Information for Educators

4-H is the youth program from Iowa State University Extension.  We offer curriculum, youth development expertise, and a strong academic connection in our non-formal educational programs and offerings. Curriculum materials are designed to enrich and build on national school standards and benchmark and the Iowa Core Curriculum for science, literacy, math, social studies, and 21st Century skills.

Benefits of Including 4-H as a Community Partner

  • 4-H’s mission supports the Iowa Department of Education's Learning Supports and Iowa Core Curriculum Initiatives with a common objective to foster skills and competencies in youth that will help them be successful, healthy, contributing, and resilient adults.
  • Multiple developmentally appropriate research-based 4-H curricula support youths’ literacy, science, math, and 21st century skills.
  • 4-H staff and volunteers can assist schools in asset mapping activities and making connections with a wide variety of community partners and networks.
  • Positive youth development (principles and practices) and youth advisory board development training made available to school staff and support staff.
  • 4-H staff can facilitate community, youth, and/or family asset and need assessments
  • Development of out-of-school/afterschool programs for youth, including the development of 4-H Afterschool Clubs
  • Serve and Learn opportunities within the community

Benefits of Using 4-H Curriculum

  • Curriculum and lessons designed by Land Grant University experts  ( youth curriculum and content expertise) 
  • Lessons use the Experiential Learning Model: Do, Reflect, Apply.
  • Every lesson includes hands-on activities arranged in a social constructivist framework  (Experiential Learning Cycle, Every Learner Inquires Five E Learning Cycle (Iowa Science Education Program) or the Inquiry Model )
  • Materials are research based, unbiased, and evaluated for effectiveness.
  • Materials are age-appropriate and develop lifeskills.
  • Many of our curricula have been correlated with ITBS test questions.
  • Curriculum will not only improve achievement, but also help youth develop character-building skills.

Expectations of Schools

Recognition of 4-H and Iowa State University Extension is important, as well as is helping us record the number of youth receiving instruction on any Iowa 4-H or Iowa State University Extension curricular materials. Forms are available on-line or from your county Extension office.   We do require at least 6 hours of curriculum/program use.

Your local ISU Extension office may provide you with curricula, kits, training, and/or instruction. Counties may provide different services, but all provide an opportunity to purchase state 4-H sponsored curricula, and can assist your school in setting up a training on a variety of programs.

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