Written by Andrea Knox, former SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development & Resiliency Field Specialist.
4-H Afterschool is an educational program offered to K-12 youth outside of school hours, usually in partnership with schools or community organizations that meet the out-of-school time needs of youth and families. 4-H Afterschool utilizes 4-H curriculum and is facilitated by caring volunteers, out-of-school time program staff and/or 4-H staff.
The need for quality youth development programs during the out-of-school hours exists in all communities. Where youth spend their time, what they do, and with whom they do it are important to their overall development. Out-of-school time hours represent either risk or opportunity. Youth who are unsupervised are much more likely to engage in risky behavior. Programs in the out-of-school hours give youth safe, supervised places to spend time, along with chances to learn new skills, develop interests, and spend meaningful time with peers and adults. 4-H Afterschool helps bring these opportunities to youth who may not otherwise be introduced to the vast array of 4-H’s quality programs.
4-H Afterschool Works By
- Providing research based, hands on curriculum
- Establishing on-site, afterschool 4-H programs and clubs
- Conducting development opportunities for staff
Delivery: 4-H Afterschool includes two basic types of youth delivery modes: youth participating in a 4-H program and youth members of organized 4-H clubs.
- Participation in 4-H Program within the Afterschool Setting
Educational programming is offered to youth within the afterschool setting. The group is using 4-H curricula, but is not electing officers and forming an organized 4-H Club.
- Organized 4-H Club within the Afterschool Setting
4-H Afterschool Clubs are organized within the afterschool setting. The difference between this mode and the prior is that the group elects officers, is involved in planning and meets at least six times throughout the year. More information on 4-H Clubs can be found here.
Facilitation: 4-H Afterschool programs may be facilitated/led by caring volunteers including teen volunteers, out-of-school time program staff, and/or 4-H staff.
4-H Afterschool can also be established in communities that do not have an existing out-of-school time organization.
For more information on establishing 4-H Afterschool in your community see 4-H Afterschool Quick Reference Guide and 4-H Afterschool Program/Club Leader Role Description. If you are interested in making 4-H Afterschool an educational part of your community, please contact your county 4-H Youth Program Advisor for assistance in getting started.
4-H Afterschool Resources
The following websites include information, resources and inspiration related to 4-H Afterschool.
- National 4-H Afterschool Website - Includes fact sheets, online training, links and many additional resources.
- National 4-H Curriculum
- Curriculum Examples:
- Colorado State University 4-H Afterschool/School Enrichment
- Cornell University 4-H Afterschool
- Cornell University 4-H Science Toolkit
- Iowa State University 4-H Afterschool
- Iowa 4-H Afterschool Lesson Plans
- Penn State 4-H Get in the Act Workforce Prep for Middle School Youth
- Penn State 4-H Afterschool
- Texas 4-H Club Ed
- University of Illinois
- University of Missouri
- University of Nevada
- University of Wisconsin
- Utah State University
- Utah State University, Discover 4-H Clubs Curriculum
State and National Out-Of-School Time/Afterschool Resources
- South Dakota School Age Care Alliance
- South Dakota Afterschool Partnership
- National Institute on Out-of-School Time
- National Afterschool Association
- Afterschool Alliance