Dear 4-H community:
On April 2, 2020, Michigan State University made the decision to modify or suspend youth events scheduled to take place this summer on MSU’s campus. This, combined with Gov. Whitmer’s announcement that in-person K-12 instruction is suspended for the remainder of the academic year, has informed changes to our guidance to MSU Extension’s youth programming. These changes include: All on-campus MSU youth events scheduled to occur before September 1, 2020 will be modified to an online space, postponed or cancelled. No face-to-face MSU Extension youth events or programs will take place anywhere in the state, including summer camps, until September 1, 2020. This applies to events and activities scheduled through September 1 that are led by Michigan 4-H volunteers as well. Given the fluid nature of this situation, it may be a few weeks before decisions are reached about which programs will become virtual versus which will be postponed or canceled; information will be shared as soon as it is available. Regardless, all program participants will receive a full refund for any out-of-pocket registration fees already paid for affected programs. Staff will be in contact with you regarding this matter in the coming weeks; we appreciate your patience with this process. This decision has implications on 4-H classes and activities at county fairs. MSU Extension is working with the Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, as well as local fair boards, to pursue new delivery methods for these 4-H events. Please watch for more information in the coming weeks. Youth safety and security are a guiding principle of Michigan 4-H; this decision is a reflection of that and our ongoing commitment to helping Michigan youth be physically and emotionally safe. Although the right thing to do for the health and wellbeing of MSU Extension staff, volunteers, program participants and all Michiganders, this is still a heartbreaking decision for us. Now more than ever, MSU Extension remains committed to delivering meaningful experiences to youth and volunteers through a variety of supplemental offerings that support the educational development of Michigan youth. We will continue to update our Remote Learning and Resource space with online programs, so be sure to visit the site frequently for additions and new offerings. Thank you for your continued interest in Michigan 4-H programming and for your support and understanding of our efforts to protect everyone’s health. As we strive to create positive learning environments for Michigan 4-H’ers, the healthy and constructive response to this decision, and resulting ongoing dialogue, we will continue to support young people which are at the core of all 4-H programs. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact your local 4-H program coordinator.
Jeff Dwyer, Jake DeDecker Director,
MSU Extension, State Leader, Michigan 4-H Youth Development Senior Associate Dean for Outreach and Engagement,
MSU Extension MSU, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
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