An overview of 4-H

Intro-duction to our club

Welcome to 4-H! I am Kristine Konrad, one of the club leaders for East Hills, and one of the question we receive throughout the year is “What is 4-H? What exactly do you do?”. Well, this page is to answer those questions, but do feel free to use our contact page to email us; we welcome inquiries.

First, here are some general links to the Alameda County 4-H page and the State of California 4-H page:
About Alameda County 4-H clubs:
About 4-H and its values on the California 4-H page (lots of resources there):

Then below, you will find a letter from our emeritus club leader that she sent to interested families; it is so good that I didn’t see any need to change it. And then below that is a “Year in 4-H” handout that was written to outline what a year looks like for a member in East Hills 4-H.

Letter from our emeritus leader explaining the merits of 4-H

My name is Tanya Daly and I am one of the co-leaders of the East Hills 4-H Club. 4-H is a youth organization for both girls and boys, ages 5-18. Our club is the only homeschool 4-H club in Alameda County. Our monthly club meeting and the majority of our project meetings are held during the day during the week, rather than evenings and weekends.

Our club meetings, in which club business is discussed, are held the 2nd Monday of the month from 1:00-3:00 at Creekside Community Church at 951 MacArthur Blvd in San Leandro (off Hwy 580). Our next meeting will be on September 14th. You are certainly welcome to attend (click on the Calendar link for the lastest meetings).

4-H is a great complement to homeschooling because it provides opportunities for leadership, public speaking, citizenship/community service, learning a variety of subjects, and many other activities.

The 4-H year runs from September to the following August. (There are additional activities during the summer as well.) Dues are $65 per 4-H year per child.

Project meetings, in which the kids learn and do activities on a subject, are generally held once a month on a specific day (like the 3rd Thursday) for an hour or two. Some are held less frequently. They are often held at the home of the project leader (parents volunteer to lead projects) or other facility in San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Alameda, and Castro Valley, such as a park, library, or community center. It is up to the project leaders how often or how long the project meets. Some projects may have a fee; some do not.

The projects we are offering this year are 4-H Makerspace, Amateur Naturalist, Archery, Arts & Crafts for Teens, California’s Gold: Bay Area History, Card Games, Christmas Caroling Community Service, Allergen Free Cooking, Beginning Cooking, In Case of Emergency, Endangered Species, Environmental Stewardship: Sausal Creek Community Service, Filmmaking,

Ancient World History, Modern World History, Illustrated Writing, Jewelry Making, Journalism, Jump Rope Skills, My Little Pony, NaNoWriMo, Narnia, Outdoor Adventures, Performing Arts for Primaries, Rainbow Loom Bracelet, and Sewing with Recycle Materials. There are also countywide projects like Rising Stars, Square Dancing, Camp Academy, and State Exchange.

There are also many other activities, such as Presentation Day (a public speaking competition) and field days (in which members display and demonstrate on a specific topic, such as gardening, small animals, etc.) There are social activities, such as Skate Night at Halloween and movie and game nights. There is also a countywide 4-H sleepover summer camp, county and state fair activities, leadership conferences and much more.

There is an emphasis in 4-H on public speaking, leadership, and community service. Consequently, there are many opportunities for all of them. For example, for the holidays, we have various community service opportunities – a toy drive for Shriners Hospital, Christmas caroling, and a Christmas party for underprivileged kids among others. Some other events have been volunteering at the Alameda County Food Bank and working with the Blue Star Moms.

These are just some of the activities available. As you can see, there is a lot to do, a lot to learn, and a lot of fun to have.

If you would like more information about 4-H, our club, the projects, or the activities, please let me know. You can email me (use our contact page).

Tanya Daly 🙂
East Hills 4-H

What exactly does a 4-H year look like?

Every member’s experience is different – no one can do everything available in 4-H – but there are some fundamental experiences that center the 4-H year.

Sept – October

  • Start attending club meetings to hear what other members are doing in their projects, upcoming events and happenings and have fun.
  • Join East Hills: enroll at 4-H Online, fill out medical forms, sign member agreement and pay dues.
  • Sign up for projects before deadline (this year: Sept. 13th).
  • Start attending project meetings: usually once a month for 7-8 meetings, but they vary.
  • Attend 4-H events: there aren’t too many in Sept.-Oct., but there is Achievement Night (when all the 4-Hers in Alameda County receive awards for the work they did last year).
  • Start keeping records about what you have done for your record book (print out paper copies or keep a digital copy).

Our example 4-Her – Eastie –  ends up taking Makerspace and Poultry.

Eastie attends Achievement Night and receives an award for her record book from last year (and gets credit for attending in her record book).

Eastie goes to the project leader’s house later in September for the first Makerspace meeting, and the San Leandro Main Library for the first Poultry meeting.

Nov – January

  • Keep attending club and project meetings. Volunteer to report on a project meeting at the club meeting (put in record book).
  • Do community service opportunities that come up.
  • Start thinking about what to do for Presentation Day, coming up in February, and maybe a movie for the Film Fest?

Eastie does a Makerspace community service at the San Lorenzo Library, and also participates in Coastal Cleanup Day with other 4-Hers. She reports about her first Makerspace meeting and puts it down under “Communication” in her record book.

Eastie decides to do an Educational Display for her first presentation, a trifold poster about the best breeds for backyard chickens. This relates to her Poultry project. She also decides to make an animated movie utilizing Legos and stop-motion animation. The will relate to her Makerspace project.

Eastie and her Poultry Project decide to have a table for the Small Animal Field Day (others will do Favorite Foods, Fashion Revue and more) with a theme of “Backyard Chickens for City Dwellers”. They work on inventing a game for attendees, informational posters and brochures, and how they will bring and show off their chickens.

Feb – March

  • Keep attending project meetings and club meetings. If you would like to help out more with planning, attend one of the Officer’s meetings to see the officers in action.
  • Keep getting ready for the County Presentation Day – finish your materials (poster, visual aid) and most importantly, practice! And remember, if you do well at the County Presentation Day, you can compete at the Sectional Presentation Day and State Field Day as well.
  • Participate in events and any community service events that arise.
  • Help to raise money for 4-H by selling Ducks for Bucks.

Eastie finishes up her trifold about the best breeds for backyards, and spends some time practicing her introduction and closing remarks. She also signs up to be a room runner at the County Presentation Day (run scores to the tally room). She gets a gold and decides to compete at Sectional Presentation Day (she also signs up as a room runner again).

Eastie goes to the January Officer’s meeting and becomes involved with helping out with the Film Fest. She will make a sign and help sign in the contestants at the actual even. This will all go into her record book (communication and leadership, for serving on a committee).

Eastie signs up for a shift selling Ducks (a Fremont based raffle organized by the Kiwanis) at the Starbucks in San Leandro. She raises 110$, part of which she can use to pay 4-H summer camp fees at Los Posadas.

April – July

  • Continue attending club and project meetings, they are at the heart of 4-H.
  • Attend State Field Day (compete with a presentation if you won gold at Sectional) and see hundreds of 4-Hers from all around California and what they have been doing in their 4-H year.
  • Start thinking about the Alameda County Fair coming up in June (entries due in late May). 4-H members usually enter items made in projects, for events or the film fests and enter them into the fair.
  • Finish up record books! Record books get judged at the club level in August, and can then go to the county for further competition.
  • Run for an office to help run East Hills 4-H – there are many positions to choose from.
  • Start thinking about what projects you and your parent can lead for next year.

Eastie  attends the Film Fest and sees everyone enjoying her movie. She doesn’t win an award, but is motivated to do a better movie next time.

Eastie is going to enter her Educational Display about backyard chickens in the fair – it takes some time figuring out the Fair categories, but luckily, there are plenty of people to ask for help.

Eastie is very interested in marine animals, so asks her mom (who is a certified adult volunteer) if they can do a project about marine animals, maybe with a focus on mammals. They figure out what they can learn, possible field trips, and any community service that could be done about marine mammals.