Laura Allen: Register now for upcoming 4-H competitions

Published 12:01 am Saturday, February 19, 2022

Do you have a child ages 5-18 (as of Jan. 1) who 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? Is your child artistic or creative? 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 4-H Rowan “County Activity Day.” This is an event where youths compete in 4-H presentations and/or expressive arts competitions. In addition, youths ages 8-18 can compete in 4-H Talent. After two years of having this event virtually, I’m excited that it will be held in-person this year on April 1 at the Extension office.

Registration is due by March 11. All expressive arts entries are due March 23.

4-H Presentations involve a child giving a 5-12 minute presentation to a panel of judges and any guests who attend. Participants can choose any topic that interests them. Essentially, the child is giving a speech on their topic, while also using props that could include a trifold display board, posters and objects. 4-H Outdoor Cookery involves youths cooking as part of the presentation. These will be on the evening on April 1.

4-H Talent is for exhibitions no longer than 5 minutes, individually or as a group. Examples  include singing, dancing, playing an instrument or any other special talent.

Artistic and creative categories include drawing, painting, Lego creations, handmade jewelry and leather crafts. All items should be made by the youths entering them. Entries are due March 23 and will be judged and displayed with ribbons on April 1 during County Activity Day.

If youths qualify at the county level, they will be able to compete at the district and/or state level. District level competition will be in-person in June while state level events will be in July. 4-H presentation winners at the district and state levels will win awards and may win money.

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 is 7 and has given 4-H presentations for the past 2 years. He worked so hard figuring out what he wanted to talk about, creating his display board (with help), and practicing multiple times so he was ready. 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. If you are not currently in 4-H, enrollment is free and can be completed at v2.4honline.com.

Registration will be via 4-HOnline. Once you are registered and an approved member, you can sign up for competitions under “events.”

If you have questions, email me at laura_allen@ncsu.edu or call 704-216-8970. 4-H is the youth development component of Cooperative Extension at 2727-A Old Concord Road in Salisbury.

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