In Rutherford County, 4-H is the youth development organization of both The University of Tennessee and Tennessee State University. 4-H encourages diverse groups of youth to develop their unique skills and talents to the fullest potential. Young people participate in 4-H through clubs, special interest groups, after-school programs, camps and many other activities. “Learning by doing” through hands on activities and community involvement empowers 4-H’ers to develop and strengthen life skills.
All Rutherford County 4-H Programs are designed to impact one or more of the five basic competency areas which define the range of behaviors and skills identified as essential for adult success. These life skills include:
· Health/Physical: Through an emphasis on exercise and proper nutrition, 4-H members are encouraged to develop habits that lead to a healthy lifestyle which continue in adulthood.
· Personal/Social: Being comfortable with yourself, cooperating with others, forming friendships, assuming responsibility and having self-discipline are important components of social development.
· Cognitive/Creative: Learning is an ongoing part of life. Participation in 4-H projects allows members to choose specific areas of interest and increase their knowledge of those areas through activities.
· Vocational: The 4-H club aims to provide its members with opportunities to gain an awareness of and explore a wide variety of career and vocational options. The life skills developed through 4-H participation help prepare young people for successful professional careers.
· Citizenship/Ethics: Knowledge and understanding of the history and values of community or nation contribute to good citizenship. Involvement in the 4-H program not only teaches young people to appreciate others and learn about their surroundings, but also encourages them to become involved and find ways to make positive contributions to society.