4-H Speaks Out!

PHOTO PROVIDED Pictured are graduates of the program, from left, front, Aurielle Miller, Reese Witmer, Eddie Newman, and Johnny Newman; back, Adelaide Miller, instructor Dr. Helen Prien, Bryley Miller, Greg Andrews, and Elizabeth Walker. Not pictured are instructors Dr. Matt Girton and Dr. Constance Reece.

LOCK HAVEN –On March 12 nine 4-H members ages 8 and above bravely stood in front of an audience and completed what many people say is their worst fear–public speaking.

These young people were part of the inaugural session of 4-H Speaks Out!, Clinton County’s first 4-H SPIN Club–an acronym that stands for “short-term, special interest.”

The program represented a new partnership between Penn State Extension, which manages the 4-H Program, and Lock Haven University.

Although all Clinton County 4-H members are required to deliver at least one speech every year in order to practice their presentation skills, members who enrolled in the 4-H Speaks Out! Club chose to take their speaking abilities to the next level.

The club met weekly for seven weeks at the Penn State Extension office (located in the Garden Building in Lock Haven). Instructors for the class were made available through a partnership with Lock Haven University’s Communications Department. Dr. Matt Girton, Dr. Helene Prien, and Dr. Constance Reece brought their communications expertise to the 4-H group.

Their lessons covered everything from getting comfortable in front of an audience to the technical aspects of writing a speech. During the series of classes, the 4-H members played speaking games, gave impromptu talks, and brainstormed about possible speech topics.

At the program’s final session on March 12, the nine youth participants delivered the speeches they’d crafted to an audience of family and friends. The young speakers were free to choose their own topics, which ranged from the role of the Civil Air Patrol and the merits of family game night to survival situation essentials and reasons to support the Clinton County Fair. The graduates received certificates to commemorate their completion of the program.

Administered in Pennsylvania by Penn State Extension, 4-H is a community of more than 6 million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. Penn State Extension 4-H youth development educators in all 67 counties throughout the commonwealth administer local 4-H programs through non-formal education and outreach. To find your local program, visit the Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/programs/4-h.

Interested in learning more about the 4-H Program in Clinton County? Contact Penn State Extension in Clinton County at 570-726-0022, or e-mail 4-H Educator Kirsten Dubbs at kdubbs@psu.edu. Youth between the ages of 5 and 18 can participate in 4-H club activities in their own communities, Renovo included! Follow Clinton County 4-H on Facebook for updates on upcoming activities and programs.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.


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