COVID-19 Message

Dear 4-H Volunteers and Families:

As you know, for the past four months New Jersey 4-H, as part of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, has been operating under the directive that all 4-H in-person events, classes, programs, club meetings, camps, and other group activities organized by or under the auspices of RCE - 4-H Youth Development are suspended through at least August 31, 2020.

While reported daily increases in new COVID-19 cases in our state are tracking lower today than several months ago, community transmission of the virus continues. Safety issues and the uncertainty of fall public schooling, all must be taken into account. In order to protect the health of our communities, Rutgers Cooperative Extension is aligning with the University's plans to continue programming only in remote formats through the fall. This means all 4-H events, classes, programs, club meetings, camps, and other group activities organized by or under the auspices of Rutgers Cooperative Extension - 4-H Youth Development must be conducted remotely.

All of us had hoped to return to in-person programming soon. While we will continue to utilize remote formats this fall, it is clear that the 4-H community knows how to bring the spirit and values of 4-H into the virtual world. Our 4-H members, families, and volunteers are creative and dedicated to finding meaningful ways to connect to their clubs, communities, across the country, and even around the world.

Over the past four months, 4-H members and volunteers have held virtual club meetings and led community service projects. 4-H From Home provided resources for volunteers and interactive opportunities for youth across the state. Hundreds of youth participated in weekly webinars and virtual 4-H special interest clubs. Our 4-H Camp team led a successful virtual camp—HAFHAH (Home Away From Home At Home). Over 1,500 entries were submitted to NJ 4-H Virtual Fair. Through all the challenges of the recent months, 4-Hers continue to lead by example and find innovative ways to serve their communities from a distance.

We may be apart right now, but the 4-H community is strong and united in exploring new and innovative solutions for today's challenges. RCE and 4-H faculty and staff will continue to support our youth, families, volunteers and local partners as we navigate our country's health emergency. We are still in this together and we will get through this together!

We thank you for your support as we continue to learn from our health officials and educational partners the best methods to serve young people during this extraordinary time.

Sincerely,
Rachel Lyons, Chair
Department of 4-H Youth Development
August 6, 2020

Rutgers New Jersey 4-H Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station