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4-H Citizenship Project

large group of 4-H youth posing for a photo with U.S. government officials inside a governmental chamber

When you see the American flag flying or say the Pledge of Allegiance at your club meeting, do you ever wonder what it means to be an American citizen? Within the citizenship project area, learn about the rights and responsibilities to a family, community, state, country, and the world. Explore how democracy works and how to participate in the democratic process to bring change. Even within the 4-H creed, youth believe there are opportunities through 4-H for them to become useful citizens.

Ages and Stages of Youth Development


Beginners can get to know other club members and their hobbies. Develop a family tree identifying places relatives lived and traditions. Discover the history of your school or community. Take a tour of your city hall or county courthouse.


Observe a community board meeting. After your observation, collect samples of by-laws and constitutions to compare them. Know the names of your local and state representatives and the committees they serve on.


Interview a local/county official and learn the goals for your community. Share resources for youth and families in the community. Identify an important cause and determine how to make a difference. Apply for Citizenship Washington Focus.

4-H Programming Priorities


Develop relations with local, state, and national officials. Youth take leadership roles in their 4-H club and apply that experience to other areas.

Health & Wellness

Youth can plan service projects for their community that promote health and wellness such as a food drive or an athletic activity, such as a 5K run.


Connect with your natural world and gain scientific skills by gathering information about your community. NASA models citizenship and science.


Youth can take responsibility to lead a local petting zoo. Through this, they can better inform community members about livestock and agriculture practices.

Get Involved

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Youth Voice

  • Illustrated talk about parliamentary procedure
  • Attend a government meeting
  • Study and speak about South Dakota government-related attractions
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Community Service

  • Explore the history of your community
  • Host a civic official day for police officers, firefighters, or county officials
  • Educational seminars
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Career Connections

  • House of representatives or senator
  • Peace Corps or AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Law enforcement
  • Lawyer
  • Computer analyst

Exhibit Ideas

  • Collect news articles about an issue to be an informant
  • Create a poster encouraging people to vote
  • Explore and document career possibilities related to government
  • Illustrate a poster using words and pictures about South Dakota