Competent, caring adult volunteers are an Essential Element of the Iowa 4-H program. Volunteers contribute their time and talents to 4-H and in return 4-H has the responsibility to provide them with the positive youth development knowledge and skills they need to effectively work with youth.
“My intimidation of working with youth was eliminated. I realized I had knowledge to give about things I never considered before.”
~ 4-H volunteer
The link for new volunteer training is in the red box at the bottom right.
Annual Training for Volunteers
Volunteers who are club, project, or Clover Kid lead or assistant lead volunteers are required to attend an annual training that strengthens their positive youth development knowledge and skills. Training occurs in each county and is designated as the annual training module.
Volunteers: watch your county website or county newsletter for information about upcoming training for 2014-2015.
2014 - 2015 Annual Training: The Heart of Belonging!
The Heart of Belonging! is an interactive, hands on training that will help volunteers create a fun, safe, inclusive environment for all youth. “Belonging” is identified as a basic 4-H youth need and supportive, caring adults guide youth in creating an environment that is welcoming and engaging for all.
During this training, 4-H leaders will learn how to guide youth in developing a list of club or group expectations that welcomes and accommodates all youth, will learn how to support youth with special needs, and discover resources to help them in their role as caring adults. In addition, volunteers will learn new activities to take back their clubs and groups to foster positive behavior and belonging.
Watch the space below for resources to view before the training and use after the training.
Learn about Tim's Place! A restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that specializes in Breaksfast, Lunch, and Hugs! Tim's Place is the only restaurant in the US owned and operated by a man with Down's Syndrome.
Dr. Temple Grandin, professor at Colorado State University and 4-H alum, credits 4-H with helping her gain skills to succeed in social and work settings. Dr. Grandin is autistic and has "used her insights – and her ability to “think in pictures” – to design humane livestock-handling systems that have revolutionized animal agriculture around the world." Dr. Grandin is a National 4-H Council Legacy Award winner. Read more about Dr. Grandin.
- The Law
- Making Adaptations
- Learning Disabilities
- Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- Children and Youth with Autism
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Instructions for Online Training Course Access
Online Training Course Access
4-H Essential Elements - An Inclusive Environment activities
Inclusion Activity Plans for Meetings - Wisconsin 4-H
4-H Pledge in American Sign Language (open with Adobe Reader to remove overlay)
4-H Pledge in Spanish, Japanese, German, French, Hmong, and Norwegian
Inclusive 4-H - University of Wyoming Extension
4-H Around the World - National 4-H Council
Arthur Explains Asperger's - PBS Children's Cartoon "Arthur" Video Clip
Request for Services/Special Accomodation Form
Training for New Volunteers
County based volunteer orientation and training is crucial to volunteers being successful in their “home” counties. Each county has some unique aspects of the 4-H program that volunteers need to learn about. County Extension staff, Youth Committee members, experienced volunteers, and the regional youth program specialist form the county team who are the essential frontline trainers and mentors for new volunteers. This county based team builds the relationships and support systems which will make volunteers successful.
Regional new volunteer training is designed for new 4-H volunteers committing to a long term experience working with 4-H youth as club, project, Clover Kids – both leaders and assistants. Volunteers committing to these roles are required to attend a regional new volunteer training within the first 12 months of being screened and approved as a 4-H volunteer.
The 6 hour training is designed to give new volunteers a better working knowledge of positive youth development, the Iowa 4-H Equation, and tools that will help them be more confident and capable in their roles working with youth. The training includes breakout sessions for Clover Kid volunteers and club/project volunteers. Volunteers who attend receive a notebook of positive youth development resources and information. AmeriCorps members are welcome to attend!
Training dates and locations for New Volunteer Training for 2014-2015 Club Year are posted below as each Region identifies dates and locations. Link to registration form HERE. Starting times for all training vary.
Sept 23 Region 5 Sioux City, Midtown Family Comm Ctr, PART 1, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Oct 18 Region 13 Altoona, Polk Co. Ext. office 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Oct 18 Region 15 Washington, Washington Co. Ext. office 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Oct 21 Region 14 Cancelled - reschedule TBT
Nov 3 Region 5 Sioux City, Woodbury Co. Ext. office, PART 2, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Nov 15 Region 3 Mason City, Cerro Gordo Ext. office 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Nov 15 Region 7 Fort Dodge, Webster Co. Ext. office 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Dec 6 Region 16 Muscatine, Muscatine Co. Ext. office, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Jan 10 Region 6 Sac City, Sac County Ext. office, 8:30 am - 2:30 pm
Jan 17 Region 10 Monticello, Jones Co. Ext. office 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Jan 20 Region 13 Altoona, Polk Co. Ext. office, PART 1, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jan 24 Region 12 Carroll, Carroll Co. Ext. office 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Jan 24 Region 13 Winterset, Madison Co. Ext. office 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Jan 27 Region 13 Altoona, Polk Co. Ext. office, PART 2, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Feb 7 Region 8 Nevada, Story Co. Ext. office 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Feb 7 Region 11 Dubuque, Dubuque Co. Ext. office 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Feb 24 Region 19E Bloomfield, Davis Co. Ext. office, PART 1, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Feb 21 Region 4 First United Methodist, 207 W Clark St, Fayette IA, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Feb 28 Reg 17 & 18 Atlantic, Cass Co. Community Center 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Feb 28 Reg 18E/19W Osceola, Clarke Co. Events Center 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
March 5 Region 19E Bloomfield, Davis Co. Ext. office, PART 2, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
March 7 Region 20 Burlington, Southeastern Comm. College 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
April 11 Region1 Sheldon, NWICC, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
April 11 Region 2 CANCELLED Palo Alto County Extension Office, Emmetsburg
Risk Management Training
Helping maintain a safe environment for members, families, volunteers, and staff is a priority for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Volunteers are required to participate in Risk Management Training. The training is offered either through a face to face training in each county or online. Go to Risk Management Training to access the training webpage for additional information.
County Training for New Volunteers
Positive Youth Development
4-H Service Learning
County Youth Committees
How to Start a 4-H Club
Troubleshooting 4-H Clubs
4-H Club Pre-Meeting Activities (pdf)
4-H Club Meeting Outline (.doc)