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PYD Information Briefs
4-H Grows... Thriving Youth
The Oregon 4-H Program Model describes how 4-H impacts the healthy development of youth. The program model is based on current research in the field of positive youth develoment that outlines best practices for working with youth. The information sheets on this page summarize this research in a short and easy-to-read format.
The 4-H mottos "to Make the Best Better" reflects the positive youth development approach of 4-H. Positive youth development emphasizes building on the strengths that you already have, rather than on the prevention of potential youth problems.
Thriving youth are youth who are doing well- they tend to think, feel, and act in ways that puts them on a positive track of development.
At the heart of the 4-H program are volunteers who spend countless hours helping members grow and excel, often developing a close connection with their 4-H youth. Recent research conducted by Search Institute has revealed specific ways that adults, like 4-H volunteers, support the positive youth development of youth.
What happens in 4-H programs, how they are planned and led, makes a huge difference in the impact of the program on youth. In order to have the biggest impact, programs need to adhere to eight critical aspects of youth program quality.