You might have spotted Lavendar Harris at Leapin’ Lizards pet store, where she volunteers.
Perhaps if you visited Bear Hollow Zoo in Athens, maybe you learned about skinks from one of her educational talks, or saw her cleaning the deer enclosure.
Or perhaps you picked up an animal coloring sheet from the Bear Hollow table at the University of Georgia Veterinary School open house.
Younger 4-H’ers met her at county 4-H council meetings, teaching science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics projects with her brother, CJ, each month.
Harris didn’t have any problem filling her 4-H portfolio this year with project work and sharing, community service and leadership.
She also had a great head start on preparing a spoken demonstration about the blue-tongue skink due to her work at the zoo as a junior intern.
At Junior-Senior District Project Achievement at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in March, Harris earned the red ribbon, with only a quarter of a point keeping her from first place.
That finish earned her a trip to State 4-H Congress this summer, so she’s ready to practice her demonstration for local groups. If your group would like to learn all about blue tongue skinks, give me a call at 770-784-2010.
Twelve other Newton 4-H members also competed at District Project Achievement.
Eastside senior Mallori Johnson discussed film evaluation of movies and shows set in history in the Communications project, and had the second place portfolio in the area for her overall project and 4-H work. She had extensive service work with both 4-H and Key Club.
Johnson was also recognized by Northwest District for competing all seven years of her 4-H career, and by the Georgia 4-H Foundation for her upcoming graduation. She plans to study early childhood education at Georgia Southern.
Freshman Alyssa Pierce of Alcovy High earned third place in Flowers, Shrubs and Lawns with her demonstration on propagating poinsettias, a process she first learned about with her FFA chapter’s annual fundraiser. FFA advisor Cecily Bullock helped Pierce tie her FFA and 4-H work together for the demonstration.
Patrick Dibble, a home school 4-H member in eleventh grade, had the second place portfolio in Workforce Preparation and Career Development and finished 3rd place overall in the 15-person project. His demonstration explored career options in the Catholic Church.
Sophomore Cyann Owes of Alcovy High School competed in the entomology project, and can frequently be found studying insects.
Sophomore Jacob Dibble, a home school 4-H’er, competed in one of the largest project areas, History, with his demonstration on the history of guitars. His demonstration was in the top 5 out of 17.
Matthew Dibble, a freshman home school student, had the fourth place demonstration in Physical, Biological and Earth Science with his talk on rocks.
Dylan Little, a seventh grader from Indian Creek Middle School, worked his two favorite hobbies of Legos and video games into his Computer Information Technology project.
Eighth grader Scott Evritt of Newton County Theme School placed first in Computer Information Technology with his demonstration on Nintendo Amiibo technology.
Cousins Middle School eighth grader Jane O’Toole earned 2nd place in the Forestry and Wood Science project with a speech and visuals on common pests found in pecan trees.
Seventh grader Hope Allen from the Newton County Theme School prepared her portfolio in the Health project early because she expected to travel for the Christmas holiday. She didn’t expect to end up in the hospital in Mississippi, missing more than a month of school. Allen used her experience to create her 4-H demonstration while catching up with school at the same time, and finished second at District Project Achievement.
Newton County Theme School eighth grader Mitchell Witcher expanded on his science fair work to create a demonstration on soil testing for the Plant and Soil Science project. He earned first place with both the top portfolio and project in his area.
In the Science of Engineering and Mechanics, seventh grade home school student CJ Harris discussed 3D printers and their use in his service project making prosthetic hands for children, earning 2nd place overall.
Current 6th through 11th graders can drop by the office to start their own 4-H portfolios and earn a trip to next year’s competition.