A Gift for 4h club members
“To make the best better”,
“Learn to do by doing”
the United States is a youth organization administered by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, with the mission of “engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development.” The name represents four personal development areas of focus for the organization: head, heart, hands, and health.
4-H is the United States youth organization. The official 4-H emblem is also a green four-leaf clover with a white ‘H’ on each leaf standing for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. White and green are the 4-H colors.” The white symbolizes purity and the green represents growth. The idea of using the four-leaf clover as an emblem for the 4-H program is credited to Oscar Herman Benson (1875-1951). When Wright County school superintendent Benson dropped by to visit a one-room school house near Clarion, Iowa, the students outside for recess presented him with a good will gift of seven just-picked four-leaf clovers. This simple gesture inspired Benson to select the four-leaf clover for the 4-H emblem. He awarded three-leaf and four-leaf clover pennants and pins for students’ agricultural and domestic science exhibits at school fairs that Benson promoted”.
The organization serves over 6.5 million members in the United States, from ages five to nineteen in approximately 90,000 clubs. Clubs and related organizations now exist in many other countries as well; the organization and administration varies from country to country.
The goal of 4-H is to develop citizenship, leadership, and life skills of youth through mostly experiential learning programs. Though typically thought of as an agriculturally focused organization as a result of its history, 4-H today focuses on citizensh
ip, healthy living, and science, engineering and technology programs.
The 4-H motto is “To make the best better,” while its slogan is “Learn by doing” (sometimes written as “Learn to do by doing”).
The 4-H Pledge
“I Pledge my Head to clearer thinking,
my Heart to greater loyalty,
my Hands to larger service,
and my Health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.”
The pledge tells what 4-H is all about. 4-H has as its goal the four-fold development of youth: Head, Heart, Hands and Health. The pledge was adopted by the delegates to the 1927 National 4-H Club Camp in Washington, DC. State club leaders voted for and adopted the pledge for universal use. The phrase “and my world” was added in 1973. The saying of the pledge has prominent place in 4-H activities at regular 4-H meetings, achievement days, and other club events.
4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults.
A world in which youth and adults learn, grow and work together as catalysts for positive change.
“To Make The Best Better”
The motto was adopted at about the same time as the 4-H Club Pledge. Its intent is to inspire young people to continue to learn and grow, to make their best efforts better through participating in educational experiences.
“Learning By Doing”
This phrase sums up the educational philosophy of the 4-H program. Young people learn best when they are involved in their learning. The intent is to do, reflect, and apply.
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