Bartow 4-H’ers win 24 awards at Project Achievement Competition

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Mar 9, 2015 in Rat News | Subscribe

Bartow County’s 4-H Club just keeps winning.
Twenty-eight 4-H’ers from fifth and sixth grades — and two from fourth grade — participated at the district level of the annual Cloverleaf Project Achievement Competition Jan. 31 at the Georgia Highlands College campus in Rome and came home with 24 awards — 10 first-place medals, nine second-place medals and five third-place medals.
“We are very proud of how all of our kids did in the competition, whether they earned a ribbon or not,” 4-H Associate Kim Payne said, noting 31 4-H’ers signed up for the competition, but three were sick and unable to compete. “They put a lot of hard work into their projects, and it showed.”
 The Bartow club also received the award for highest percentage of winners, with 82 percent of its participants winning first, second or third place, and had the second-highest percentage of first-place winners, 36 percent.
“Each year, participating northwest Georgia counties are awarded plaques for various accomplishments like largest delegation, largest increase in numbers and winner awards,” Bartow County 4-H Agent Allison Perkins said. “Last year, we did not receive any plaques; however, this year, our county earned the highest percentage of winners and had the second-highest percentage of first-place winners.”
Payne said the club had the “same amount of first-place winners as last year” but overall had more participants place in the Top 3 this year.
“Last year, we had 31 kids competing,” she said. “Out of the 31, we also had 10 first-place winners but not as many second- and third-place winners.”
4-H Project Achievement is an annual competition and a cornerstone for programming in 4-H across Georgia.
“Project Achievement is one of the core programs that every county in Georgia must offer youth,” Perkins said. “It is one of the oldest programs we offer. In fact, the first Corn Club of 1904 selected and completed projects and shared the results. This first 4-H Club also held the first Project Achievement Competition.”
To participate, students select a topic of interest from more than 60 different project areas and prepare a demonstration that includes visuals.
“The majority of the areas are speaking categories,” Payne said. “The kids pick a project area that they are interested in or would like to learn more about. In those categories, they research a topic and then write a report on it that, when read aloud, is between four and six minutes long. Then they make posters to accompany their speech — one for every main point they talk about. The average is five posters.
“At the competition, they get up in front of the judges, others in their category and parents and present their speech. Some of the things they are judged on are coverage of subject, delivery, is it researched-based and their visual aids.”
Some of the categories require more than just a speech and posters. In the Creative Stitchery category, the student must prepare a garment or item that includes a seam, finish and fastener.  
Participants in the Performing Arts categories can either sing, dance or play a musical instrument for four minutes, and for food labs, the kids prepare a no-cook snack food.
At the competition, 485 4-H’ers — 378 fifth-graders and 107 sixth-graders — from 12 counties presented their projects, with the most popular project areas being Dog Care (20), Horses (20), Sports (19), Performing Arts Vocal (19), Crafts (19), History (18) and Arts (16). 
Bartow’s first-place winners were Taylor Moore, Dog Care and Training; Jaylee Kilgo, Creative Stitchery; Gracie Ries, Performing Arts Vocal; Anna Grace Trammell, Performing Arts General; Elena Bern, Companion Animal Science; Rylee Cook, Between-Meal Snacks; Jessica Green, Poultry and Egg Science; Wesley Hughes, Entomology; Gabriel Craven, Computer Technology and Information; and Luci Paige, Sports.
Taking home second-place awards were Ava Perkins, Wildlife; Ava Flemons, Performing Arts Vocal; Ava Dunlap, Between-Meal Snacks; Kiconco Bassler, Outdoor Recreation; Sawyer Cofield, Horses; Cole Cook, Plants; Bethany Craven, Crafts; Gus Federico, History; and Sarah Holman, Dog Care and Training.
Coming in third place were Nirvana Becerra, Arts; Christina Cremers, Wildlife; Petie Decino, Outdoor Survival Skills; Nicholas Clark, Computer Technology and Information; and Audrey Paige, Between-Meal Snacks.
Other participants were Meg Hardin, Performing Arts Vocal; Madison Eldrige, Horses; Roxi Guarriello, Dog Care and Training; and Andie Griffin, Marine and Coastal Ecology.
The club also had 10 volunteer teen leaders help the 4-H’ers prepare for competition: Lindsey Craven, Danielle Drexler, Ezra Hall, Zoree Griffin, Katie Poe, Amelia Payne, Cati Williams, Brittany Nally, Thomas Gilbert and Matthew Pryor.
According to Payne and Perkins, some of the most unique projects included Taylor Moore’s talk about the different jobs that dogs have such as security (police), health (seizures/seeing-eye dogs) and working (farms/sleds); Kiconco Bassler’s discussion on safety precautions for canoes; Petie Decino’s guide on how to survive in the woods if you get lost; Nicholas Clark’s talk on computer games; and Elena Bern’s persuasive speech about why rats make good pets.
Elena, 12-year-old daughter of Dr. Chris and Stacey Bern, said she wants everyone to love pet rats as much as she does.
“I have had three pet rats, and I just love them,” the home-schooled sixth-grader said. “[They’re good pets] because they’re small and easy to care for. It doesn’t take much to take care of them.”
Saying it was “awesome” to win first place, Elena said she worked on her project for about two months.
“I did research on the Internet, and my dad is a vet so he kind of helped me with that,” she said.  
Payne said the competition “teaches [participants] skills they can use for a lifetime.”
“Public speaking is the No. 1 fear of people, with dying being second,” she said. “This means people would rather die than get up in front of people to talk. Our kids conquer this fear to do their presentations. That make us very proud.”
“Public speaking is one of the top fears of adults,” Perkins said. “I am always very proud of all the fifth- and sixth-grade students that participate because, at the end of the day, they do something that most adults are afraid to do. They are excited to share information with others about something they enjoy.”
Payne said the participants started signing up for the competition in November and worked on their projects “both at home and also at our office.”
“We have all the supplies and resources they need such as computers, printers, poster board and glue,” she said. “That way, it does not cost them anything to compete.”  
Competition for fifth- and sixth-grade 4-H’ers ends at the district level, but it prepares them for “more advanced competition as they get older,” Payne said.
Perkins said the middle and high school students will have their Project Achievement Competition March 13-15 at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton.
“For a few of our competitors, it will be their last year of competition after eight years, and we all have high hopes of advancing to the state-level contest that will be held in July,” she said.

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