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Focus on 4-H for July 15 Edition

On Behalf of the Botetourt County 4-H Program, we would like to update you on our current programming efforts.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 4-H programs across the state have been affected for the foreseeable future. As we have transitioned into the summer, we are looking at ways to resume face-to-face programming in the safest possible manner. Conversations are ongoing at the local and state level regarding the best methods to make this happen. Any questions or inquiries should be directed to the Extension Office.

Last week, the official announcement was made to cancel the 2020 Botetourt County Fair. Many variables were considered before the decision, but the Virginia Cooperative Extension – Botetourt Office, Fair Board members, and county officials agreed that this was the best decision, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With the unfortunate cancellation of this year’s fair, we have several Botetourt County 4-H and FFA members that are still raising their show and market projects. Discussions are ongoing for possibilities to re-schedule the livestock and poultry show portions of the fair. We are also exploring options to assist these youth members to sell their market animals, as would occur at the fair. When these plans are finalized, we will release those accordingly.

This week, we will be officially announcing a virtual summer program opportunity for youth ages 9-13. As a collaborative effort with Bedford County 4-H, we are offering a summer dramatic reading program, that will allow participants to submit their own dramatic reading project for judging. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing videos on our social media channels that explain what dramatic reading is and provide tips and advice for participants to use in their projects.

Botetourt County 4-H has partnered with Bedford County 4-H to facilitate a virtual Summer Dramatic Reading Series Program, throughout June and July. Dramatic Reading is a program that we introduced to several of our public schools throughout this past school year that allows participants to become more comfortable with public speaking and develop soft skills that will be beneficial in their futures.

Each week, both programs have been posting a video to our social media channels and YouTube, which explains an element of paralanguage that is present in a dramatic reading project. Our final videos have posted this week and we are promoting a virtual dramatic reading contest as a culmination to this summer program. Participants are encouraged to register and submit their video for judging by Friday, July 24 at 5 p.m.

This opportunity is open for youth that is between the ages of 9-13. If you have missed these videos, you can check out our Facebook page for details. If you are not on social media but are interested in more information, please contact Tyler Painter (information listed below) for a link to the registration information and the complete video series.

Members of the 4-H Teen Leadership club are participating in this year’s Virginia 4-H Congress, which is now a virtual event. These participants will have the opportunity to compete in a variety of workshops, classes, and other educational activities. There have also been members of Botetourt County 4-H that have been participating in virtual camping sessions being offered by the W.E. Skelton 4-H Center.

In the absence of face-to-face programming, several of our community club members are still working on projects for the remainder of the 4-H year. There are even club opportunities that are taking place by utilizing the Zoom teleconferencing application, as well as other virtual programming efforts.

We encourage you to follow our social media channels for educational content that is still available throughout the summer. We can be found on Facebook at Botetourt County 4-H, Instagram at Botetourt4H, and YouTube at Botetourt County 4-H. If you have ideas for virtual activities or programs that you would like to see, please let us know.

Folks can also utilize program activities and resources that are being shared daily by Virginia 4-H. If you are a youth member that is looking for a 4-H project to work on during this time, please feel free to reach out to us for suggestions and ideas.

For more information on Botetourt County 4-H or the programs we offer, please contact Tyler Painter (tpaint85@vt.edu) at 473-8260.

-Tyler Painter

Extension Agent

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