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Alabama 4-H

Essential Elements of Youth Development

Essential Elements of Youth Development Web Banner

4-H designs successful youth development programs and services around specific ingredients: the Essential Elements.
Each of the eight Essential Elements is vital to the positive development of youth. When 4-H professionals and volunteer leaders focus on these elements, youth derive long-term benefits from their 4-H membership.

Key Ingredients for Program Success Curriculum

This peer-reviewed training curriculum helps youth workers and leaders understand each of the eight elements and how to incorporate them in on-going 4-H programs.

The training curriculum consists of 10 modules. Each module can be taught as a stand-alone session of one hour or combined together for a 10-12 hour course.

Using the Curriculum for a Training of Trainers

Essential Elements: Key Ingredients for Program Success is easy to use and comprehensive. Each of the teaching modules can stand-alone, but for "training-of-trainers" instructors will want to know more.

  • Appetizers - the details that make the training of Essential Elements successful and "tasty"
  • Toppings - resources that enhance the "flavor" of each module
  • Extra Toppings - information for the instructor who wants a "deep dish" experience through deeper understanding of issues associated with Essential Elements work

Download the Essential Elements Appendices.

For more information, please contact Dr. Molly Gregg, Extension Specialist

Alabama Cooperative Extension Alabama 4-H Staff The Alabama 4 H Club Foundation


The 4-H Name and Emblem are protected under 18 U.S.C. 707.