TALLADEGA COUNTY -- Some 18 Talladega County Schools students between the ages of 9 and 13 participated in this year’s 4H Club Public Speaking Contest at Talladega Bottling Works last week.

According to 4H Regional Extension Agent Kim Good, the contest is part of “Speak Up Alabama.” Students in the Junior (9-11) and Intermediate (12-13) age groups gave either an informative or persuasive speech lasting from three to five minutes on the topic of their choice.

The contest also includes Senior 1 (14-15) and Senior 2 (16-18) categories, but there were no competitors in Talladega in these age groups.

This year’s contest was judged by Kelsey Gallahar of the Talladega City Manager’s Office and Sherry Vermilyer of Winterboro School. The winner and runner-up in each category will go on to complete at the Regional 4H Congress May 30 at Munford High School. Students from 12 different counties will be participating.

This year’s first- and second-place finishers were Kenleigh McArthur and Anna Clair Spradley (junior, persuasive); Bentlee Pahman and Joseph Griffith (junior, informative); Kayla Davis and Jasmine Allen (intermediate, informative) and Maya Costenaro and Hanna Webber (intermediate persuasive).