4-H & Youth Development

Youth take notes during an outdoor classroom activity at Bryant Pond

4-H logo

University of Maine Cooperative Extension conducts the state’s most successful out-of-school youth educational program through 4-H. 4-H is a positive youth development organization that empowers young people to reach their full potential.

In 2017, 4-H reached 23,440 youth throughout the state of Maine and reached more underserved and underrepresented youth in Maine than ever before. Youth participated in 4-H through clubs, camps, schools, afterschool, and special interest programs. Dedicated and committed UMaine Extension faculty and staff, and more than 1,500 volunteers, provided positive learning experiences for:

  • 9,100 youth through our 4-H Camp and Learning Centers
  • 2,200 youth through our 4-H clubs
  • 4,500 youth through our Eat Well program
  • 7,148 youth through our Special Interest/Short Term programs
  • 9,600 youth through our School Enrichment Programs

Many of the 23,440 youth participated in more than one of our programs.

The 4-H program has three mission mandates (program areas of focus). Our project enrollments for youth in those three areas are:

  • 52,944 projects focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
  • 13,784 projects focused on Healthy Lifestyles
  • 17,140 projects focused on Youth Community Action/Engagement/Leadership

Again, many of the 23,440 youth participated in more than one project.

Our Extension employees and volunteers are committed to

  • creating positive experiential learning experiences for Maine youth;
  • promoting and helping create positive relationships between youth and adults;
  • creating and supporting positive, inclusive, and safe learning environments; and
  • providing youth with opportunities to experience positive risk-taking challenges and growth.

Ways to Get Involved