County Youth Find a Voice in Public Presentation Contest | News, Sports, Jobs

Garrett Lesch poses as he prepares to give a spectacular presentation by Paul Harvey at the annual West District 4-H Presentation Day in Hamburg.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of the Chautauqua County 4-H Youth Development Program recently held a two-day public pitch competition at Jamestown Community College on February 26 and March 5.

Over 30 young people between the ages of 5 and 18 took on the challenge and gave presentations on topics ranging from Pony Express and BMX racing to the life of PT Barnum. Presentation styles included demonstration, illustrated speech, speech, dramatic interpretation, and recitation.

Public speaking aligns with New York State’s 4-H youth development values ​​that promote the development of skills that help youth succeed in higher education, the career path that they chose and as members of their family and community. Teams of volunteer evaluators evaluate the young people. After each presentation, young people meet with their evaluators and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their presentation.

Young people who made outstanding presentations were selected to participate in the Western District Public Presentation Day competition held at the Revive Wesleyan Church in Hamburg on March 26. This year Mackenzy Graziano, Garrett Lesch and Grace Meyer have been selected to compete at the Western District level with Abigail Carlberg and Tyler Crowell as alternates. All youth representing Chautauqua County received gold medals, the highest honor for presenters. Mackenzy Graziano was one of three 4-Hers in the district to get a perfect score for his illustrated talk! All three youngsters are eligible to move on to experiences and competitions with other 4-Hers in the state who have also excelled in public speaking.

Youth have other opportunities to make presentations at their club and animal projects as well as the 4-H Youth Building at the Chautauqua County Fair.

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