4-H public speaking program allows local youth to share their sparks

Orono, Maine — Recently four youth from the Cobscook Currents 4-H club in Washington County participated in the state Public Speaking Tournament at the University of Maine in Orono after qualifying at the county level. Through the public speaking program youth work with 4-H volunteers, club leaders, parents and peers to develop a demonstrative or illustrated talk featuring a topic they feel passionately about.

At the state tournament, Soren D., Théo M., Ira D. and Ruth B competed in the junior division for 9-13 year olds, with Soren and Théo earning blue ribbons and Ira and Ruth earning red ribbons for their presentations on pigs, fishing lures, dairy cows and the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons.

The longtime 4-H program aims to help youth conquer the common fear of public speaking by focusing on a topic that they love and providing opportunities to practice the presentation with fellow club members. Participants learn to evaluate basic skills, give and receive constructive feedback, and build confidence to express themselves in various life situations.

To learn more about 4-H, please visit the Washington County 4-H website or contact Gabrielle Brodek, 4-H Youth Development Professional at 207.255.3345 or gabrielle.brodek@maine.edu.

 University of Maine Cooperative Extension

As a trusted resource for over 100 years, Extension has supported UMaine’s land and sea grant public education role by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county. UMaine Extension seeks to build thriving communities and grow the food-based economy, focusing on aspects from production and processing to nutrition, food safety and food security. Extension also conducts the most successful out-of-school youth educational program in Maine through 4-H which offers hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and civic engagement and creates a positive environment where participants are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles.