PITTSFIELD -- The annual Berkshire County Youth 4-H Fair is hosting a special youth recognition program this year with the Pittsfield Prevention Partnership.
The fair will be held on Saturday at the 4-H Fairgrounds on Utility Drive. In addition to attractions like livestock demonstrations, agricultural galleries and food, the Pittsfield Prevention Partnership will acknowledge its 20 S.A.Y. It Proud honorees around 11:30 a.m.
The award stands for "Supporting and Acknowledging Youth" and is supported through Berkshire United Way. Each month, a Pittsfield-based organization which works with youth nominated an individual or small group of kids or teens to be recognized for making positive decisions and contributions to the community.
"We're celebrating with 4-H this month, which will be honoring one of its youth as well as hosting our year-end celebration," said Pittsfield Prevention Partnership coordinator Karen Cole.
The Pittsfield Prevention Partnership piloted the monthly recognition model this year.
"It involved community organizations that are already working so closely with young people and it's an award that's coming from a nominator [the students] know and see on a daily basis, which I think makes it more meaningful," said Cole.
Each participant was given the award at a special event, be it a community event or school gathering. Students each received a gift bag, framed certificate, and a membership to the Pittsfield Family YMCA. The student was also featured in an article on The Eagle's Learning page.
On Saturday, the youths will be recognized together and given a $25 Visa gift card, a meal at the fair and cake. Mayor Daniel Bianchi, Berkshire County Sheriff Thomas Bowler and other dignitaries will be in attendance. Youth Alive Drum Corps leader Jerome Edgerton will speak at the event.
Cole said presenting the award at an event gives the recipient's peers the opportunity to see positive recognition of youth. On Saturday, for example, the S.A.Y. It Proud winners will be able to see the 4-H fair participants doing what they're good at, and vice versa. It's also a chance for adults to kids shine.
"All of the caring adults in our community have a role in recognizing strengths in youth, and have the opportunity to do that daily," said Cole. She said an example of daily recognition can be as simple as citing a specific good deed or positive action the young person did, whether it's helping a neighbor or giving a presentation.
"You don't have to give them a certificate, but specific and timely praise can make a big difference," she said.
If you go
What: Berkshire County Youth 4-H Fair and Pittsfield Prevention Partnership S.A.Y. It Proud celebration. This event is free and open to the public.
When: The fair is Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The youth awards will be given around 11:30 a.m.
Where: Berkshire County 4-H Fairgrounds, Utility Drive (off Holmes Road), Pittsfield.
Details: All the exhibits are by youth between the ages of 5 and 18. There will be exhibit halls to explore everything from art to agriculture; live animals to meet, live entertainment, a food booth and a games tent. There will also be a costume livestock parade, horse gymkhana, goat milking contest, local author event, exhibit hall dedication and more.