The 4-H All Star program is an honorary organization for veteran 4-H members and leaders who have an impressive record of achievement and service. All Stars are rewarded with five-pointed red star pins, with the points representing head, hand, heart, health and home achievements. Becoming an All Star means a person has a lifelong dedication to 4-H, and those who are chosen can act on that dedication by leading local clubs, becoming a counselor or helping in county 4-H events.
As part of a Second Chance Act grant, WVU Extension Service, in partnership with National 4-H Council, is implementing the 4-H Living Interactive Family Education (LIFE) program in the Hazelton Federal Correctional Institution. It is designed to strengthen family relationships in families with an incarcerated parent. Through 4-H LIFE, incarcerated parents will develop skills by undergoing parenting workshops and planning meetings. Their children will be enrolled in their local 4-H programs and provided with group mentoring services. Families will be engaged through 4-H LIFE family events as well as four enhanced (characterized by family friendly visitations) prison visits. To learn more, contact Nila Cobb at 304-720-9883 or email Nila.
Ag in the Classroom
The mission of the West Virginia Ag in the Classroom Program is to enhance agriculture literacy by supporting teachers and providing them with fun, interactive lessons and activities that enhance their classroom instruction in math, science, social studies, nutrition and literature using realistic agricultural examples. A collaboration of the USDA and WVU Extension Service, these programs introduce teachers and students to horticulture, livestock, wildlife and so much more in order to help them become more educated consumers.
Current programs include in-school 4-H clubs, fairs, learning labs and school gardens, as well as workshops and presentations by local experts. Dozens of activities and lessons are also provided to teachers covering all phases of agriculture. Some examples are identifying wildlife tracks, making butter or cheese, determining where byproducts come from, the biology of how a seed grows, career development and even how Dr. Seuss can be used to teach agriculture. Teachers can also take part in the action. The Summer Agricultural Institute is a two-day workshop in which educators receive training and materials to incorporate agriculture into their daily classroom activities. Many of the lessons are tailored to the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives—all are kid approved!
If you are interested in finding out how you can incorporate ag in the classroom activities into your school program, contact your local WVU Extension office today.
The Agriculture in the Classroom program is coordinated by the United States Department of Agriculture. Its goal is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society so that they may become stewards who support wise agricultural policies.
To help prevent accidents and educate youths and their families, WVU Extension Service provides ATV safety information as part of the National 4-H Youth curriculum. For more information on West Virginia 4-H ATV safety curriculum or to take the ASI RiderCourse, contact ATV Safety Expert Mark Whitt at 304-235-2692 x 2, email Mark, or contact your local Extension office.
The West Virginia 4-H Camping Program has provided youths with opportunities for four-fold life development (head, heart, hands, health) through cooperative group living in the natural environment since 1915. While society and our organization have changed since those early days, the emphasis on a camper-focused educational experience has remained an integral part of the West Virginia 4-H Camping Program at state and county levels. 4-H Camping is one of the cornerstones of WVU Extension and is a “point of pride” for which the state 4-H program is known nationally.
West Virginia has many opportunities for youth ages 9 through 21 to have fun, make friends and learn at camp through WVU Extension’s 4-H program – the camping experts!
4-H camps are offered in every West Virginia County. Contact your local county office to learn more about camping options in your area.
West Virginia youths engage in citizenship programming through club, camp and afterschool activities. 4-H Citizenship is the knowledge, skills, attitudes and motivation that gives youths the capacity to move beyond one’s individual self-interest and to be committed to the well-being of some larger group. Citizenship programs build assets in four broad areas: civic engagement, civic education, service, and personal development. Leadership in local clubs, community service activities, project demonstrations, charting and camping programs all have citizenship components. Youths can delve deeper into these ideas and activities at state events such as Teen Leaders’ Weekend, Older Members’ Conference or Teen Leader Council and national events such as Leadership Washington Focus, Citizenship Washington Focus, National 4-H Conference and National 4-H Congress. To learn more, contact Denis Scott at 304-293-8665 or email Denis.
Collegiate 4-H is open to all college students who wish to support youths and the West Virginia 4-H program. It is not necessary to have prior 4-H experience—you only need to have an interest in the ideals of 4-H and in serving your community. Belonging to a Collegiate 4-H Club doesn’t take the place of being a 4-H member in your home community club for the purposes of participating in 4-H activities or competitive events, but it will expand your 4-H career experience through activities tailored specifically for the college-age member. Several colleges and universities in West Virginia have active Collegiate 4-H Clubs. To learn more, contact Becca Fint-Clark at 304-291-7201 or email Becca.
Energy Express is an eight-week summer program promoting the school success of children living in rural and low-income communities across West Virginia by providing summer learning experiences focused on reading, serving two nutritious family-style meals each day, engaging college students in service through AmeriCorps and developing strong partnerships involving parents, schools, communities and state agencies and organizations. To learn more, visit Energy Express or call 304-293-3855.
Energy Express is a program under the leadership of WVU Extension Service’s 4-H Youth Development program. This program is funded, in part, by grants from the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts and Volunteer West Virginia, the State’s Commission for National and Community Service. Volunteer West Virginia encourages West Virginians of all ages and abilities to be involved in service to their communities.
The WVU Extension Service 4-H Extension Camp Instructor Program is designed to enhance the development of young adult professionals through proven experiential-based learning and on-the-job training. An ECI plays a vital role in the WVUES 4-H camping program by providing leadership, education and positive role modeling for 4-H campers and the development of West Virginia youths. WVUES camps utilize the help of ECIs and their expertise to create an energetic and educational week for their campers. For more information on how to become an ECI, email the 4-H Youth Development Office.
As youths grow, they often have questions about their place in the world. By helping youths connect the dots between local and global issues, youths gain a greater sense of place in their own lives.
Through global citizenship programs, youths engage in learning opportunities that give them a heightened sense of responsibility and capacity to connect as active members of their communities, nation and world.
Youths participate in diversity and intercultural communication programming through internationally themed camps, club events and community service projects.
WVU 4-H programs offer global citizenship curriculum, international camper cultural exchanges and global learning adventures to bring the world to West Virginia so that youth can think globally while acting locally.
Healthy Lifestyles Initiatives is a free program that supports healthy 4-H club meetings across the state. In collaboration with the WVU Extension Healthy Lifestyles Team and statewide health agencies, programs and curriculum are available such as Health Rocks!®
The initiative includes Youth Voice, Youth Choice, tobacco cessation and prevention programs regarding topics such as:
- Dental Health
- Nutrition and Food Prep
- Physical Fitness
- Social and Emotional Health
- Personal Well-being
The West Virginia 4-H Shooting Sports Program teaches young people between the ages of 9 and 21 the safe and responsible use of firearms (muzzle loading, air pistol, air rifle including small bore, and shotgun) and archery equipment, in addition to instruction in wildlife conservation. The programs aims to enhance self-confidence, personal development, responsibility and sportsmanship, create an appreciation of natural resources and provide volunteer instructors with safe and proper instructional techniques and information on how to plan and manage shooting and conservation clubs. To learn more, email the 4-H Youth Development Office.
The WVU Extension Service 4-H STEM Program aims to create fun and engaging programming that fosters an appreciation for science, engineering, technology and math in West Virginia youths. Our primary goal is to equip youths with STEM-related skills they need to compete in the 21st century job market. For more information on STEM programming, contact WVU Extension Service STEM Specialist Jen Robertson-Honecker at 304-293-8130 or email Jen.
The West Virginia Statewide Afterschool Network (WVSAN) is one of fifty afterschool networks across the country funded in part by the C.S. Mott Foundation. The WVSAN works to sustain a statewide partnership to raise awareness of the importance and accessibility of high quality out-of-school time programs for all school age children, share criteria of effective programs and best practices among providers and the public and promote the sustainability of such programs throughout the state. To learn more, contact Susan Gamble at 304-720-9882 or email Susan.
Creatively Express Yourself
As a positive youth development organization, 4-H strives to provide research-based
curricula and resources for youth programming. The goal of communications and expressive arts activities is to provide a forum for youth to share their interpretation of "What Do You See?" and self-expression in photography, posters and writing.
The WVU Extension Service maintains a 4-H youth agriculture program to strengthen the capacity of families and youths to achieve lifelong learning and productivity. To learn more, contact the 4-H Youth Agriculture Specialist Emily Perdue at 304-293-2708 or email Emily.