Georgia 4-H has long been a cornerstone in 5th-grade classrooms across the state. Many Georgians grew up attending Rock Eagle 4-H Center for 4-H camp the summer after their 5th-grade year and have fond memories of those long summer days and the independence taught over a week at camp. Though it sounds like a nostalgic experience of the past, Georgia 4-H lives and breathes right here at Atlanta History Center.
After realizing that Fulton County lacked a 4-H club in the county’s northern area in 2015, Atlanta History Center founded the Atlanta History Center 4-H Community Club. The organization is a unique partnership with UGA Extension, part of the University of Georgia, and in 2016, UGA Extension Service opened a Fulton County office on our campus. The partnership between 4-H and Atlanta History Center has found success through our shared commitment to extend our mission beyond our campus, strengthen connections with the community, and provide educational, fun, and impactful experiences.
Video courtesy of UGA Extension
What is 4-H?
Georgia 4-H is the youth component of UGA Extension, and it provides kids with opportunities to complete hands-on projects in health, science, agriculture, and citizenship with the guidance of adult mentors. The organization is directed by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and is provided as a public service by the office of Cooperative Extension.
The mission of Georgia 4-H is to help youth acquire knowledge, develop life skills, and form attitudes that enable them to become self-directing, productive, and contributing members of their communities. UGA Extension’s 4-H program is designed to further that mission; and Atlanta History Center provides the educational setting—utilizing our extensive gardens, exhibitions, programs, and collections to demonstrate the connection between the region’s history, culture, and people.
While Georgia 4-H began as a corn and canning club, it has evolved as the premier youth development organization in the state and incorporates a modern focus on STE(A)M, Leadership, Civics, Sustainability, and Healthy Living. Students can learn how to choose the best eggs at the grocery store while at our hen house on the Smith Farm at AHC. They can learn about our state’s rich native history while preparing for a week away at summer camp at Rock Eagle. Students can also learn to identify trees while taking an afternoon stroll through our beautiful woods and gardens. Georgia 4-H provides hands-on learning experiences for young students that, coupled with the Atlanta History Center’s beautiful facilities, will solidify and reinforce the lessons learned inside their regular school classrooms.
At the local club level, 4-H experiences are as wide-ranging and diverse as the interests of the children involved—3D printing, public speaking, and leadership development are just a few.
What makes the partnership between 4-H and Atlanta History Center successful is our shared commitment to extend our mission beyond our campus, strengthen connections with the community, and provide educational, fun, and impactful experiences.
Fulton County 4-H is housed here at Atlanta History Center under the direction of Sarah Roberts, Vice President of Living Collections and Goizueta Gardens, and Courtney Mixon, Fulton County 4-H & Youth Development Agent. Fulton County 4-H is a free youth development program open to all students who live or attend school in Fulton County. Programs are offered for grades K-12, with many camps, conferences, and events beginning in the 5th grade.
Atlanta History Center hosts 4-H Day each summer, where local club members and students from across the state are free to explore our museum and 33 acres of Goizueta Gardens and participate in curated activities across our campus. This experience is an opportunity to go beyond the textbook and bridge the urban and rural divide, as Buckhead is not the typical location for a 4-H club. Bringing an organization that has a large agricultural component into the city will always turn heads—Is that a cow in front of Swan House? — while encouraging dialogue across communities.
For all inquiries about the program and its events and offerings, Courtney can be reached at email@example.com. Learn more about Fulton County 4-H here. You can also connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.