WCC Weekly Bulletin Week of 1/18

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With the start of a new year, we have made a few changes to the WCC Weekly Bulletin that will hopefully streamline the content. The purpose of the Weekly Bulletin is to provide you with WCC grant specific information as well as some useful tools and resources that might be helpful to your work.

  1. WCC Grant Information – grant specific information such as reporting deadlines, important calls, etc. will continue to be top of the bulletin.
  2. Action Required – anytime there is an action required related to an item in the bulletin, we will indicate that in the heading.
  3. News, Research, and Resources from the Field – This section includes links to relevant articles, tools, resources, as well as funding opportunities. It is meant to provide information that might be useful to your work in your communities. If there are any grant expectations related to an included resource, those will be clearly communicated to you through a webinar, training, PI Call, etc. We’ve also added a News, Research, Resource, or Funding Opportunity designation to assist you in quickly finding the information that is most relevant to you.

The following bulletin includes information regarding the Well Connected Communities initiative for the week of January 18, 2021:

In this Edition

  • Quarterly PI Call Friday, February 19, 2021
  • Youth Voice and Leadership
  • Professional Development
  • WCC Communications Toolkit
  • News, Research, and Resources from the Field

Quarterly PI Call Friday, February 19, 2021

  • Quarterly PI Calls are an opportunity to disseminate information and updates related to the WCC grant. The next Quarterly PI Call will be Friday, February 19, 2021 from 1:30 – 3:00 PM ET. We will be meeting via Zoom. PIs should refer to the Outlook Calendar invite from Shay McNeil for the link and password to connect to the meeting. An agenda for the meeting will be provided closer to the next call.

Quarterly PI Call Schedule:

  • February 19, 2021
  • May 21, 2021
  • August 20, 2021

Youth Voice and Leadership

  • National 4-H Summit for Health Living, February 12 – 15, 2021

Registration is now open for the National 4-H Summit for Healthy Living.  https://shop4-h.org/products/healthy-living-summit-registration  or https://4-h.org/parents/national-youth-summits/#healthyliving

This is a virtual event scheduled for February 12-15 for high school students and adults. Registration closes January 29, 2021.

Registration is $75 per person, youth or adult. Each participant will receive a Summit box of materials to promote having a great Summit experience.

Registration will be a two-step process. First, the attendees need to be registered and payment made in order to get the Summit boxes to everyone in time.  Secondly, after registration closes January 29, attendees have one week to designate the track they will stay in: nutrition, physical activity, mental health, substance abuse, health equity, and food insecurity plus an adult track for professional development. This needs to be done by February 5, 2021 and you will receive information on what the workshop offerings will be for each track prior to the deadline.  The tracks are the “how” behind allowing unlimited participation.  Workshop offerings are being finalized now.

Please pass this information along to county staff, 4-H Club volunteers, anyone with an interest in deepening their 4-H Healthy Living knowledge.

  • Youth in Action Applications

The 4‑H Youth in Action Program recognizes four confident young leaders with diverse backgrounds and unique perspectives in our core pillar areas: agriculture, civic engagement, healthy living and STEM. Each year, Pillar Winners will experience an exciting year of telling their 4‑H story and celebrating their leadership. Winners receive:

  • $5,000 higher education scholarship
  • Promotional video showcasing their 4‑H impact story
  • All-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. for National 4‑H Council’s Legacy Awards
  • Networking opportunities with 4‑H celebrities and other prominent alumni
  • Recognition as the official 4‑H youth spokesperson for their pillar

Apply Applications should be submitted no later than 11:59 PM PT on Monday, March 29, 2021.

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.


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.


  • Peer Perspectives: Creating PSE Change

February 25, 2021, 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET

Policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change are powerful tools for expanding impact, fostering culture change, and sustaining progress. PSE change takes time and can look different in every community. Communities across the country have helped light the way, creating practices and patterns that help make PSE change more doable than ever. Join us to hear how WCC peers are scaling impact through PSE and participate in small group discussion for how your states/communities take action. Learn more:

WCC Blog: Understanding Policy, Systems and Environmental Change


WCC Communications

  • Updates to the WCC Communications Toolkit

Take a moment to peruse the updated communications toolkit on the WCC Portal: https://portal.wellconnectedcommunities.org/communications-toolkit/

Some items of interest are an updated PPT template, virtual backgrounds for all your online meeting needs, and a full ZIP file of WCC logos for every use. Also included in the update are the current Brand, Logo and Positioning Guidelines. The new positioning–or a brief statement of the what, why and how of the initiative–has been updated on all the templates and materials available in the toolkit, as well.

Coming Soon! A WCC overview PPT, WCC overview factsheet, WCC Q&As, and more.

News, Research, and Resources from the Field:

This section includes links to relevant articles, tools, resources, as well as funding opportunities. It is meant to provide information that might be useful to your work in your communities.

As the nation faces an unprecedented health crisis, it is more important than ever to have health information at the local level. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 500 Cities is expanding to PLACES, a first-of-its-kind effort to release health information covering the entire United States down to the city, county, and census tract level, including rural areas, small and midsize cities.

The PLACES project includes 27 different health measures, including mental and physical health, access to health insurance and preventive screenings, for every county, city, and census tract in the U.S. The chronic disease measures focus on health outcomes, unhealthy behaviors, and prevention practices that have a substantial impact on how well and long people live. Created by the CDC in 2016 to provide city and census tract-level health data for the 500 largest cities, the 500 Cities project expanded to PLACES, providing data for the entire country with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

On Thursday, January 28 at 1:00 PM ET the CDC, RWJF, and CDC Foundation will host a webinar with a live demo of the new PLACES site and its interactive capabilities. We’ll also have a few leaders (including Cara James!) who will speak to the ways in which communities can use this powerful new data resource to improve health in their communities. And plenty of time mapped out for Q&A. Registration details are here. 

From American Economic Review: Insights   

by: C. Kirabo Jackson, Shanette C. Porter, John Q. Easton, Alyssa Blanchard, and Sebastián Kiguel, vol. 2, no. 4, December 2020

Using value-added models on data from Chicago Public Schools, we find that high schools impact students’ self-reported socioemotional development (SED) by enhancing social well-being and promoting hard work. Conditional on their test score impacts, schools that improve SED in ninth grade reduce school-based arrests and increase high school completion and college going. For most longer-run outcomes, using both SED and test score value added more than doubles the variance of the explained school effect relative to using test score value added alone. Results suggest that high school impacts on SED can be captured using self-report surveys and SED can be fostered by schools to improve longer-run outcomes.


New findings from a national, ongoing poll from RAND Corporation show that many people—even those who may have been hit hardest by COVID-19—do not recognize racism as a barrier to good health. And despite the toll the pandemic has taken on so many lives, perceptions have not changed over the past months.

The poll looks at how COVID-19 is affecting health, optimism for the future, and the views, values, and experiences of those who are most affected by this crisis.

Read the complete survey findings >

From the American Communities Project

by Ari Pinkus November 23, 2020

Covid-19 is widely thought to have triggered the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, surpassing the Great Recession that caused significant hardship just over 10 years ago — the problem of hunger vividly displayed by food lines across America these past eight months.

Where available, webinar recordings, PowerPoint slides, and transcripts for 2020 National Rural Health Day programming can now be accessed on the National Rural Health Day website. All links are free and accessible to the public. Event topics range from telehealth and COVID-19 testing to social determinants of health and substance use disorder.  Participating organizations included HHS entities CDC, CMS, HRSA, NIH, the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services, the National Association of Rural Health Clinics, and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health.

From the American Communities Project

by Stuart Reid, December 01, 2020

When George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis in the spring, the coronavirus pandemic was no longer the only major issue facing the city. As protests erupted in South Minneapolis, many small businesses were damaged and destroyed. Seward Community Co-op has two storefronts owned by more than 21,000 Minneapolis households — both in neighborhoods where protests and property damage occurred

  • News University of Missouri Extension to Expand Mental Health Resources in Rural Areas

Missouri’s rural counties lack mental health services despite growing financial stress and suicide rates. All of Missouri’s 99 rural counties face a shortage of mental health professionals; 57 of them have none. University of Missouri Extension hopes to change that through a multistate project to help farmers, ranchers and farm families find affordable help close to home. MU is part of a $28.7 million, three-year grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN). FRSAN supports projects that provide stress assistance and suicide prevention services for farmers, ranchers and others in agricultural occupations, says MU Extension health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch, who is MU’s principal investigator for the grant. For more information, read the MU article.

  • Funding opportunity Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFPCGP)

The CFPCGP program fights food insecurity through developing community food projects that help promote the self-sufficiency of low-income communities. CFP supports the development of projects with a one-time infusion of federal dollars to make projects self-sustaining. For more information, read the full CFP funding opportunity.

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.

From NPR

“All Things Considered”, December 28, 2020

The virus infecting thousands of Americans a day is also attacking the country’s social fabric. The coronavirus has exposed a weakness in many rural communities, where divisive pandemic politics are alienating some of their most critical residents — health care workers.