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Register now for 4-H presentation and talent competitions

By Laura Allen
N.C. Cooperative Extension

Do you have a child ages 5-18 (as of Jan. 1) that you would like to get engaged in extracurricular activities? Do you feel that public speaking skills are important for your child to have? Does your child have a special talent that they would love to share? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Rowan County 4-H has just the activity for your child.

It’s time for the annual Rowan County 4-H “County Activity Day.” This is an event where youth ages 5-18 (as of Jan. 1) compete in 4-H presentations and youth ages 8-18 can compete in 4-H talent. Once again this year, this event will be virtual due to COVID-19, but typically it is held in-person.

In 2020, 4-H’er Guy Deal won 1st place at the county, district, and state level in the 8-10 year old division for his presentation called “Grass, It’s What’s For Dinner.”

4-H presentations involve your child giving a 5-12-minute presentation to a panel of judges, which will occur live on Zoom for our county level event. Participants can choose any topic that interests them for their presentation. Essentially, the child is giving a speech on their topic, while also using props. Their props could include a trifold display board, posters, objects, etc. There are also 4-H outdoor cookery topics, where youths cook food as part of their presentation.

4-H talent is a talent show for 4-H members to showcase their talents. This year, youths will submit a non-edited video recording of them demonstrating their talent. Talent videos can be no longer than five minutes. This event can be done individually or as a group.

If youth qualify at the county level in either event, they will be able to compete at the district and/or state level. District and state level competitions will be by pre-recorded video. The outdoor cookery areas will be in-person events at district and state level. 1st place district and state level winners also win money.

Brothers Jacob and Lucas Parker participated in the 4-H Talent competition in 2020.

As a 4-H Agent, I love seeing youths get involved in these events, which encourages them to get out of their comfort zone and try something new. It’s also fascinating to watch these youths grow in their skillset and to learn and practice skills they will use for a lifetime. 4-H is a safe and encouraging environment for them to start developing these skills.

As a parent of a 4-H member, I also see this from the “mom perspective.” My son gave his first 4-H presentation last year as a 5-year-old 4-H member. He worked so hard figuring out what he wanted to talk about (tractors, of course), creating his display board (with help), and practicing multiple times so he was ready to present to the judges. He had fun and was very proud of himself, and I was proud of him too. I also saw how much this one activity encouraged him to learn, grow, and build confidence. He is already planning his presentation topic for this year.

I encourage you to get your child involved in these wonderful opportunities. These events are open to those who are or are not currently enrolled in 4-H. If you are not currently in 4-H, enrollment is free and can be completed at v2.4honilne.com.

Please note that youths must pre-register no later than April 1 to participate in these events. 4-H presentations at the county level will be held live on Zoom on April 19-21. 4-H talent videos must be submitted no later than April 9.

All details about these events, as well as the registration link, can be found on our website at https://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu/2019/03/rowan-4-h-county-activity-day-presentations-talent-expressive-arts/. On this page, there are some additional helpful links that will assist you as you and your child prepare for this event.

I would love to have your child participate this year. I realize, especially if this will be your first time, that you may have lots of questions. Feel free to email me at laura_allen@ncsu.edu to ask any questions you may have. I’m glad to help you so that together we can make this a wonderful experience for your child!

4-H is the youth development component of Cooperative Extension. Any youths ages 5-18 (as of Jan. 1) are invited to enroll and participate in 4-H. Visit us at 2727-A Old Concord Road in Salisbury or rowan.ces.ncsu.edu. For questions or more information, contact Laura Allen, 4-H agent, at 704-216-8970 or laura_allen@ncsu.edu.

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