4-H is the comprehensive youth development program of Virginia Cooperative Extension. Youth between the ages of 5 and 18 engage in hands-on learning experiences under the guidance of adult or teen 4-H volunteers trained by 4-H agents. 4-H programs use experiential learning opportunities to teach the latest research-based subject matter knowledge and to foster skill development in effective citizenship, leadership, and other life skills. The 10 areas of 4-H curriculum focus are: Animal Sciences; Communications and Expressive Arts; Environmental Education and Natural Resources; Jobs, Careers and Economics; Plant and Soil Sciences; Citizenship; Family and Consumer Sciences; Health, Nutrition and Wellness; Leadership and Personal Development; and Science and Technology.

Family and Consumer Sciences programs provide informal education that increases knowledge, influences attitudes, teaches skills, and inspires aspirations. Through the adoption and application of these practices, the quality of individual, family, and community life is improved. Family and Consumer Sciences brings specialist, agent, and volunteer expertise together to address the needs and priority issues facing Virginia's families.

Engaging with Communities

Virginia Cooperative Extension specialists in community viability work with Extension agents, campus-based faculty, organizational partners, communities, and individuals to further opportunity and build capacity in five program areas:   

Examples of our work include training county elected officials, educating entrepreneurs, facilitating collaborative projects, supporting the growth of community food systems and local economies, enhancing agent skills and community capacity in facilitation and leadership, conducting problem-driven research, and creating publications and tools that address critical community needs.

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Community Viability Specialists