WCC Weekly Bulletin Week of 1/4

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Happy New Year!

The following bulletin includes information regarding the Well Connected Communities initiative for the week of January 4, 2021:

In this Edition

  • Youth Voice and Leadership
  • Professional Development
  • News, Research, and Resources from the Field

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 soon and will 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 25, 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:

  • NEW Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFPCGP)

The Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program (CFPCGP) fights food insecurity through developing community food projects that help promote the self-sufficiency of low-income communities.

NIFA’s Community Food Projects (CFP) intends to solicit applications and fund two types of grants. The types are:

  1. Community Food Projects (CFP)
  2. Planning Projects (PP)

CFP supports the development of projects with a one-time infusion of federal dollars to make such projects self-sustaining. CFPs are designed to create community-based food projects with objectives, activities and outcomes that are in alignment with Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFPCGP) primary goals. Planning Projects complete a plan toward the improvement of community food security in keeping with the primary goals of the CFPCGP. Planning Projects focus on a defined community and describe in detail the activities and outcomes of the project. For more information, read the full CFP funding opportunity

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) will be making approximately 78 awards of $1 million each to rural communities to enhance substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), service delivery.  Over the course of a three-year period of performance, grant recipients will implement a set of core prevention, treatment, and recovery activities that align with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Five-Point Strategy to Combat the Opioid Crisis.  Award recipients are strongly encouraged to leverage workforce recruitment and retention programs like the National Health Service Corps (NHSC).  All domestic public and private entities, nonprofit and for-profit, are eligible to apply and all services must be provided in HRSA-designated rural areas (as defined by the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer).  The applicant organization must be part of an established network or consortium that includes at least three other separately-owned entities.  A majority, or at least 50 percent, of members in each consortium must be located within HRSA-designated rural areas.  Applicants are encouraged to include populations that have historically suffered from poorer health outcomes, health disparities, and other inequities, as compared to the rest of the target population, when addressing SUD/OUD in the proposed service area.  FORHP will hold an hour-long webinar for applicants on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 from 1-2 p.m., ET.  A recording will be made available for those who cannot attend.  Please reference page ii in the NOFO for the dial-in information for the webinar and contact ruralopioidresponse@hrsa.gov with programmatic questions and bmirindi@hrsa.gov with fiscal/budget-related questions.

American Communities Project

by Becky Ofrane October 21, 2020

Inspired in part by the American Communities Project’s county-level health analysis by Community Type, City Health Dashboard recently released an analysis and typology of America’s small and midsize cities, categorizing cities of population between 50,000 to 500,000 into 10 distinct City Types.

  • NEW Covid-19 Dashboard for Rural America

From The Daily Yonder

We’re tracking the spread and impact of Covid-19 across rural America. The numbers and maps on this dashboard are updated weekly. View the Covid-19 Dashboard.

RWJF Culture of Health Blog, Nov 16, 2020, Posted by Jeanette Betancourt, Katie Wehr

The lovable Muppets of Sesame Street have a history of tackling tough topics with a compassionate, evidence-based, and age-appropriate approach. Helping us with the struggles of 2020 is no exception.

This year was full of change, loss, and challenges for kids who are learning how to manage big feelings. That’s why RWJF is proud to support Sesame Street in Communities. They are an important and needed resource to help families cope with the stress and uncertainty of the holidays amid a pandemic—and beyond.

Learn more >



How does the world inspire you? Take this quiz to discover how the rest of the world may shape what you do and how you think. The results might surprise you. The quiz is composed of two sets of questions. The first will ask you about how you’ve experienced the rest of the world, while the second will ask you about how you think about other countries.

  • From eXtension
  • Impact Collaborative Innovation Skill-Building Experience. Registration Open for eXtension Members! January 19th & 26th, February 2nd & 9th, 2021. Do you have a project idea that needs incubation, innovation, and ways to get to implementation and impact faster? Are you looking to learn about design thinking and lean experimentation combined with Cooperative Extension’s best practices for solving important community issues? Are you interested in becoming an Innovation Facilitator/Coach for future Impact Collaborative events and to support your institution’s teams and teams across the nation? If you answered yes, to any of these questions then join us to explore the Impact Collaborative’s Innovation Skill-building experience in a whole new way. Learn More
  • Federal Trade Commission Warns of Vaccine Scams
    Roger Rennekamp, Extension Health Director

Now that COVID-19 vaccinations have been approved for emergency use, scammers will not be far behind warns the warns the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  In response, the FTC has developed a blog that include specific warnings and infographics that organizations like Cooperative Extension can use to inform their clients of these possible scams.  The blogs are available in English and Spanish…Learn More.

  • Social Determinants of Health: What’s Happenin’ on the Hill?
    Erin Yelland, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Kansas State University
    I recently attended a Congressional Briefing on the Social Determinants of Health to learn more about what is happening at the national level regarding the social determinants (for a refresher course on the social determinants, see my last blog post here – federal policies are a big part of this equation). So, what’s happenin’? Turns out, quite a bit! And the future is expected to be bright as the 117th Congress begins next month…Learn More

This episode is the audio from a webinar hosted by the eXtension Foundation on December 2nd, 2020, featuring individuals from the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. The description of the webinar is available below:

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will be released soon, and anticipation is building around this important roadmap for healthy eating. As a Cooperative Extension nutrition communicator, you play an important role in helping us disseminate key Dietary Guidelines consumer messages to your unique audiences in your local communities throughout the country. While the content of the latest Dietary Guidelines is being finalized, during the webinar we will share key consumer messaging with you and offer suggestions for getting promotional materials ready.

Susan Harris and Soni Cochran from Nebraska Extension about their project – Wellness in Tough Times Toolkit – that focuses on rural Nebraska communities impacted by disaster(s) with limited resources for recovery. This team’s journey working with the eXtension Foundation began in 2019 as a brand new project working through the Impact Collaborative program. Since then, they have received funding to support their work. At present, they are one of eight teams selected by the eXtension Foundation to have their project accelerated through our New Technologies for Ag Extension (NTAE) program.