The annual DeKalb County 4-H Public Speaking Contest was held recently at the DeKalb County Farm Bureau building.
“Seven presentations were completed by 4-H members during this evening,” said Johnna B. Jennings, unit educator for 4-H Youth Development in DeKalb County, in a recent news release. “Our 4-H members did an excellent job, and we had presentations in three out of six speech category offerings.”
Speech categories for this program included the following: “Oral Interpretation,” “Original Works” and “Extempore Speaking.”
Participants were divided into three age divisions: Junior, age 8 -11, Intermediate, age 12-14 and Senior, age 15-18. Five presentations were completed in the Junior division, five in the Intermediate division and three in the Senior division.
“This is such a fun evening, as we really get to see some outstanding presentations from our 4-H members,” Jennings said. “It is impressive and amazing to watch 4-H members as young as 8 and as old as 18 presenting in front of a room full of people they do not necessarily know. These communication skills they are developing will assist them all of their lives in any endeavor they should pursue.
“For this contest, we are always so fortunate to have some of the best judges, as they teach speaking for their living, or are active participants on a college forensics team.”
Serving as judges were Greg Solomon from the DeKalb High School speech and English department and Marge Askins, a graduate student at Northern Illinois University and assistant speech team coach for DeKalb High School. Both judges have many years of experience and offered advice to 4-H members participating in this contest, the release said.
Winners in each age division are listed below.
In the Junior division, Addy Miner from the Malta Mustang 4-H’ers won for her oral interpretation titled “An Excerpt from Alice in Wonderland.” In the Intermediate division, Jaylene Jennings from the Green Meadows 4-H club won for her original work titled “Genetics vs. Environment.” In the Senior division, Anna Miner from Malta Mustang 4-H’ers won for her original speech titled “When Pigs Fly.”
Only one individual per speech category could represent DeKalb County at the Illinois State Fair in August. For DeKalb County, the following individuals were selected for State Fair competition: Andrew McComb from Malta Mustang 4-H’ers for Extempore Speaking, Jaylene Jennings for Original Works and Addy Miner for Oral Interpretation. For state fair eligibility, youths must be at least 10 years old as of Sept. 1.
Other 4-H members who participated in the contest were Justene Jennings and Bailey Hunt from the Green Meadows 4-H Club and Amanda Miller from Somonauk Haymakers.
“For this contest, we have the honor of having the support of the Kishwaukee Kiwanis,” Jennings said. “For a number of years, they have sponsored the plaques for this contest in memory George Biggar, who was the founder of WLBK radio.”
For more information about the 4-H program and opportunities, call should contact the University of Illinois Extension of DeKalb County at 815-758-8194.