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Expressive Arts Fact Sheet

Expressive Arts 4-H - A Place to Put your Imagination in Action!

What is the Expressive Arts 4-H program?

The Expressive Arts 4-H Program provides visual, performing and media arts to youth grades K-13 through the 4-H Youth Development Program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Programs are offered in every county in New Jersey in urban, suburban and rural communities. The program was established in December of 2009. Through participation in Expressive Arts 4-H, youth develop valuable life skills including communication, socialization, self esteem, decision making, leadership, goal setting, and responsible citizenship.

What are examples of visual, performing and media arts?

Visual arts, include for example, painting, drawing, photography; performing arts: dance, music, drama, clowning; media arts: creative writing, and filmmaking.

How are these programs offered?

These programs are offered through a variety of 4-H delivery modes including the following:

  • 4-H clubs conducted by trained 4-H volunteers
  • After school programs of short or long duration
  • Day or overnight camps
  • Special interest programs in schools and community-based settings
  • School enrichment programs in which arts content is infused into the curriculum
  • Independent projects in which mentors youth through 4-H arts experiences

How are these programs designed?

Each Expressive Arts 4-H Program is tailored to individual requests. Dialogue occurs between the Expressive Arts 4-H Agent and requesting program leader/teacher. Some programs involve a fee, others do not. The Expressive Arts 4-H program is individually planned to meet the unique needs of each participating group. Goals and objectives are developed and evaluation conducted.

Are there other services offered through the Expressive Arts 4-H Program?

Yes, other services include staff in-service training, youth employment in the arts, grants programs, and volunteer training. Expressive arts internships/field work opportunities can be pursued for possible academic credit and stipends.

What types of volunteer opportunities are available through the Expressive Arts 4-H program?

Examples of volunteer opportunities include:

  • Teaching an arts workshop
  • Organizing a special event
  • Assisting with volunteer recruitment
  • Working on promotional material and educational presentations
  • Developing website
  • Researching an area of the arts
  • Evaluating programs
  • Fundraising
  • Writing curriculum

What is the time commitment for volunteering?

Each volunteer chooses the time commitment that his or her interest and availability allow. This can be a regular volunteer schedule (e.g. weekly, monthly), or an "as available" schedule for a short or long duration. You would volunteer in a location convenient to you.

How would I become an Expressive Arts 4-H volunteer?

You would apply to the Expressive Arts 4-H Agent, Ellen Williams, to discuss your interests and availability. Upon completing the volunteer application and obtaining three references, you will schedule a two-hour Expressive Arts 4-H Orientation at a time and location convenient to you. Following this orientation, you will begin your individually designed Expressive Arts 4-H volunteer placement.

If I wish to teach in an area of visual, performing or media arts, what is required?

No prior experience in the arts, either as an artist or teacher, is required. The critical requirement is your desire to work with children to help build their life skills through the arts. If you are a visual, performing or media artist, your ideas are most welcome. All volunteers, regardless of arts experience, will be oriented to the use of the National 4HCCS curriculum in the arts, which serve as a resource for all Expressive Arts 4-H volunteers/staff.

How would I register my child for an Expressive Arts 4-H Program?

Contact Ellen Williams, Expressive Arts 4-H Agent, to learn about the Expressive Arts 4-H programs available in your community.

What is 4-H?

4-H is a youth development program which uses a "learn by doing approach" to enable youth to develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to becoming competent, caring, and contributing citizens of the world. The four "H's" on the 4-H emblem, the green four-leaf clover, represent Head, Heart, Hands and Health. The 4-H pledge is "I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world". The 4-H motto is "To Make the Best Better", exemplifying 4-H's commitment to setting high standards for personal development.

Where does 4-H receive its support?

4-H is funded through a cooperative partnership of three government levels: federal (United States Department of Agriculture, state (New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey), and county (through county Boards of Chosen Freeholders). Support also comes through private sources and grants. 4-H programs are conducted in over 3,000 counties in the US, and also in the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. 4-H is affiliated with the land-grant university in each location.