MIDDLETOWN – Public Presentations is a defining piece of Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County’s 4-H Youth Development Program and one that 4-H has continued to offer for decades. Youth learn to create a presentation and develop the skills needed to present it before an audience. They learn about the research process and the steps needed to organize information into an interesting and creative presentation. A group of volunteers who are trained to evaluate the public presentations offer support for the youth and evaluate based on criteria if they will move on to present on the 4-H District and State levels.
With the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Orange County 4-H Team of Educators knew that this program could not be cancelled altogether. The uncertain climate of COVID-19 pushed them to move forward to create a sense of normalcy for the 4-H community. Through research between other 4-H Educators and some innovation the team was able to pivot Public Presentations by offering youth the chance to follow through virtually via the online meeting platform Zoom.
“Public Presentations is what separates 4-H from other youth organizations. Most 4-H alumni continuously state that this flagship program which has deservedly become a signature program has helped them to succeed in their careers and everyday lives. The skills developed through the research process and steps needed to organize information into an interesting and creative presentation have created the foundations for success” stated DeAnna Sardella-Matthews, Orange County 4-H Educator.
In keeping with the traditions of the event, the youth were partnered with a trained Volunteer Evaluator in a one-on-one virtual setting to share their presentations. Orange County 4-H hosted 49 youth using the virtual platform to share their topics of choice. Some notable topics included “What’s in Your Milk Glass,” “What kind of Horse is that in the Field?,” “Non-Renewal Resources,” “Use of Force,” and “A World without Plastic.” The quality was outstanding and as in previous years, Evaluators were impressed. Of the 49 youth participants, 14 were selected to advance to the District level which will also take place virtually in May 2020.
Cornell Cooperative Extension and its partnerships provide programs for Orange County residents on youth and family development; nutrition, health, and food safety; community and economic vitality; and agricultural sustainability through Cornell based research. Committed to Orange County, we design programs to meet local needs to enable people to improve their lives and communities. For more information call Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County at 845-344-1234 or visit our website at www.cceorangecounty.org