A group of 16 Bartow County 4-H’ers came home from a recent competition with 11 first- and second-place awards.
The fifth- and sixth-graders made a strong showing in the annual Cloverleaf Project Achievement district competition Feb. 4 at Georgia Highlands College’s Rome campus, winning five first-place awards and six second-place awards.
In addition, two came in fourth place, and one came in fifth place.
“They’re all really winners,” Bartow County 4-H agent Allison Perkins said. “It took a lot of work and practice for each young person to prepare for this event. These 4-H’ers have been working hard to learn their speeches and demonstrations. I am thrilled to have 16 competitors at the contest because public speaking can be challenging.”
Project Achievement is an annual, statewide, competition in which 4-H’ers create presentations on hundreds of project areas that showcase their work while teaching them public speaking, research and presentation skills, “which translates into a valuable asset to have for the future,” Perkins said.
Students select a topic of interest from more than 60 project areas and prepare a demonstration that includes visuals. Most demonstrations last about six minutes and feature three or four posters.
“Some of the 4-H’ers have been preparing demonstrations as early as November,” Perkins said.
At the competition, Bartow’s 4-H members were up against 560 4-H’ers — 437 fifth-graders and 123 sixth-graders — from 12 counties.
Winning first-place medallions were Jake Hall, History; Emilia Ogles, Sports; DaYoung Choi, Communications; Kelsey Sisk, Fruits, Vegetables and Nuts; and Sasha Morgan, Herpetology.
“I feel great,” Jake, a fifth-grader at Cartersville Elementary School, said. “I wasn’t expecting I would get first place, but I did.”
Bringing home second-place medals were Madison Burdette, Performing Arts Vocal; Giana West, Dog Care and Training; Lili Womack, Crafts; Christian Cothran, Wildlife; Brianna Lee, Health; and Lizze Ogles, Target Sports.
Other participants were Callie Viktora, Herpetology; Michaiah Smith, History; Alyssa DeBoard, Pork Production; Luca Federico, History; and Olivia Capes, Performing Arts Vocal.
Volunteer and teen leaders who helped the 4-H’ers prepare for competition were Josh Drexler, Lydia Dick, Nadia Dick, Natalie Burrow, Kara Turner, Zoree Griffin, Jacob Paige, J.D. Paige and Luci Paige.
Jake, who will turn 11 on April 10, said he chose history as his topic because he has “always been interested in the stories of the world.”
“I talked about the tanks of World War I,” he said. “I had a British officer’s uniform and my posters that everyone competing has to have.”
To prepare for the competition, the son of Patti and Joe Hall of Cartersville said he “practiced a lot in costume and out.”
“I also went over it enough times [that] it got glued into my head,” he said.
Competing was “very fun,” Jake said.
“And I would like to thank Mrs. Kim [Payne] of 4-H for helping me,” he said. “Also my brother, Ezra, who made the dean’s list, for getting me interested in DPA [District Project Achievement].”
There is no state-level competition to which the Cloverleaf Project Achievement winners can advance, according to Payne, a 4-H associate.
“Competition for fifth- and sixth-grade 4-H’ers ends at district competition, but it prepares the fifth- and sixth-graders for more advanced competition as they get older,” she said. “In Bartow County, competing at Project Achievement earns the 4-H’er points towards a reward trip to White Water in the summer.”