Florida 4-H Public Speaking Program
Those of us who work with children are privileged to have a “sneak preview” of future leaders in development. This past week, I was able to glimpse a sample of these future leaders as Orange County 4-H and Orange County Public Schools partnered to host the County final Florida 4-H Public Speaking contest. The student speakers were those that had already been winners in their classroom, school and, in most cases, Learning Community, to advance. In all, more than 60 schools involving several thousand students participated in the 2022 program.
The Florida 4-H Public Speaking Program is sponsored by Florida Power and Light and is available at no cost to classrooms across the state. Their support helps spark interest in our youth and empower them to share their ideas with their communities. In Orange County, the program is delivered in the spring each year. We support both public and private schools with teacher curriculum and student recognition for classrooms, schools, learning communities, and the county final contest.
Communication Skills are Key to Success
The importance of helping students develop speaking skills should not be underestimated. According to an Indeed.com survey of hiring managers, the top rated employability skill was Communication. Being an effective communicator builds into the #2 and #3 skills listed, which were Leadership and Teamwork. Being an effective communicator does not come naturally, and it is a skill that must be developed and practiced. The 4-H Program has been providing opportunities for youth to develop these skills for more than 100 years.
How to Get Involved
The Orange County 4-H Program offers several ways for children ages 5-18 to get involved. In addition to school enrichment programs, youth can participate in after-school programs, summer camps and 4-H community clubs. Community clubs are the best way to experience all that 4-H has to offer children and families. For more information about any of these programs, please visit our website, email us at Orange4h@ifas.ufl.edu, or call 407-254-9222.