Rhode Island 4-H

Cooperative Extension, College of the Environment and Life Sciences

Join 4-H

The URI 4-H Program is an educational program that combines hands on education and life skills. Youth can join community clubs, do 4-H in after-school settings and join as individual members.  Adult volunteers are needed to mentor youth and help them learn and grow!  4-H is a leader in youth development, which began on the local level in response to evolving needs for new kinds of educational experiences for youth. From the beginning, this youth-serving organization offered “hands-on” learning activities for young people so they might become productive citizens. Youth participating in 4-H activities have opportunities to offer positive contributions to our diverse and changing society. 4-H uses the far-reaching Cooperative Extension System network to offer youth programs and activities to diverse groups of young people in all 3,150 counties across out nation

How Does it Work in Rhode Island

We have 2 main delivery modes for 4-H: Community Clubs & Project Clubs .

  • Community Clubs-
    • Community Clubs are run by at least 2 unrelated, trained volunteers (mostly parents) in the communities they live in.    These clubs run year long, usually meeting once a month for 1-2 hours.
      • Advantages:
        • The kids form lasting long term bonds with their peers.
        • The kids vote on what projects they do, giving them more control.
        • The kids have more time to learn and produce bigger projects/results.
        • The kids are notified of and  can participate in 4-H events all year.
      • Disadvantages
        • The clubs meet all year, so it is a longer commitment, but it is usually only once a month.
  • Project Clubs-
    • Project Clubs are short term designed around a specific subject matter and average 6-10 hours of total meeting time.  This can be split up in multiple combinations like: 6-1 hour meetings, or 4- 2 hour meetings.  These are sometimes held in partnership with other agencies, schools, libraries or community groups.  Example: The Warwick Children’s Librarian and a volunteer teach “starting a raised bed garden”, for 1 hour for 6 weeks.   Click HERE to learn all about short-term, agency based, special interest 4-H clubs.
      • Advantages
        • It is a very short term commitment
        • Small groups that are very focused on 1 project goal.
      • Disadvantages
        • It is harder for youth to form bonds this quickly.
        • The subject matter is already chosen.
        • The youth do not participate in the additional 4-H opportunities and events.
How do I Join?

1) First pick what kind of club you are interested in.

2) If you are interested in a community club, look at this LIST OF CLUBS and then contact one of the club leaders to go to a meeting and they will help you join!

3) If you are interested in a short term project club, contact heidi_wright@uri.edu to learn about the upcoming opportunities.

4) If you are interested in starting a club!!  Contact Kristy Horan  kstone@uri.edu  and she will make it easy for you to start your group!

In both cases VOLUNTEERS are always needed to start groups and clubs!  PLEASE CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING OR STARTING A CLUB!

  • It’s very personally rewarding to know that you contributed to a youths success!
  • Training are held through the year to help you become acclimated to the programs and how to teach.
  • All volunteers must complete the volunteer application process to work with 4-H youth.  for the safety of youth and volunteers.
  • Volunteers receive year end awards and are invited to a banquet.
  • Starting your own club or group allows you the freedom to volunteer at times convenient to you and you help the youth choose projects that you are confident in teaching.
  • Resources and ENROLLMENT Forms for volunteers, members and groups


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