Contact Us

Carissa Akpore
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
980 N. Postville Dr.
Lincoln, IL 62656
Phone: 217-732-8289
FAX: 217-735-5837

Erica Austin
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, Metro
University of Illinois Extension
700 S. Airport Drive
Springfield, IL 62707
Phone: 217-782-4617
FAX: 217-524-6662

Sharon Lounsberry
Program Coordinator, 4-H and Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
420 S. 7th St.
Petersburg, IL 62675
Phone: 217-632-7491
FAX: 217-632-2425

Sangamon & Menard County 4-H

Sangamon & Menard County 4-H

4-H Terms

Activity Leaders – volunteers that take charge of an activity. For instance, if a club wanted to do a fundraiser, they might have an individual who would be the Bake Sale Activity Leader.

Achievement Program – an event held each year where clubs come together and members are recognized on the county level. Awards are distributed for individuals and clubs.

Award Application – a form that 4-Hers complete at the end of the year. These applications reflect the work that the 4-H member has done. Applications are evaluated against others on the county level, with winners advancing to state competition.

Camp – usually a weeklong outdoor living experience that is offered to 4-H youth each summer. Camp is an excellent opportunity for youth to learn more about the environment and themselves.

CANTS – stands for Child Abuse Neglect Tracking System, and is a volunteer application process, conducted through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. CANTS helps University of Illinois Extension make sure that volunteers with the 4-H program are the best possible.

Citizenship Washington Focus – an bi-annual trip to Washington D.C. for teen 4-H members. Participants have a chance to learn more about our government, and their role in it.

The Clover – a newspaper style publication that lists all of the projects that are available in the Illinois 4-H program. It includes a brief description of some of the things that members can do in the project, what project books are available, and what age range the project is recommended for. The Clover also has articles of interest about 4-H.

Cloverbuds – youth ages 5-7 are involved with 4-H through this program. Cloverbuds form groups. Cloverbud groups are involved in a number of activities led by an adult that will help the youth.

Community Worker – a Unit based staff member of University of Illinois Extension who works with local volunteers, and other staff, to conduct the 4-H program.

Conference Judging – a style of judging used in 4-H, where a 4-H member meets with an expert judge to discuss their project. Using this method, the judge can find out what the member has done in their project, and what they have learned. The member also has a change to ask questions of the judge.

University of Illinois Extension – an informal education program which is a part of the land grand university system. Extension is responsible for reaching out to the citizens of the state. 4-H is a part of the University of Illinois Extension.

Demonstration – a way for 4-Hers to gain public speaking skills and show others what they have learned in their project. A member in a cooking project might demonstrate "How to Measure Dry Ingredients" for example.

Extension Council – a group of individuals who work with the Unit Staff to determine the needs of local citizens. Council members help determine how Extension will respond to these needs.

Extension Educator – an Extension staff member with a specific subject matter responsibility. Some Extension Educators are located in individual units; others serve a multi-county area.

Extension Unit – one or more counties that work together to provide Extension programming to local citizens. Extension units utilize the expertise of Extension Educators to help support program efforts.

Federation – a group of older 4-H members who hold meetings on a monthly or bi-monthly basis to conduct a business meeting and participate in educational programs. This is a good way of building teen leadership, and give 4-Hers a chance to meet others their own age from their county.

4-H – an informal education program offered to all youth regardless of race, color, national origin, and place of residence or handicap. The Illinois program is conducted by the University of Illinois, the United States Department of Agriculture, and Unit Extension Offices. 4-H is open to youth between the ages of 8 and 18.

4-H Club – a group of five or more youth, with at least one volunteer leader. 4-H clubs meet at least six times during a year, have a planned program, officers, with one or more projects per member.

4-H Day – an event held each year at the University of Illinois. 4-H Day includes a reception for clubs that are recognized for outstanding work at the state level. Also, 4-H is celebrate during the University of Illinois football game.

4-H Member – any youth between the ages of eight and eighteen who takes part in a University of Illinois Extension youth program.

4-H Projects – a practical, challenging planned course of activity centered around a specific subject. Projects include setting goals and evaluating progress, that lead to increased skills and knowledge. Members can select from over 150 projects offered each year. A listing of projects can be found in The Clover.

4-H Show – each year, members have the opportunity to exhibit their projects at a 4?H Show or Fair. Projects are evaluated by knowledgeable judges who rate projects and award a blue, red or white ribbon. By using conference judging, members have the chance to learn more about their project.

International 4-H Youth Exchange (IFYE) – two-way exchanges between U.S. 4-H members and alumni ages 15-30 and rural youth in countries around the world. 4-H families serve as hosts for international exchangees.

Illinois 4-H Youth Conference – a statewide conference held each June on the campus of the University of Illinois. The Conference is open to youth between the ages of 14 and 19. It gives teens the chance to experience college life, and participate in subject matter workshops.

Illinois State Fair, Junior Show – a part of the Illinois State Fair, where 4-H members from around the state exhibit their projects. Non-livestock members are selected at the local 4-H Show or Fair while livestock exhibitors are responsible for their own entries. All exhibitors must be 10 years old or older.

Judging Contests – members evaluate a number of classes, ranking four animals, carcasses, trees, etc. Sometimes participants are required to give reasons for their rankings. Many counties sponsor judging contests in different areas, like horse judging, horticulture judging, etc... These contests then can lead to the statewide judging contests held during the summer.

Junior Leader – a part of leadership development, junior leaders take leadership roles for their club and at the county level. Junior Leaders might work with a specific project, or may help members with public speaking, or other areas they are especially good at.

National 4-H Week – usually the first week in October, National 4-H Week recognizes 4-H members and their leaders, and promotes 4-H to the community.

Organizational Leader – the volunteer who is in charge of a 4-H club. They are generally responsible for administrative duties, and making sure that the meetings go smoothly. Some clubs have several leaders, others have only one.

Project Leaders – volunteers who are knowledgeable about a certain project area. Someone, who is really good at woodworking for instance, might be a woodworking project leader for a club, or perhaps on a multi-club or county level.

Project Planning Guides – help 4-H'ers decide what they want to accomplish in their projects. Members should complete a project guide for each project they are enrolled in. Different forms are used depending on the age of the 4-Her, Planning for My 4-H Project Work, is for 8 to 11 year olds, Illinois Project Plan is for members 12 to 14, and the Illinois Advanced Project Plan is completed by 15 to 19 year olds.

Public Speaking Contest – a countywide event for 4-H members. 4-Hers can deliver demonstrations or speeches at this contest. The topics of these speeches vary depending on the member's interests. Winners, who are 10 years old or older, can advance to the State Fair to compete.

Recognition for Excellence – provides recognition to members and clubs for: participating, meeting goals, achieving standards, and excelling in peer competition.

Recognition for Participation – this level of Recognition for Excellence lets the 4-H'ers know that they are important and that we are glad they became a 4-H member.

Recognition for Progress – for each project that a member signs up for, they set goals for that project. As a member works towards those goals, they are recognized for their accomplishments.

Recognition for Achievement of Standards – members are recognized as they reach certain standards that have been established for Illinois. The standards vary depending on how old the member is.

Recognition for Competition – when 4-H members compete against each other by completing Award Applications, they may be recognized if they are chosen to have the "best" application. This level of the Recognition for Excellence program is riskier than the other levels because there is usually only one winner.

School Enrichment Program – programs conducted through paid and volunteer staff of University of Illinois Extension in the schools. These programs utilize 4-H and Extension materials to offer students a unique learning opportunity.

Special Interest 4-H Group – a group of 5 or more members and one or more leaders who meet in order to study a single topic. An example might be a Model Rocket Club, or a Horse Club.

Unit Assistant – a unit based, staff member of University of Illinois Extension. Generally Unit Assistants have a certain subject matter they are responsible for, like youth development, or family life.

Unit Leader – a unit based, staff member of University of Illinois Extension, with administrative responsibility for that Unit. Unit Leaders work with local Extension Councils to determine what programs will be offered in that Unit.

Unit Secretary – a unit based, staff member of University of Illinois Extension, responsible for directing questions and requests for information that come into the Unit.

University of Illinois – the land grant University which the Illinois Extension and the Illinois 4-H program is a part of.

Window Displays – promotional displays that are placed in communities to promote 4-H. 4-H clubs compete with each other to have the "best" window display. Not every county has these contests.