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: Groups and Clubs.

  • Groups are usually partnerships between URI 4-H and other agencies, schools, libraries or community groups.  They are usually short term (6-10 weeks) in nature and focused on one project area.  They are sometimes referred to as SPIN clubs (Short Term Special Interest).  Example: The Warwick Children’s Librarian and a volunteer teach “starting a raised bed garden”, for 1 hour for 6 weeks.   Start a SPIN Club! Click HERE to learn all about short-term, special interest 4-H clubs.
  • Clubs are usually run by volunteers (mostly parents) in the communities they live in.  4-H clubs are lead by at least 2 unrelated adults that go through an application process and then receive training from the URI 4-H Office.  The members of the club are youth age 5-18, that live in the towns surrounding the place where the meetings take place in the local community.  The kids get to help choose what projects are done in their club, which helps with their leadership skills.  Here is a list of contacts for local 4-H clubs that you can contact to see if any fit your needs: Club_Leaders_2015

In both cases volunteers are always needed to start groups and clubs!

  • It’s very personally rewarding to know that you contributed to a youths success!
  • Trainings 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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