We know that families in Tarrant County have many choices when it comes to selecting activities for their kids. Listed below are some key points about the 4-H program.
Age of Members: 3rd graders to 12th
- 4-H clubs are open to youth who have reached 8 years of age and have entered 3rd grade and have not reached the maximum age of 18 years old and are still in the 12th grade as of September 1st of the current 4-H year. Many clubs include activities for children in kindergarten through 2nd grades as well.
Boys or Girls: 4-H clubs are open to boys and girls both.
- Clubs and activities are coeducational so families can plan one set of activities for all of their kids.
Disability: Youth with disabilities are encouraged to participate.
- Any youth or member who has a disability that may require any type of accommodation to participate in a 4-H activity can contact the organizer. Please contact the club manager or the 4-H Extension Agent at least two weeks prior to an event and options can be discussed and plans made so that all youth can enjoy 4-H.
Cost: $25 or $30 per child annually. $10 per adult volunteer annually.
- Annual membership per year is $25 if enrolled between August 15th and October 31st. $30 if enrolled after November 1st. Clover Kids, youth in kindergarten through 2nd grade, can be enrolled for free but are not considered members of 4-H until they turn 8 years old and have entered 3rd grade. Some projects or programs at the clubs may involve extra costs.
- Adult volunteers are required to pay $10 per year and it is encouraged that every family have at least one adult that serves in a volunteer capacity.
Many clubs organize fund raisers to pay for memberships and other accommodations are available to those who find membership fees a financial hurdle to participation.
How to enroll: 4-H Online.
- Enrollment in 4-H is handled on a statewide basis through the 4-H Online website at https://texas.4honline.com. Once youth are registered with the state and have joined a club, they can participate in most 4-H activities in the county.
Meetings: Monthly and weekly.
- Clubs normally have a business meeting once a month and take a break during the summer. Project meetings may occur once a week for a six to eight week period.
Commitment: Attend business meetings and complete one project a year.
- Families are encouraged to attend all club business meetings and members are expected to complete one project a year. Parents or caregivers are expected to accompany their children at meetings. 4-H is a volunteer driven organization. While most clubs are managed by a parent and many parents serve as project leaders, there is no requirement for parents to do so. But please keep in mind that a club’s success and a member’s success can be measured by the number of people that take an interest and assist in whatever capacity they are capable.
The Leaders: The youth members are the leaders of 4-H.
- While 4-H would be nothing without the dedicated adult volunteers who lead projects and manage clubs, it is the youth officers that lead the clubs. By serving as officers and being the voting members of their club, youth learn how a deliberative body comes to consensus and enacts decisions. Officers from each club come together to serve the county in the County Youth Council. Officers can then go on to serve on District and State Councils.
Volunteers: Screened and trained to keep youth safe.
- All adult volunteers who serve 4-H must take training to keep youth safe and have a background check performed on a regular basis.
Projects: 14 broad categories with specialized projects in each.
- Project categories include:
- Animals-livestock, horses, dog training, veterinary sciences, etc.
- Biological Science-entomology, biology, etc.
- Civic Education-citizenship and global communication
- Communication & Arts-theater and performing arts
- Community Service
- Consumer & Family Science-clothing & textiles, family life, consumer education, etc.
- Environmental Education-natural resources, forestry, shooting sports, etc.
- Food & Nutrition
- Leadership-public speaking, youth entrepreneurship, etc.
- Personal Safety
- Plant Science-horticulture, soil &crop science, etc.
- Technology & Engineering-robotics, rocketry, STEM, etc.
4-H bases its learning experience on members engaging and completing projects. Members can participate in projects in a group with their club, at the county level with youth from across the community, or individually. All project areas listed have curriculum available to assist volunteers and youth to start a new project.
Benefits: Hands-on learning, community service, leadership development, opportunities to participate in livestock shows and other competitions.
- 4-H has always been a learn-through-doing program. A youth’s knowledge is much deeper when youth learn new skills by actively practicing. Members are then able to share and test their knowledge by competing in 4-H. Club activities also stress the importance of community service and have fun opportunities for members to serve their neighbors. And one of the best benefits is the natural leaders that 4-H produces when youth serve as officers and organizers for their clubs and country.
Scholarships: Offered by 4-H at the County and State Level.
- When funds permit, the Tarrant County Adult Leaders Association offers scholarships to senior level members in 4-H. These scholarships are normally for $500. Texas 4-H also offers scholarships to members preparing to enter college or technical school. For 2017, over 200 scholarships were awarded in the range of $3000 to $20,000. Additionally, many of the projects that 4-H members compete in make them eligible for scholarships through fairs and stock shows.