youth who lack these essential elements for growth. That’s why 4-H works. That’s why 4-H is making a difference in communities.

What Is a 4-H Project?

The major way that 4-H members learn by doing is through their 4-H projects. A 4-H project is a series of experiential learning activities planned by the member and a leader or helper. The projects involve setting goals, learning new skills (subject matter skills and life skills) and evaluating progress, all in a challenging and fun format. 4-H members may select projects that reflect their areas of interest. Clubs also can focus on a particular project area of interest such as:

  • Mechanics & Technology
  • Home & Family
  • Animal Science
  • Food, Nutrition & Health
  • Community Involvement & Global Awareness
  • Environment & Natural Resources
  • Personal Development
  • Plants & Soils

The Illinois 4-H Vision

All Illinois Youth are empowered and prepared for success. In ten years, Illinois 4-H will reflect the population demographics, diverse needs and social conditions of the state.

Our Promise to You – it's our mission!

  • Illinois 4-H will foster belonging, independence, generosity and mastery in all youth it reaches.
  • Illinois 4-H will create opportunities for youth to use their skills to influence and impact others.
  • Illinois 4-H will equip youth with skills and experiences for success.
  • Illinois 4-H will target its youth education programs to address Illinois issues.

The 4-H Way

4-H began more than 100 years ago. The secret to our success? As kids change, we change. We’ve added more projects to the foundation of agriculture-related projects such as things like robotics, environment, aerospace. We’ve expanded the roles teens may explore in things such as teaching, mentoring and advocating for causes they support. We’ve expanded into metro areas and adjusted 4-H to fit the lifestyle of active metro audiences. We’ve engaged kids in more hands-on learning and stayed true to our belief of Learn By Doing.

The 4-H Pledge

I pledge my HEAD to clearer thinking, my HEART to greater loyalty, my HANDS to larger service and my HEALTH to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.

The 4-H Motto

To Make the Best Better

4-H Emblem

In 1948 Congress gave federal protection for the 4-H name and emblem with TITLE 18 U.S.C. 707. Because of this protection, it is the legal responsibility of the Cooperative Extension Service and USDA to ensure the consistent and correct use of the 4-H name and emblem by staff, volunteers, participants and authorized entities. The emblem may not be altered in any way and may appear as:

Green four-leaf clover with a white H on each leaf

Black four-leaf clover with a white H on each leaf

White four-leaf clover with a green H on each leaf

4-H Colors

Green and White