Communication Skills Enhanced through 4-H Program

Standing, from left to right, are Jana Davidson; Victoria Garner, judge; Kestrel Merritt of  Morrisdale; Elsa Witherrow of Morrisdale; Sydney Turner of Philipsburg; Kimberly Ward of Morrisdale; Allie Freeman of Madera; Tyson Stone of Winburne; Robert Kear of New Millport; Benjamin Pifer of Punxsutawney; Andrew Pifer of Punxsutawney; Debbie McAndrew, judge; and Kristin Mosch, judge. (Provided photo)
Standing, from left to right, are Jana Davidson; Victoria Garner, judge; Kestrel Merritt of  Morrisdale; Elsa Witherrow of Morrisdale; Sydney Turner of Philipsburg; Kimberly Ward of Morrisdale; Allie Freeman of Madera; Tyson Stone of Winburne; Robert Kear of New Millport; Benjamin Pifer of Punxsutawney; Andrew Pifer of Punxsutawney; Debbie McAndrew, judge; and Kristin Mosch, judge. (Provided photo)

Standing, from left to right, are Jana Davidson; Victoria Garner, judge; Kestrel Merritt of Morrisdale; Elsa Witherrow of Morrisdale; Sydney Turner of Philipsburg; Kimberly Ward of Morrisdale; Allie Freeman of Madera; Tyson Stone of Winburne; Robert Kear of New Millport; Benjamin Pifer of Punxsutawney; Andrew Pifer of Punxsutawney; Debbie McAndrew, judge; and Kristin Mosch, judge. (Provided photo)

DUBOIS – On May 6, Clearfield and Jefferson counties hosted the 23rd annual Bi-County 4-H Public Speaking & Presentation Contest in the Hiller Auditorium of Penn State University – DuBois campus.

The event was open to all Cameron, Clearfield, Elk and Jefferson County 4-H members, ages 8 through 18, as of Jan. 1.   A total of 12 4-H members from Clearfield & Jefferson counties participated in one of four categories, including senior division public speaking, junior division public speaking, senior division presentations and junior division presentations.

This year, topics included bullying, jobs, diesel engines, the beach, the Second Amendment, Guernsey cows, archery, rabbits and tying knots.  Individuals entering into the public speaking contest were asked to give a four- to seven-minute original talk on any topic. Participants in this category were only allowed to use note cards; no other illustrative material was allowed to be used.

Individuals entering into the presentation contest were asked to conduct a presentation about a 4-H project, hobby or activity they have been involved with.  Junior division participants were given up to eight minutes for their presentation and senior division participants were given up to 10 minutes for their presentation.

In the senior division public speaking contest, Kimberly Ward of the Free Spirit 4-H Club in Clearfield County received first place. Second place honors went to Allie Freeman of the Clearfield County 4-H Hot Shots and third place to Tyson Stone of the Free Spirit 4-H Club.

In the senior division presentation contest, Sydney Turner of the Thundering Hoofbeats 4-H Club in Clearfield County received first place.  Second place honors went to Kestrel Merritt of the Free Spirit 4-H Club.  Third place honors went to Elsa Witherow of the Free Spirit 4-H Club.  All senior division public speaking and presentation participants received a certificate, ribbon and monetary awards were given through third place.

In the junior division public speaking contest, Andrew Pifer of the Gateway 4-H Club in Jefferson County received first place.  Second place honors went to Andrew Pifer of the Gateway 4-H Club in Jefferson County.  Rounding out third place was Robert Kear of the Clearfield County 4-H Hot Shots.  All junior division participants received a ribbon, certificate and a special award.

Two 4-H alumni served as judges for this year’s contest.  Judges for event included Debbie McAndrew of Brockway, Kristin (Duttry) Mosch of DuBois and Victoria Garner of LaJose. McAndrew is a mother of three daughters who were very active in 4-H and the past organizational leader of Town & Country Horse and Pony 4-H Club for the past 10 years. For the past seven years, she’s served as a member of the Jefferson County Fair Board.

Mosch is a former Clearfield County 4-H member belonging to the Town & Country 4-H Horse & Pony Club.  She is a 1993 graduate of Penn State University with a degree in business administration. Mosch is currently employed at the law firm of Bell, Silberblatt & Wood in Clearfield.  As a 4-H youth, she was active in horse, leadership and public speaking project areas.

Garner is a former member Clearfield County 4-H Top Guns, Clearfield County 4-H Hot Shots and Clearfield County 4-H Teen Council.  She is currently a student at DuBois Business College, majoring in a Specialized Associate’s degree in entertainment production business.  She plans to graduate in June of 2015.

The competition was followed by refreshments and an awards ceremony.

“A very special thank you goes out to all of the 4-H leaders, parents and guests that helped support the youth.  A big thank you also goes out to our wonderful judges for dedicating their time and to Penn State University – DuBois campus for allowing us the use of both the Hiller Auditorium and Quiet Lounge for our program,” said Jana Davidson, 4-H youth development educator.

4-H is a non-formal youth development educational program of Penn State Extension for all youth between the ages of 8 and 19, For additional information on the 4-H program, contact Andrea Szejk or Rebecca Blackburn at Penn State Extension in Clearfield County at 814-765-7878 Ext. 0 or Ext. 7 or Susan Alexander at Penn State Extension in Jefferson County at 814-849-7361.

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