The annual Harlan County 4-H Communications Day will be held March 10 at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College’s Harlan campus (formerly known as the Vocational School) Building One’s Little Theater at 5 p.m.
In preparation for Communications Day, the 4-H agent and assistants will be going into 4-H Clubs in January to explain rules for speeches and demonstrations. We will be discussing talent acts for students who wish to participate in the 4-H Variety Show to be held along with speeches and demonstrations. Booklets will be distributed with information on preparation and performances for speeches and demonstrations. Students should sign up to participate in Communications Day (or parents can sign them up) by contacting the Harlan County 4-H agent or 4-H club leader.
There are two age divisions for the 4-H Communications Day’s Speech, Demonstration and Variety Show contests – Juniors, ages 9-13; and Seniors, ages 14-18. Junior Speech contest participants must be 9 years old by Jan. 1, 2016 to go on to the 4-H Area Communications Day competition. Junior Speech topics should be three to five minutes long, and Seniors’ Speech topics should be five to seven minutes long. Each first place winner in ages 9- through 18-year-old divisions will advance to area competition.
Demonstrations and Illustrated Talks are a tool to help 4-H participants develop poise and self-confidence by providing a practical experience in organizing and presenting information learned in 4-H Project Work. The time limit is 15 minutes for all categories except breads. The time limit for breads is 20 minutes. A good demonstration can be eight to 10 minutes long. A penalty will be assessed for exceeding the time limit.
Junior and Senior 4-H project demonstrations take place at the county, area and state level. Area competition will be held in April at North Laurel High School in London, and state level 4-H Demonstrations for junior and senior 4-Hers will take place on the University of Kentucky campus in July. Suggested 4-H project demonstration topics may come from agriculture engineering, animal science (large and small) electric, general, horticulture, photography, egg preparation, agricultural, science, foods, clothing, safety and home environment. First place winners in each of the above demonstrations categories will advance to area competition, and first place winners in area competition in each category will advance to state level competition.
The 4-H Variety Show competition is for all 4-H members who can sing, dance, play a musical instrument, perform a skit, do a comedy routine, etc. The 4-H Specialty Act includes one to four persons and the time limit is four minutes.
The Club Act includes five or more people and the time limit is eight minutes. Only one club act from the county will advance to the area competition. Specialty acts will be divided into Junior (ages 9-13) and Senior (14-19) divisions. One specialty act from junior division and one specialty act from senior division will advance to area competition. Participants in the 4-H Variety Show competition must be 9 years old by Jan. 1, 2016 to be eligible to participate in the 4-H Area Communications Day. Please note that students who are 8 years old may perform at the 4-H Club level at the Harlan County level, but may not compete at the area level in Speech, Demonstration or Variety Show contests.
The 4-H Variety Show competition provides an opportunity for large numbers of 4-H participants to gain poise and confidence, develop character and sportsmanship and to work cooperatively with others. One specialty junior act winner, one specialty senior act winner, and one club act winner will advance to area competition.
This event also provides opportunities for self-expression for larger numbers of 4-H participants, promotes parent and leader interest, provides community spirit and entertainment and adds zest to the 4-H program for the individual and the club. In the past we have had more participation in the Variety Show than in speeches and demonstrations. It is important for 4-Hers to realize that there are more students who can go on to the area in speeches and demonstrations than in the Variety Show. If interested in doing a speech or demonstration, please contact the 4-H agent or assistants for help with topics and presentations. The public is invited and encouraged to attend and there is no admission charge. Each participant will receive a 4-H award ribbon and a colorful 4-H green or white T-shirt just for entering. Grand champion medallions will be given to county and area winners during their annual school awards day.
Students in fourth- through 12th-grades may enter Speeches, Demonstrations or Variety Show competition. We only go into the fourth and fifth grades and talk with students and teachers, but if you are in fourth- through 12th-grade and are between the ages of 9 and 18 years old you are eligible to participate. If you need help in selecting a topic for speeches or demonstrations or help with preparing them just give us a call at 606-273-0835. Parents encourage your child to participate this year. Public speaking is very important in the education of your child and this is a good opportunity for your child to gain confidence and become a better public speaker.
For more information about this topic or about 4-H programs, contact Raymond Cox at the Harlan County Cooperative Extension Service Office or call 606-573-4464 or 606-273-0835.
Raymond Cox is the Harlan County extension agent for 4-H/youth development. Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.