Thriving Across the Life Span

Thriving Across the Life Span

From infancy to later life, OSU Extension is committed to helping individuals flourish within families and the various social structures in which they live. Perhaps most notably, Ohio 4-H uses a youth development approach to help young people develop characteristics that build a foundation for a positive adulthood. The OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development program offers educational opportunities in a variety of settings for youth ages 5-19. Each young person “learns by doing” through hands-on, experiential projects. Whether it’s 4-H Agri-science in the City, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) project, Youth Outdoors, or other program, youth learn leadership, citizenship, and other life skills.

Relevant Locally

  • 4-H CARTEENS is a traffic safety program conducted by 4-H teen leaders and their program partners for juvenile traffic offenders. In Butler County, 660 teens were mandated to attend a 4-H CARTEENS program accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • In Montgomery County, 200 youth participated in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) hands-on activities at three sites during the summer.
  • During the eight-week Junior Master Gardener program, youth participate in lessons about vegetable garden planning, planting and care, pest control, soil health, and invasive species.
  • The 4-H Tech Wizards mentoring program was established in Lorain County. Students were involved in a variety of technology and STEM activities, as well as being able to interact with a caring mentor who often listen to the challenges the youth face.
  • In Mahoning County, 70 active and intern Master Gardener volunteers wrote nearly 100 articles for the Valley Grows page in the Youngstown Vindicator, sharing their skills and knowledge with the public and improving the public’s understanding of horticulture and nature.

Responsive Statewide

  • In Ohio’s most populated counties, OSU Extension worked with more than 2,100 volunteers to serve more than 45,000 youth through 4-H clubs, camps, school enrichment, and other innovative program that are reaching diverse audiences through community partnerships.

Recognized Nationally

  • The 4-H Youth program is a widely recognized nationwide program offered by Extension. It is a non-formal educational, youth development program offered to children as young as age 5 and in kindergarten to older teens, up to age 19. Each member is involved in hands-on, experiential projects that permit "learning by doing." All 4-H programs focus on active involvement and quality experiences that stimulate lifelong learning of leadership, citizenship, and life skills.
  • One of Lucas County’s fastest growing 4-H programs is archery and firearms. Lucas County 4-H Shooting Sports had four youth attend the National Competition in Nebraska where they competed against more than 1,000 youth from 40 states.
  • The 2016 NEAFCS Early Childhood Child Care Training 1st Place National Winner was Melinda Hill’s team.
  • The 2016 NEAFCS Communications Award: Educational Publication Central Region Winners were 2nd Place – Patricia Holmes’ team and 3rd Place – Katie LaPlant’s team.
  • In 2016, the NEAFCS Communications Award: Educational Curriculum Package 1st Place National Winner went to Carmen Irving’s team.