University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program

4-H Achievement Program

Through 4-H, you have many opportunities to try different kinds of projects and activities. The 4-H Achievement Program will motivate you to explore the different activities available through 4-H so you can find the activities that spark your inner passions, interests and talents. As you progress through 4-H, the Achievement Program supports your growth in skills and abilities.

Both the Achievement Program and the Record Book are optional programs that help you document your growth in 4-H. They are separate programs that we encourage you to participate in because they support your growth in different ways.

  • The Achievement Program gives you incentives to find and use your Spark to make a positive difference in the world.
  • The Record Book helps you to learn and practice record keeping and goal setting. Learn more about the Record Books.

Transition to a New Achievement Program

After six years of development and three years of piloting, the State Incentives and Recognition Advisory Committee is pleased to share a new Achievement Program. This new program provides a guiding framework for you to discover what inspires you, to learn about your communities, and to become empowered to make a difference.

The new Achievement Program focuses less on tallying activities to meet required totals and more on the quality of those experiences and the meaning behind them.

Starting in 2022-2023, the Star Ranking system is transitioning to the new Achievement Program. In the first year, we are launching the Spark Achievements level. The levels for Intermediate and Senior Members are in pilot phase across the state, with a launch planned for the fall of 2023-24.

Achievement Program Features

  • Age-appropriate requirements: Younger members have simpler requirements. Older members progress through increasing challenges for planning, implementation and showcasing of their work.

  • Older members have more ownership in their achievement plan. Members decide what they want to learn, how they want to learn it, and how they want to share what they learned.

  • Emphasis on working as part of a team to complete achievement requirements.

  • Activities can be completed through multiple 4-H program delivery modes: club, camp, afterschool, military, and in-school programs.

 

Recorded webinar introducing the Spark Achievements level (55:26)

Ask questions. Get updates. Share ideas.

Join one of the following groups to stay informed of new developments to the new Achievement Program. Updates from the State Office will be duplicated on both platforms.

  1. Facebook Group (private): California 4-H Achievement Program Support
  2. Shout app. Available on Android or Apple phones. You must download the app and create an account to join the group.

Achievement Levels By Age

The new Achievement Program splits up levels by 4-H age. Activities and goals are designed to be age appropriate and progressive.

Primary members (ages 5-8): iSprout

Primary Members (ages 5-8) start with iSprout. The iSprout activities focus on the following four topics: Knowing Me, Knowing My Family, Knowing 4-H and Knowing My Community.

Program Materials for iSprout
Report for Primary Members (DOC) (aka Record Book for Primary Members)

 

Junior & New members (ages 9-10): Spark Achievements

The Spark Achievements level is designed for Junior 4-H’ers and new 4-H’ers. This level will help you build a foundation to progress to the more challenging levels.

Switching to Spark Achievements

Junior members who have earned Star Ranks in 2021-22 or 2022-23 will keep their ranks and should convert their efforts to the Spark Achievement Report.

Spark Achievements Resources

Spark Achievements Manual

Form: Spark Achievements Report

Example Spark Achievements Report

 

Intermediate members (ages 11-13): Emerald Star I and Emerald Star II Achievements

The Emerald Star I and Emerald Star II Achievements levels are in pilot phase across the state, with a launch planned for the fall of 2023-24.

During this transition year (2022-2023), older 4-H’ers who want to switch to the new Achievement Program will also start out at this level. Starting in 2023-2024, the Spark Achievements level will be limited to Junior and New 4-H’ers.

Intermediate and Senior members who have started Star Ranks have three options:

  1. Continue working on the Star Rank program and related Record Book requirements.
  2. Finish the current rank you are working toward. Plan to convert to the new program in 2023-24. Specially designed recognition pins will be awarded for members who complete both systems of achievement. 
  3. After achieving Platinum Rank, start the new achievement program at any time, after the release of the Emerald Star I and Emerald Star II levels. Specially designed recognition pins will be awarded for members who complete both systems of achievement. 

 

Senior members (ages 14-18): Impact Star Achievements

The Impact Star Achievements level for Senior Members are in pilot phase across the state, with a launch planned for the fall of 2023-24.

Senior members who have started Star Ranks have three options:

  1. Continue working on the Star Rank program and related Record Book requirements.
  2. Finish the current rank you are working toward. Plan to convert to the new program in 2023-24. Specially designed recognition pins will be awarded for members who complete both systems of achievement.
  3. After achieving Platinum Rank, start the new achievement program at any time, after the release of the Impact Star Achievements level. Specially designed recognition pins will be awarded for members who complete both systems of achievement.

Star Ranking System

The Star Ranking system is based on the Personal Development Record (PDR) of the Record Book. It was developed as a goal setting tool, aimed at encouraging broad-based participation. The Star Ranking System tallies participation in eight categories:

  1. 4-H Projects Completed
  2. 4-H Project Skill Activities
  3. 4-H Events Attended
  4. Leadership Development
  5. Citizenship & Community Service
  6. Communication Skills
  7. Honors and Recognition
  8. Lifestyle Activities

You earn stars by completing the required number of activities for each level:

  1. Bronze Star: Complete at least 5 of the 8 PDR categories.
  2. Silver Star: Complete at least 6 of the 8 PDR categories.
  3. Gold Star: Complete at least 7 of the 8 PDR categories.
  4. Emerald Star (not in all counties): The Emerald Star program is sponsored by the county 4-H office and/or the county 4-H leaders' council. The Emerald Star program is designed for Intermediate and Senior 4-H members.
  5. Platinum Star: Complete at least 7 of the 8 PDR categories.

For more details and to continue participating in the Star Ranking System, please use the PDR report form (Google doc). Please see the Record Book webpage for other formats of the form.

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