What is 4-H?
4-H is a non-profit, volunteer-managed youth development club. 4-H gives young people opportunities to learn skills and build knowledge in a hands-on context, as well as affecting positive change in their community.
4-H has its roots in agricultural America and has been functioning since 1902. In Los Angeles County, it operates under the auspices of the UC Cooperative Extension. Altadena Foothills 4-H Club chartered in the spring of 2016 and completed our first year of operation in June of 2017.
Who can join? Do I have to live in Altadena to be part of your club?
4-H is open to all children aged 5-19, regardless of address.
How much does it cost?
For 2018-19, registering in 4-H costs $54, which covers membership and goes directly to the County. Additional fees, called “club dues” are determined by our club, and reflect our best estimation of materials expenses as well as a small amount toward the operation of our club. No profits are expected from enrollment fees.
The $54 registration fee covers the member for that year, and each project has an additional fee. The registration fee is paid only once per member, per year, regardless of the number of projects a member is enrolled in.
If you would like to join 4-H, financial support might be an option for you. Most families who qualify for free school lunches can also have their enrollment fees waived. Contact the Club Leader or LA County 4-H for more information.
When do you meet?
Club meetings happen on the second Saturday of each month, except for July and August. They are held in the Community Room of the Altadena Library from 10:30–noon. These are required for all members who wish to remain in good standing.
Project meeting times and frequency vary based on the design of individual project leaders. They happen at a consistent time and place: for example, every Tuesday after school, or on the third Sunday morning of the month. Generally, once the meeting time and place is set, you can mark it on your calendar and leave it as a standing time. Leaders are not responsible for reminding families of meeting times. On occasion, a project leader may need to change a meeting, in which case she or he will let you know.
What is a club meeting?
Club meetings are the CLUB part of 4-H! Members from the different project areas get together once a month and share what they did in their previous project meetings. The also learn how to conduct business, as led by Club Officers (kid leaders). Examples of business are planning community service or club events. There is always a program that follows, which might be a guest speaker, craft or some sort of hands-on activity. Of course, there is a fun part too, involving snacks and games!
Attendance at club meetings is required of members from all project areas, except for Cloverbuds (members 8 and under), who are welcome but not required to attend.
Who are the 4-H adults?
The adults who lead 4-H members are volunteers from Altadena and surrounding communities. Some are parents of 4-Hers, and some are simply passionate about a specific topic or skill. They all love kids and want to make our community a better place. Every leader has been given an official 4-H orientation and has gone through a background check.
What classes do you offer?
In 4-H we call classes “projects” because members are encouraged to take the lead and determine what they want to learn about. In beginner levels the projects are leader-directed, however as members become older, more experienced and more independent, they should start to determine what to focus on, and the project leader becomes their guide.
Because project leaders are volunteers, the projects we offer depend entirely on what people step forward to do. Altadena Foothills 4-H aims to reflect the agricultural traditions and can-do culture of Altadena, and therefore makes efforts to offer “do-it-yourself” topics like woodworking, gardening, sewing, as well as livestock topics like chickens, dairy goats and horses. We also welcome other topic ideas and are always looking for project ideas, and volunteers to lead them!
Do I need to have my own horse (goat, rabbit, chicken...) in order to join?
The 4-H of LA County is an urban 4-H. We realize that few people are lucky enough to have their own animals! Project leaders arrange to provide meaningful, hands-on experiences with animals and the opportunity to learn about them and how to behave around them, and provide quality care. Altadena Foothills 4-H does not own any animals; animals belong to individuals or stables who generously share them with our members.
If members choose to progress beyond the first year of an animal project (horse, goat, etc.) they may choose to acquire their own animal to enhance their learning experience.
Some showmanship projects may require members to provide their own animal.
How can I support Altadena Foothills 4-H?
We always need vetted leaders! If you are interested and want to share your skills or knowledge with kids, contact the Club Leader to find out how you can get trained. If you are a business, we would be happy to have donations of food or drinks, or other gifts-in-kind. Contact the Club Leader with questions.
How can I sign up?
for 4-H is easily done online. Unfortunately, the online system does not allow
our club to indicate when a project is at capacity, which means the state's online system
might allow you to sign up even though there is actually no room in a
particular project. You can enroll your child, however participation is not
guaranteed until you have received confirmation from our Club Leader. It is a
wise idea to send a quick email to the Club Leader either before or after
enrolling to check if there is room!