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More than 1,500 fourth, fifth- and sixth-graders will now have the opportunity to participate in Georgia 4-H’s first Virtual Cloverleaf Project Achievement contest. Last year, more than 3,700 youth participated in Cloverleaf Project Achievement contests. Due to recent developments, five competitions around the state will now take place in an online format. While 13 in-person competitions were originally scheduled, area contestants in Bacon, Douglas, Emanuel, Houston and Jackson counties will now have the opportunity to participate virtually.

“Youth have been working on their projects to present for judges for weeks and, in some cases, for months” said Keri Hobbs, Extension 4-H specialist. “While they have already gained valuable experiences in developing their presentations (such as identifying the parts of a presentation), having the opportunity to demonstrate newly gained skills and knowledge will enhance public speaking skills, improve their future presentations and increase their confidence.”

Through competition on the local and county levels, youths are able to develop leadership, creativity and public speaking skills. In addition to the soft skills established, participants are also able to develop a deep understanding about their desired project area.

Youths are able to select from 62 areas to focus on during their projects. When competing on the area level, participants prepare a four- to five-minute presentation about their selected subject and are judged by a panel of experts in the field. Judging of the presentations will now be done remotely.

The area level is the final tier for the younger participants in 4-H. However, as a youth progresses through the 4-H program, the opportunity to compete on the state and national levels becomes available. Award ceremonies for these contests will take place in a digital format.

“While youth are excited about gaining awards during the awards ceremony, they ultimately all win with the skills they gain” said Hobbs. “In addition, Newton County 4-H Agent Terri Fullerton has conducted virtual county-level competitions and found youth participation to increase with this method of competition. I was fortunate to work alongside a dynamic team to make this program a reality. We’re excited to launch this new method of executing Project Achievement in order to meet the needs of our young people.”

To see if your county has registered to participate in one of the five Virtual Cloverleaf Project Achievement contests, contact your local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension leadership. For other exciting digital learning activities, visit https://georgia4h.org/activity-resources/.

Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 242,000 people annually through the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org.

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