What is 4-H?
4-H is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that allows young people to learn by doing—and in 4-H, they can do just about anything they’re interested in! 4-H does have traditional 4-H clubs for children who want to raise cows or ride horses, but 4-H’ers can also learn to cook, create clothing, learn how to fish, train a dog, conserve wildlife habitats, and much, much more! Our 4-H clubs are led by talented and dedicated community volunteers. 4-H is also a major presence in Berks County’s public and private schools. Thousands of young people complete 4-H projects as a part of their studies each year. They participate in the 4-H Embryology and 4-H Meet the Plants Projects. A final place you can find 4-H is in collaborations with other youth serving agencies and schools. For instance, youth enrolled in the PA Migrant Education Summer School or Easter Seals Camp Lily are also completing 4-H projects. There are lots of possibilities for starting 4-H clubs as part of after school programs as well. For a complete listing of the 200+ possible projects available to 4-H’ers, checkout Penn State’s website at http://pa4h.cas.psu.edu/familyguide.html.
Who is a 4-H Club for?
Young people between the ages of 8 and 18 may join any one of Berks County’s volunteer-led 4-H clubs. Volunteer leaders are always welcome too—so if you’re an adult with an interest in just about any hobby or skill, there’s a spot in the 4-H program for you! 4-H is open to all children and volunteers—the program does not discriminate based on age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Everyone is welcome! Contact the Penn State Extension, Berks County 4-H Office (610-378-1327) for information about volunteering.
What does belonging to a 4-H Club involve?
4-H clubs typically meet once or twice per month, although some clubs get together more or less often. A club may be small enough to meet in a leader’s living room or large enough to reserve a meeting hall each month—each club is unique. Clubs usually charge a small fee for annual dues, in addition to the $10 Pennsylvania State 4-H Educational Materials Fee. Project materials or project animals are usually bought by each 4-H’er’s family. All of our clubs are organized around one particular project area—like the 4-H Outdoor Adventurers Club, for example, whose members work strictly on the 4-H Sportfishing Project each year. Talk to the 4-H leaders listed on the following page to find out which 4-H club is right for you or your child. Or contact the Penn State Extension, Berks County 4-H Office (610-378-1327) for information about starting a new 4-H club.