Holmes County youth excel in County Tropicana Public Speaking Competition

Parents, family members, teachers and community members were in awe as ten youth competitors took the podium Thursday evening, February 21, 2019, at the 2018-2019 Holmes County 4-H/Tropicana County Level Public Speaking Competition and delivered his/her speech with such poise and confidence that made many national political leaders look…well, like amateurs.  Such enthusiasm and professionalism stood at the podium that it made a very difficult evening for the judges who had the task of judging these local students. These ten students were the finalists in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades out of a total of 366 students that participated from five schools in the Holmes County School District.   After being scored on stage presence, speech delivery, articulation, speech composition, creativity, and projection, participants were recognized for their hard work and participation in this event.

Congratulations to all of this year’s County 4-H/Tropicana Winners.

4th Grade:

1st Place – Leighton Taylor, Poplar Springs School, with her speech entitled, “The Taylor Bunch”

2nd Place – Colby Stapp, Ponce de Leon Elementary School, with his speech entitled, “History of Video Games”

Pictured from left: Leighton Taylor and Colby Stapp

5th Grade:

1st Place – Raelyn Short, Bonifay K-8 School, with her speech entitled, “My Brother”

2nd Place – Caroline Cushing, Poplar Springs School, with her speech entitled, “Spreading Chocolate & Cheer”

3rd Place – Kale Cauley, Bethlehem School, with her speech entitled, “Goat Tying”

Honorable Mention – Brayden Murphy, Ponce de Leon Elementary School, with his speech entitled, “The Best Sport”

Pictured from left: Raelyn Short, Caroline Cushing, Kale Cauley, Brayden Murphy

6th Grade: 

1st Place – Ava Curry, Bethlehem School, with her speech entitled, “Dr. Pimple Popper”

2nd Place – Madyson Toole, Bonifay K-8 School, with her speech entitled, “Our Small Town”

3rd Place – Anthony Shiver, Poplar Springs School, with his speech entitled, “Florida Gators”

Honorable Mention – Aspyn Cook, Ponce de Leon High School, with her speech entitled, “Habitats and Their Demise”

Pictured from left: Ava Curry, Madyson Toole, Anthony Shiver, Aspyn Cook

Students placing 1st at the county competition each received a scholarship in the amount of $275.00 to attend 4-H Camp Timpoochee in June, a camping tradition which has occurred since the 1930’s.  In addition, all 1st place County Level Winners will represent Holmes County in the public speaking division at the District II 4-H Showcase event to be held on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at the Washington County Ag Center in Chipley, FL.

Florida 4-H is very proud of the 4-H/Tropicana Public Speaking Contest, which has been incorporated into the 4-H program for fifty years. Working with youth in grades 4-6, this contest helps thousands of young people annually learn how to write and deliver a speech. Over 2 million students have participated in this program since its beginning. Tropicana, Inc. has graciously sponsored the contest since 1969 and provides classroom materials for teachers, certificates of participation, ribbons for classroom winners, and medallions for school winners, plaques and 4-H summer camp scholarships to for county winners. Tropicana Products, Inc., is a division of PepsiCo, Inc., the leading producer and marketer of branded fruit juices.

4-H is one of the largest youth development programs in America with more than 6.5 million young people, ages 5-18, and 540,000 youth and adult volunteers.  4-H programming offers more than just animals and barns.  4-H’s learning opportunities are designed around four essential elements necessary for positive youth development by providing youth with: supervised independence, a sense of belonging with a positive group, a spirit of generosity toward others and a wide variety of opportunities to master life challenges. A variety of fun, educational, social, and engaging activities are offered!  These programs teach the fundamental 4-H ideal of practical, “learn by doing” experiences which encourages youth to experiment, innovate and think independently.  For information on how you can get involved with 4-H as a youth, volunteer, or supporter, please contact Niki Crawson at 547-1108, ncrawson@ufl.edu. 4-H programs are available to young people in all 50 states, U.S. territories and U.S. military installations worldwide, regardless of gender, race, creed, color, religion, or disability.