4-H Clubs for Military Connected Youth
The National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed partnerships with the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, National Guard and Reserves, to support youth and family programs on installations around the world. Youth and families from U.S. Marines and U.S. Coast Guard are also supported. 4-H extension professionals support military staff as they provide strong educational programs so that military men and women can pursue their critical, high risk assignments knowing that their children are in safe and nurturing environments.
4-H clubs provide quality educational experiences to military youth using research based curricula for military youth ages 5-18. 4-H clubs have been established on nearly every Army, Navy, and Air Force installation worldwide, while 4-H clubs in communities have opened their doors to military youth living off installation as well as youth of National Guard and Reserve families. As a parent's military role causes frequent family moves, 4-H clubs provide predictability and stability throughout the military child's life.
In 2015, more than 45,616 Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserves children and youth participated in 4-H military clubs on and off installations.
Further information about opportunities in your state can be found here.
Each year, state's provide an annual report regarding how the partnership between 4-H and military youth programs has moved forward. More about how your state is supporting 4-H Military Clubs can be found in each State's Corporate Report.
See below for additional resources on 4-H and 4-H Clubs:
National 4-H Curriculum focuses on 4-H’s three primary mission mandates: science, healthy living, and citizenship. In addition, there is a wide variety of curriculum and project topic areas offered through the state and county 4-H programs. If there is a project area youth are interested in knowing more about, 4-H has a curriculum that can support the learning initiative and guide activities.
4-H Clubs for Army Youth
As a result of the Army 4-H Military Partnership, over 23,000 Army children and youth participate in approximately 332 4-H Clubs on Army installations worldwide. These clubs have become an integral programming component for Army School-Age and Youth programs. 4-H Clubs offer opportunities for Army youth to explore new interests and gain skills in leadership, decision making, technology, science, math, environmental stewardship, and community service. In addition to learning-by-doing in their club, Army youth participate with other 4-H youth beyond the garrison gates in county, state and national programs. No matter where they move with their parents, youth can find 4-H Clubs in any county in the U.S. and on overseas installations.
4-H Clubs for Air Force Youth
As a result of the Air Force 4-H Military Partnership, more than 17,500 Air Force children and youth participated in approximately 234 4-H Clubs in 2013. Clubs are one of the primary ways 4-H provides positive youth development opportunities to meet the needs of young people so they can experience Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity—the 4-H Essential Elements—and to foster educational opportunities through the Land Grant University system.
Air Force requires that at least three 4-H Clubs are offered on base using official 4-H curriculum. One of the clubs must be in the area of Health, Nutrition, & Fitness; the remaining clubs should revolve around the varied interests of the youth. The Air Force 4-H Club can be a community club with three (or more) project groups offered throughout the year under the community club.
4-H Clubs for Navy Youth
The Navy 4-H Military Partnership links resources of the Land Grant University System in the development of a common mission of positive youth development experiences to assist Child and Youth Program staff in the development of 4-H clubs worldwide. 4-H program (state and/or local) staff support bases through on-site training, technical assistance, and local programming. In 2013, more than 6,400 Navy children and youth participated in approximately 110 4-H Clubs on Naval bases worldwide.
It is important for children and youth to feel safe in their community/ environment as they challenge themselves to learn new skills. 4-H works to attract geographically dispersed military youth into local activities that will engage youth in developing life skills. This includes camps, leadership opportunities, civic engagement, and service learning. Within these events, youth have the opportunity to have a positive and sustainable relationship with caring adults; build life skills through hands-on activities; and participate in service learning events within their communities. In 2013, 17,048 geographically dispersed youth of Active Duty and National Guard and Reserve service members engaged in 4-H related activities.