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All Hall students win in Project Achievement
Annual 4-H program promotes creativity, life skills
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Marvin Mendez, 11, plays guitar and sings “Hallalujah” on Tuesday night with accompaniment from his brother Johny, 12, for the Hall County 4-H Cloverleaf Project Achievement at Tadmore Elementary School in Gainesville. Parents Marvin and Rosa Mendez, at right, document the performance. - photo by NAT GURLEY

For Michelle Piñonez, it was only natural for her to complete a project on Whitney Houston.

“I like her song ‘I Will Always Love You’ because it’s really legendary,” the 11-year-old Tadmore Elementary School student said. “I like the tune and how much force it is. So I was going to try my best to accomplish that challenging song.”

Piñonez sang Houston’s popular song a capella during Tuesday’s annual Hall County 4-H Cloverleaf Project Achievement in the performing arts competition, one of many categories in which around 100 elementary and middle school students were invited to participate.

The annual event, hosted by Tadmore Elementary, is a long-running tradition in 4-H, a youth development organization that provides hands-on learning in a variety of activities.

“It’s one of the best programs Georgia 4-H offers,” said County Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development Judy Tilford. “I think that learning life skills that prepare young people to enter the workforce or to enter college ... are super important, and they’re learning (those skills) through Project Achievement.”

Tadmore Elementary student Yamilet Anariba performed the Katy Perry song “Wide Awake” in her presentation against online bullying.

“Not many people like her anymore, and I guess I just want to get those people to start liking her again,” the 10-year-old said about Perry. Yamilet said she’s “kind of” a Katy Perry fan.

The students compete in a wide range of categories, including performing arts, interior design, cat care, creative stitchery and public speaking, among others. They’re asked to prepare a speech or demonstration, along with a poster or some visual element to share.

From the county competition, all participants were invited to attend the upcoming district Project Achievement, scheduled for March 1 in Athens.

“They’re learning how to speak in public,” Tilford said. “They’re learning how to complete an application or write a resume and then present themselves nicely.

“It really is the one thing that keeps me involved with Georgia 4-H, is Project Achievement,” she added. “It’s a great program for the kids.”

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