University of Illinois Extension

Helping Leaders Be 4-H Savvy - University of Illinois Extension

Positive Youth Development Through 4-H Community Clubs

In recent years, there has been considerable research conducted to identify the characteristics of effective programs for positive youth development. Emerging from this work has been the list of eight critical elements of 4-H youth development. These are:

  1. A positive relationship with a caring adult.
  2. A physically and emotionally safe environment.
  3. An opportunity for mastery/competence.
  4. A welcoming/inclusive environment.
  5. An opportunity for self-determination.
  6. An opportunity to value and practice service to others.
  7. An opportunity to see one’s-self as an active participant in the future.
  8. An appropriately structured environment.

This series of articles will provide ideas for volunteers suggesting ways to strengthen these critical elements within the 4-H community club program.