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2023 Johnson County 4-H Club Day

By Jessica Lawrenz | 4-H Youth Development Agent


4-H'er performs at 2023 4-H Club Day

     If you ask the general public what they know about 4-H, a lot of your responses will be livestock or agriculture. Sometimes you will hear woodworking, photography, sewing or baking. Although the answer to all of those examples is a resounding yes, what a lot of people do not know is that 4-H also encourages youth to pursue public speaking and the performing arts. Club Day is an event for 4-H’ers of all ages; seven to 18 years, designed to offer these events. They perform or compete in their respective age groups; junior, intermediate, and senior. Judging is based on the Danish Award System and 4-H’ers will earn a white, red, blue, or purple ribbon based on their performance. The Top Purple placements in each event will have the opportunity to advance to Regional Club Day later in March where they will compete against 4-H’ers from five other counties/districts.

     In a world of rapid-developing technology and youth spending more time on devices and social media, learning in-person communication styles in the form of public speaking is more important than ever. The vital skills learned though public speaking is carried through a youth’s life and reflected as adults in professional and personal successes. Skills that are gained through public speaking include leadership, critical and abstract thinking, confidence, articulation, resiliency, problem-solving, preparation, persuasion, and more. Adults play an important role in encouraging and supporting youth with opportunities to engage in public speaking. At Johnson County Club Day, 4-H’ers have many choices of public speaking events they may participate. These include demonstration talk, illustrated talk, historical speech, impromptu, oral interpretation, career exploration, multimedia, and project talk. A presentation is judged on introduction, appearance, proper use of voice and tone, use of visuals, organization, accuracy, originality, uniqueness, directness, relatability, effectiveness, and holding the audiences’ attention.

     The other half of Club Day gives 4-H’ers the opportunity to demonstrate their creative talents in the performing arts. Performing arts creates well-rounded youth by developing and fostering creativity and imagination through “emotional intelligence”. Learning and practicing music, dance and drama encourages children to explore their emotions, expands their imagination and helps them develop their own voice. The performing arts engages a child's brain, body, and emotions in different ways to encourage their confidence and self-expression. At Johnson County Club Day, 4-H’ers have the opportunity to participate in vocal solos and ensembles, piano solos, instrumental solos and ensembles, dance solos and ensembles, and solo, duo and ensemble skits and novelty acts. Acts are judged on tone quality, technique, interpretation, appearance, piece selection, articulation, uniqueness, complexity, movement, timing, body language, originality, style, and confidence.

     4-H is the leading youth organization in the world for the multiple opportunities it provides to build life skills in youth that will benefit them up to and through adulthood. 4-H is one of the best organizations that continually strives to keep it’s learning and educational opportunities relevant and the most impactful for our future leaders. Johnson County 4-H is proud to offer the annual Club Day event as an outlet for our youth to gain important life skills through public speaking and performing arts.