WCC Weekly Bulletin Week of 12/14

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The following bulletin includes information regarding the Well Connected Communities initiative for the week of December 14, 2020:

In this Edition

  • Due this Week Q4 Reporting
  • Youth Voice and Leadership
  • Professional Development
  • News, Research, and Resources from the Field

Due this Week Q4 Reporting

  • The Q4 report will be due December 15, 2020. The reporting period is September 1 – November 30, 2020.

Youth Voice and Leadership

  • Second Youth Introductory Session, January 19, 2021, 7:00 – 8:30 PM ET

On January 19, 2021, from 7:00 – 8:30 PM ET, there will be another virtual Youth Introductory Session where the youth teams from our WCC communities can introduce themselves and their health issues to their peers. We had a very successful first session on August 26, 2020 with 49 participants. Youth from that session are invited to return to cheer on and learn about their peers. This repeat session is for those communities that did not have youth on the August call and to introduce WCC youth to each other prior to the National 4-H Summit on Healthy Living. Each youth team is asked to prepare 1-2 slides to tell about their communities and their activities. PI’s are asked to register their youth and adult participants using this link.  Slides should be sent to Hayat Essa (hessa@fourhcouncil.edu) by January 11, 2021. 

  • National 4-H Summit for Health Living, February 12 – 15, 2021
    • The National 4-H Summit on Healthy Living will be virtual and held on its usual Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 12 -15, 2021. The number of hours per day is still TBD but will last no more than approximately 4-5 hours on any one day.
  • Cost is $75 per youth or adult.
  • Registration will open Christmas Week and close January 22, 2021.  Once your team is registered, you will have the opportunity to select a track for your team from these 6: Food Insecurity, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Substance Abuse, Mental Health and Health Equity.  The selection will need to be made by January 29, 2021.
  • Because of the tracks, there will be no limit on the number of registrations.
  • Highlights of the Summit will include keynote and capnote speakers and a speaker of the day, virtual State Showcase, 3 workshops, career exploration, a virtual “Coffee House” for discussion of national health issues, action plan development, and lots of opportunities for networking.
  • New for this year will be TBD follow-ups for pitching action plans in the “Dolphin Tank”, and following those action plans to see the impact on communities.

Professional Development

  • Youth-Adult Volunteer Leadership Office Hours

Office hours will be held on Monday, January 18, 2021 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET to entertain questions about Youth-Adult Partnerships or Master Volunteers.  The specific sub-topic we will focus on sharing what each WCC grantee is doing with their LGUs WCC program – training, internship in light of the pandemic, etc.  For example, New Hampshire will be using the training track they sign up for at the HL Summit as part of their MV training which will be at least 4 hours.

Register Here

Additional Youth-Adult Volunteer Leadership Office Hours will be held:

  • April 19, 2021, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
  • July 19, 2021, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
  • October 18, 2021, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
  • Cooperative Extension and its Role in Public Health

January 28, 2021, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Speaker: Roger Rennekamp, PhD

Roger Rennekamp, National Director for Extension will lead the conversation on our collective effort to foster systems change while implementing policies, systems and environment (PSE) change across our Well Connected Communities. This interactive session will focus on:

  1. Cooperative Extension System and its role in public health and health equity.
  2. Driving PSE and systems change through cross-unit collaboration at university and community levels.
  3. Strengthening equity work across communities, urban, tribal and rural.
  4. Creating and disseminating tools and stories for peer-to-peer learning and evaluation.
  5. What to expect in 2021 for professional development sessions, youth-adult partnerships and Master Volunteer Programs.


News, Research and Resources from the Field:

HHS released a new comprehensive HHS Action Plan and the U.S. Surgeon General issued a complementary Call to Action to Improve Maternal Health to reduce maternal deaths and disparities that put women at risk before, during, and after pregnancy.

HHS also announced a public-private partnership with the March of Dimes to support these initiatives. 

USDA will host a Faith and Opportunity Fellowship convening bringing together faith leaders, faith-based organizations, and houses of worship to engage with peers, discuss common challenges, and hear best practices related to food security and community food system resilience.  Register here. Reach out to alex.cordova@usda.gov with any questions. 

Tuesday, December 15 at 1:00 pm ET.  Building on work conducted by the FORHP-supported Rural and Minority Research Center, this hour-long presentation will review key elements of social determinants of health (SDOH) such as education, income, and health facility availability. 

The Community Connect Grant Program provides financial assistance to eligible applicants that will provide service at or above the Broadband Grant Speed to all premises in rural, economically-challenged communities where broadband service does not exist. The deployment of broadband services on a “community-oriented connectivity” basis stimulates economic development and provides enhanced educational and health care opportunities in rural areas. RUS will give priority to rural areas that demonstrate the greatest need for broadband services, based on the criteria contained herein.

  • NEW New module of the “Increasing Cultural Awareness and Equity in Extension Programs” series available
  1. Go to https://campus.extension.org
  2. The login pane is on the left hand side of the screen. Enter existing login credentials or choose “Create New account”
  3. Once logged in, search for the course “Increasing Cultural Awareness & Equity in Extension Programs”
  4. To enroll in this course
  5. Select the course
  6. Enter the Enrollment Key (your state name, i.e. Maryland)
  7. Select “Enroll Me”
  • NEW CDC PLACES data for every census tract in the nation

PLACES (Population Level Analysis and Community Estimates) includes 27 different measures of health— including mental and physical health, access to health insurance, and preventive screenings— at a hyper-local level. These data can be used to identify and understand health disparities, establish health goals, and target programs and policies where you live.

  • Explore the new data! Go to https://www.cdc.gov/places to explore health data where you live— by county, city, or census tract!
  • Save the date! On January 28 at 1:00pm (ET), the CDC will host a webinar with a live demonstration of the new PLACES data and their interactive capabilities. You’ll also hear how local leaders are planning to use this powerful new resource in their communities.  Registration details to follow.

USDA will host a Faith and Opportunity Fellowship convening bringing together faith leaders, faith-based organizations, and houses of worship to engage with peers, discuss common challenges, and hear best practices related to food security and community food system resilience.  Register here. Reach out to alex.cordova@usda.gov with any questions. 

  • From the Journal of Extension Volume 58 Number 5 – October 2020
  • We (All) Need to Talk About Race: Building Extension’s Capacity for Dialogue and Action
    Walcott, Eric; Raison, Brian; Welborn, Rachel; Pirog, Rich; Emery, Mary; Stout, Mike; Hendrix, Laura; Ostrom, Marcia
    For Extension to remain relevant to the mission of meeting the most critical community needs, we must examine the racial inequities that hold us back as institutions and lead efforts to engage diverse communities in learning about race through dialogue. Responses from participants in 26 states who joined a train-the-trainer initiative suggested that despite previous efforts, there is great need for increased education and capacity building to address racism and prioritize racial equity both within our institutions and in the communities we serve. For Extension professionals to effectively engage in this work, it is critical for administrators to show visible support.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on “We (All) Need to Talk About Race: Building Extension’s Capacity for Dialogue and Action

  • Decision-Making Tree for Prioritizing Racial Equity in Resource Allocation
    Bain, Jamie; Harden, Noelle; Heim, Stephanie
    Within University of Minnesota Extension’s health and nutrition program area, we created and are using a decision-making tree to prioritize our work with communities of color through equitable decision-making practices. The tool is currently used to help grant administrators winnow down a pool of applicants for a participatory grant-making program called the Action Learning Seed Fund. In this article, we draw on our experiences with creating and using the tool to explore its potential application for advancing equitable decision making in other areas of Extension work.
  • Tips for Using Photovoice in Evaluation of Extension Programs
    Keller, Kimberly J. M.; Mott, Rebecca
    Photovoice is a technique in which a facilitator guides a participant to produce a photograph and accompanying caption that reflects the participant’s unique views regarding a topic. The photovoice process is designed to be used with a wide range of audiences. This article describes ways Extension educators can incorporate photovoice into the evaluation of Extension programs and identifies issues they should consider when doing so.

Washington Post

Hardest hit are Black, Hispanic, low-income students and children with disabilities.

By Laura Meckler and Hannah Natanson

  • Save the Date: No Kid Hungry’s Virtual Rural Child Hunger Summit 
    March 23-24, 2021

The Summit will occur as a virtual event, held over Zoom for two days on March 23-24, 2021. The goals of the 2021 Rural Child Hunger Summit are to highlight the disparities driving child hunger in rural communities, identify promising practices and policy levers that amplify the impact of existing nutrition assistance programs and/or reduce the incidence of rural child hunger, and celebrate innovations that are community-based, user-centered and evidence-informed  

Stay tuned for future updates on how to register for this free event. In the meantime, you can learn more about past Summits by visiting our website.

  • Awards and Grant Opportunities

SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2021 Statewide Family Network grant program to more effectively respond to the needs of children, youth, and young adults with serious emotional disturbances (SED) and their families.  Closing date: Jan. 4, 2021.

Funding for programs designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funding priorities include prescription drug and opioid abuse, education, and rural intermediary organizations. Closing date:  Jan 6, 2021.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service grants to plan, establish, and/or sustain a Farm to School program that improves access to local foods in schools. Closing date: Jan. 8, 2021.

Grants to small communities to assist in the renovation of an historic or traditional central business district, or “Main Street” area, by replacing unused, obsolete, commercial space in buildings with affordable housing units. Closing Date: Jan. 19, 2021.

  • Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities
    The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program makes federal funds available by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to states, U.S territories, Indian tribal governments, and local communities for pre-disaster mitigation activities. Closing date: Jan 29, 2020.