2023 4-H Awards and Recognition Celebration

Youth receive awards during the annual 4-H Awards and Recognition Celebration

4-H Awards and Recognition

The National 4-H Recognition Model

Recognition is an acknowledgment and affirmation of the personal growth in an individual. It can be public or private. It can be within the individual or provided by others.

Recognition in 4-H is the encouragement and support for learning. It comes as a result of participation in educational experiences.

4-H uses recognition as one strategy to help youth become more capable and competent. It does this through recognizing and appreciating each person's effort and providing positive reinforcement to continue participating in learning activities. 4-H'ers experiences must be structured so as to incorporate opportunities to build positive esteem and self-reliance.

Our goal is self-directed learners.

Beliefs about Recognition

The Recognition Model is a dynamic model for planning, implementing, and developing 4-H programs. Several beliefs underlie the principles of the model:

  • Recognition is a basic human need with security, new experiences and responses.
  • Recognition should be a part of all 4-H learning experiences.
  • Appropriate recognition takes many forms.
  • Respect for individual differences is essential.
  • Recognition must be structured to build positive self-esteem.
  • Opportunities for self-assessment and reflection allow youth to learn.
  • A range of opportunities and challenges provide choices to meet individual needs.
  • Adult support is essential in youth learning and recognition.
  • Everyone should be recognized at some level.
  • A balance between all elements of the model is essential

  • Five Types of Recognition

    The National 4-H Recognition Model includes five types of recognition. It is important for adults who work with 4-H'ers to provide appropriate recognition to all participants.

    • Participation: This type of recognition program emphasizes the importance of acknowledging young people who have been involved in 4-H educational experiences as a first step in building a positive self-concept.
    • Progress toward Self-Set Goals: Parents and other adults can help youth set realistic goals. Recognition for progress toward self-set goals, no matter how small, is an integral part of this type of recognition.
    • Achievement of Standards of Excellence: Standards of excellence are established by experts in a given area. By measuring personal progress against standards of excellence, youth can gain insight into their own efforts and abilities.
    • Peer Competition: This type of recognition subjectively identifies, in a concrete time and place, the best team or individual. It is a strong motivator for some youth but is inappropriate for youth under age eight.
    • Cooperation: Learning and working together promotes high achievement. Cooperation may take advantage of all the skills represented in the group, as well as the process by which the group approaches the learning task/goal. Everyone is rewarded.

    Awards and Recognition Guides / Recordkeeping

    Last updated October 25, 2023