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Seminole County 4-H: Teaching Public Speaking in Schools

Acting, autism, and baseball rituals; moving, England, and school Wi-Fi were all topics for the Seminole County 4-H Public Speaking County Competition.  Sixth-grade youth from schools all over Seminole County vied for the top spots.

The Florida 4-H Public Speaking program teaches young people the techniques of effective public speaking. This educational program is designed to give sixth-grade students experience in preparing and delivering a speech. Being a 4-H school enrichment program of the University of Florida IFAS Extension, it is taught by classroom teachers and is incorporated into the established teacher lesson plan. With the guidance of their teachers, the participating students work on a speech topic of their choice. The course culminates in classroom competitions and school competitions where the top speaker from each school is invited to participate in a countywide contest.

This year, judges were Vice Chair Amy Lockhart of the Seminole County Board of County Commissioners, Josh Holder, Public Relations Coordinator for Seminole County Government, and Natalie Swanson, Program Coordinator for Seminole County Natural Lands and former middle school teacher.

Ten schools participated this year with 29 teachers providing the opportunity and 2,700 6th graders participating in this year’s educational event.  County finalists were: Matthew Cloutier, “Baseball Rituals,” All Souls Catholic School; Demi Bjork, “Our Little Coffee Shop,” Altamonte Christian School; Joanna Cox, “Problems Youth Face,” The Double R Private School; Mischa Sevcech, “Acting,” Holy Cross Lutheran Academy; Carter Kirian, “School Wi-Fi,” Indian Trails Middle School; Emma Marl, “Moving,” Jackson Heights Middle School; Noah Kaplan, “America, England, and Me,” Lawton Chiles Middle School; Shelby Bushinger, “How Autism Affects My Life,” The Master’s Academy.

First place winner was Carter Kirian, Indian Trials; second place winner was Emma Marl, Jackson Heights; third place was Matthew Cloutier, All Souls.  There have been over one million Seminole County 6th graders participating in this program.  Interested in learning more about the University of Florida IFAS Extension Seminole County 4-H program?  Visit our website and follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

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