IMPORTANT 4-H ANNOUNCEMENT June 17, 2021
Dear Michigan 4-H community,
It is with great enthusiasm that I share Michigan State University Extension will eliminate the 4-H participation fee beyond the current program year. As you know, we did not collect the fee in 2020-2021 in consideration of the financial strain put on some families due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This pause gave us an opportunity to reflect on how we can best reach all audiences. Despite our best efforts, this fee has been a barrier for some. By removing the fee indefinitely, we feel we can best bring the power of 4-H to all young people in Michigan.
Our MSU Extension 4-H program coordinators played a large role in leading us through this decision. These professionals serve alongside youth across the state and have been champions for removing the participation fee in an effort to better reach under-served audiences in our rural, urban and suburban communities.
It is important to note that enhancements previously supported by 4-H participation fee funds, including 4-H grants, awards and scholarships, and supplemental accidental insurance for 4-H youth and volunteers, will continue. Michigan 4-H has identified alternative funding sources that can support these and other local and state programing initiatives previously enhanced by participation fee dollars. This includes endowments, grants, reallocating funds formerly used for 4-H participation fee scholarships and other methods. The quality and quantity of programming offered by Michigan 4-H will not be diminished as a result of the participation fee dissolution.
The last 15 months have been difficult. We are excited that we are once again able to offer face-to-face programs in local communities and we hope this new policy will provide our current and future 4-H community with new and improved opportunities to grow with 4-H.
Yours in 4-H,
State Leader for Michigan 4-H
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