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4-H Tropicana Public Speaking Contest

Amy Hedstrom introducing 4H/Tropicana Public Speaking Program County ContestFlagler County Youth Prepare for 4-H/Tropicana Public Speaking Contest

At this time of the school year, many students in Flagler County can be found writing thought provoking outlines, preparing valuable notecards, or diligently practicing their speeches in the mirror.  The reason for all of this hard work is due to the 4-H/Tropicana Public Speaking Contest.  The speech contest is offered to Flagler County Youth with school competitions beginning in January and the County wide competition being held in May.  The 4-H/Tropicana Public Speaking program is a popular school program that more than 150,000 Florida elementary school children grades 4-6 participate in annually.  The public speaking competition grew from a program established in 1952 by Mrs. Inez Pettigrew, a teacher at Palm View Elementary in Palmetto, Florida.  Tropicana adopted the program in 1969 and deliver it through a partnership with the University of Florida IFAS 4-H Youth Development Program.  This program is open to all public, private, and home-schools in Flagler County.

Nearly 3,000 Flagler County youth representing seven schools participated in this school enrichment project in 2013.  This speech program helps children across the state learn how to prepare and deliver a speech while developing critical life skills.  Students embrace the 4-H “Learn by Doing” motto as they develop critical thinking, self-motivation, and communication life skills.

Students are given the opportunity to present their prepared speech as part of a classroom competition.  First, Second, and Third place winners from each classroom advance to a school competition and winners from this group will advance on to the County competition.  The students are judged subjectively based on a point system where they receive credit from qualified judges in the areas of material choice, effectiveness of materials, and speech delivery.  In the past, speech topics ranged from “Life in the Jungle” to “Bullying” and “Dare to Be Different”.

The finalist County competition will be held at UF IFAS Flagler County Extension Auditorium (150 Sawgrass Rd, Bunnell,FL  32110) on May 1, 2014, at 4:00 pm.  The public is encouraged to attend and show their support as the school finalists compete in the Flagler County 4-H/Tropicana Public Speaking Contest.

If you are interested in joining in or volunteering for Flagler County 4H Youth Development Program, please visit Florida 4H Online and contact Amy Warwick at or 386-437-7464

The Flagler County 4-H program is open to all youth, ages 5-18, regardless of gender, race, color, nationality, creed or disability. 4th, 5th, and 6th grade winners of the 2012 4H/Tropicana Public Speaking Flagler County Contest held at UF IFAS Flagler County Extension Office.

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