4-H Youth Development

What 4-H Youth Development Does

A green four-leaf clover with a white H on each leaf. When you join 4-H, you’re a part of something big! 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, with more than six million members and over 90,000 clubs.

The four H’s are head, heart, hands, and health. That means we are committed to providing opportunities for youth to learn life skills like decision-making, problem-solving, caring for others, generosity, making healthy choices, and more.

4-H involves youth in project-based education. Through project learning, youth can explore their interests (“sparks”) and master new skills. 4-H projects are meant to be hands-on to allow youth to understand not only how to do something, but also why they are doing it.

Most 4-H youth and the adults who care about them get their start with a 4-H club. Clubs can meet in a variety of settings so we can support youth where they are in the community, in schools, after school, and in military settings.

4-H youth can take part in camps, educational travel experiences, workshops, and much more, as they explore their sparks.

All youth from Kindergarten through Grade 13 are welcome to join 4-H. 

In all of these settings, youth have the chance to become leaders. Youth make decisions. Youth can make their voices heard. The most important part of 4-H is YOUth.

What We Offer

Current Programs:

4-H Community Clubs

A 4-H Community Club is made up of five or more youth guided by adult volunteer leaders or UW Extension Educators. A 4-H Community Club can be any size from a small group of youth from one neighborhood to a larger club consisting of youth from all over the county. 4-H Community Clubs may focus on a single project or a variety of projects.

  • 4-H Community Clubs typically meet monthly in the evenings and on weekends with meetings held in an inclusive community space or may meet virtually. There are often other club events throughout the year including parties, picnics, outings, community service opportunities, and much more! In most community clubs, youth officers are elected to guide the activities of the club.
  • Interested in enrolling your youth in a 4-H Community Club? Visit our 4-H Community Club webpage or contact 4-H Educator Eva Terry at eva.terry@wisc.edu or 414-615-0522.

4-H SySTEMatics

Middle school youth discover science through hands-on science labs! The experiments taught in SySTEMatics cover a wide range of areas such as chemistry, botany, archeology, geology, and physics. Also included are activities that can help prepare the youth for their future, such as learning styles and budgeting.

  • These 4-H activities were developed by UW-Madison, Cornell, Ohio State, and other state colleges across the nation.
  • This program can take place during the school day or after school.
  • Interested in starting this program at your school or organization? Contact 4-H Educator Eva Terry at eva.terry@wisc.edu or 414-615-0522

4-H Archery and STEM

Archery is a unique offering in Milwaukee, and we are connecting it with science! Our archery educational focus is on life skills development, safety procedures, responsible use of archery equipment, and getting youth out in nature. What makes this program even more unique is that we will tie in the science of archery such as velocity, gravity, and even archaeology.

  • Our archery educator is certified to lead archery with youth and trained in safety measures and best practices. Programming can take place outside or in a gym/large indoor space.
  • Interested in starting this program at your school or organization? Contact Brandon Bebow – 4-H SySTEMatics Community Worker and certified archery leader at 414-488-7723 or brandon.bebow@wisc.edu

4-H School Clubs

4-H Classroom Clubs are offered during the school day to a specific grade in partnership with the school. 4-H Classroom Clubs allow students to explore an interest area with support from an Extension Educator, 4-H volunteers, or school staff over a period of days, weeks, or months.

  • The club and project areas can be designed to fit the school and are planned collaboratively with 4-H, the school, and youth.
  • Interested in starting this program at your school or organization? Contact 4-H Educator Eva Terry at eva.terry@wisc.edu or 414-615-0522.

4-H Afterschool Clubs

4-H Afterschool Clubs are a program offered to youth following the school day. 4-H Afterschool Clubs are often divided by age groups and frequently meet in the school building or partnering organization that provides a safe and supportive environment for youth after school.

  • The club and project areas are planned collaboratively with 4-H, the school/organization, and youth.
  • Interested in starting this program at your school or organization? Contact 4-H Educator Eva Terry at eva.terry@wisc.edu or 414-615-0522.

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