ORONO — In the month of March, the 4-H youth development program of University of Maine Cooperative Extension held 4-H Public Speaking Tournaments in nearly every county in Maine. From those competitions, more than forty 4-H youth members from all corners of the state were chosen to participate in the 5th Annual Maine 4-H State Public Speaking competition in Orono at the UMaine Campus, Saturday, April 6.
Youth members chose a topic of their choice and were judged on their poise, organization and visual aids.
Four members from the Aldermere Achievers 4-H Club in Rockport participated in the state-wide competition. All four received top scores and blue ribbons.
Elizabeth Eaton presented about her experience attending the National Belted Galloway Show in Louisville, Kentucky. Julia Benson presented on The Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio. Both placed in the top ten. They were invited to join the State of Maine Public Speaking team next fall at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Massachusetts, where they will have the opportunity to compete in front of a large crowd of fairgoers. An estimated 1.5 million people attend the expo a year.
Adam Eaton who presented on his 4-H Sheep Project and Isabelle Baker who presented on Stoplight Foods, a nutrition guide, both scored their personal bests. They look forward to being old enough to compete with the high school students, according to Aldemere, in a news release.
“Practicing Speaking in front of people makes you confident” said Isabelle, in the release. “And when we want people to listen, we will have the skills to do it!”
Heidi Baker, 4-H leader for the Aldermere Achievers 4-H Club, requires all members to participate in the county level completion.
“It’s important to give our kids a platform to practice public speaking” she said. “It is a valuable life skill that they can take with them no matter where life takes them. Proud to see four of them move on to the state level.”