San Diego County 4-H: Curriculum

4-H Curriculum


Each year, a 4-H club member enrolls in at least one project. Members enrolling for the first time may be encouraged to take on only one or two projects.  As members gain experience, the size of the project may be increased or additional projects may be selected.  Some project groups meet once a week, while others might meet once or twice a month.  The purpose of these meetings is to guide the members in gaining knowledge, attitudes, skills, and habits needed to complete their work successfully.


A 4-H project is:

  • Planned work in an area of interest to the 4-H member.
  • Guided by a 4-H adult volunteer who is the project leader.
  • Aimed at planned objectives that can be attained and measured.
  • Summarized by some form of record keeping.
  • A minimum of six hours of project instruction.

If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact the San Diego County Office!

San Diego 4-H Curriculum

Three National Initiatives

4-H today is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. For more than a century, the four H’s on the well-known 4-H clover—representing Head, Heart, Hands and Health—have been recognized as a trusted framework for excellence in positive youth development.

The 4-H program, a joint collaboration between the United States Department of Agriculture, land-grant universities, state and local governments and private partners, welcomes all young people to participate in a “learning-by-doing” environment where they are able to actively participate in hands-on experiences and make a lasting impact
in their communities. Today’s 4-H focuses on the following three national initiative areas:

4-H Science programs reach more than 5 million youth with hands-on learning experiences to encourage young minds and help fill our nation’s shortage of young leaders proficient in science, engineering, and technology. Our science programs tackle important national and global issues such as climate change, workforce development, and technological innovation.

Science, Engineering and Technology:
• Provides youth with opportunities to engage in a process of discovery and exploration in science, engineering and technology that will prepare them to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
•Offers curricula with an extraordinary range of engaging and challenging activities for youth of all ages and abilities that can impart science literacy while also serving the fundamental developmental needs of youth.
•Draws upon a rich and diverse set of research-based curricula and activities that provide hands on, real world experiences delivered in both informal and formal settings.
• Taps into 4-H’s direct access to technological advances in agriculture and life sciences, family and consumer resource management, human development, nutrition and related areas, which result from land-grant university research.

Healthy living is just plain smart. That’s why it’s been a core belief of 4-H since the beginning. By supporting the physical, mental, and emotional health of our nation's youth, we help them lead healthy and productive lives into adulthood. Programs address such critical issues as childhood obesity, substance abuse, and physical safety.

Healthy Lifestyles:
• Teaches nutrition and promotes physical activity among youth.
• Shapes the way young people view diet, exercise and nutrition.
• Helps youth work to bring about systemic change on good health for their families, their communities and themselves.
• Provides grants to communities where youth promote both exercise and nutrition in their program designs, demonstrating the importance of balancing diet and exercise.

4-H has always emphasized the importance of developing passionate, well-informed citizens who are involved in their communities and help to foster positive social change. Civic engagement helps young people understand the big picture and learn skills that will encourage them to become engaged, responsible citizens and successful leaders. With 4-H citizenship programs, youth learn how to lead, make decisions, and contribute to their communities from an early age.

• Infuses youth into decision-making bodies and processes—both within 4-H and in the broader community—at local, state and national levels.
• Identifies best practices, resources and training modules for organizations and communities interested in positive youth development and strengthening communities and democracy in general.
• Is a catalyst for new research and new programs and leverages existing efforts, skills and knowledge.
• Identifies programmatic expertise and links successful current efforts to the infrastructure of 4-H.