MSU Extension to host listening sessions for children and youth programming

To best understand today's challenges and how to effectively support them, MSU Extension is hosting listening sessions. Information collected will be used to adapt existing programming, or develop new educational programming, to address community needs.

Michigan’s children, youth, families and communities are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges vary widely and are influenced greatly by geography, economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and many other factors.

In order to best understand these challenges and how we can effectively support them, Michigan State University Extension is launching a series of listening sessions. Michigan children, youth and those who support them, including parents and caregivers, as well as agencies and other organizations, are encouraged to join these sessions and share their thoughts. Information collected will be used to adapt existing programming, or develop new educational programming, to address the critical needs of our communities.

Please register for one or more of these listening sessions.

Most of the sessions will have an area of focus in an effort to solicit feedback from specific targeted groups for MSU Extension programming. Though we hope to hear from youth and individuals who support those areas and demographics, all are welcome to attend any session.

  • Wednesday, April 22
    • 10 a.m. - Focus on Upper Peninsula
    • 1 p.m. - Focus on Northwest Michigan - Traverse City area (Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, Wexford counties)
    • 3 p.m. - Focus on Northeast Michigan - Alpena area (Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon counties)
    • 5 p.m. - Open dialogue, no target demographic
  • Thursday, April 23
    • 10 a.m. - Focus on West Central Michigan - Grand Rapids area (Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Ottawa counties)
    • 1 p.m. - Focus on Greater Saginaw Bay (Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw counties)
    • 3 p.m. - Focus on the Thumb and Flint area (Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Tuscola counties)
    • 8 p.m. - Youth session, intended to focus on youth voice
  • Friday, April 24
    • 9 a.m. - Focus on Lansing Metro area (Clinton, Eaton, Ingham counties)
    • 11 a.m. - Focus on Southwest Michigan (Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Van Buren counties)
    • 1 p.m. - Focus on Southeast/South Central Michigan (Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Washtenaw counties)
    • 3 p.m. - Focus on Metro Detroit (Oakland, Macomb, Wayne counties)
  • Saturday, April 25
    • 10 a.m. - Open dialogue, no target demographic 
    • 2 p.m. - Open dialogue, no target demographic
  • Monday, April 27
    • 10 a.m. - Focus on children and youth with particular needs (adjudicated youth, immigrant/refugee youth, youth experiencing homelessness, youth in foster care, families experiencing financial hardship, displaced youth and families, youth being raised by grandparents, kinship care)
    • 2 p.m. - Focus on children and youth with disabilities and their families
    • 4 p.m. - Focus on LGBTQ+ children and youth and those who work with and support them
  • Thursday, April 30
    • 1 p.m. - Focus on children in early childhood and those who work with and support them
    • 3 p.m. - Focus on children and youth from underserved and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (American Indian/Native American/Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Middle Eastern/Arab American/North African, multiracial, etc.) and those who work with and support them.
  • Friday, May 1
    • 10 a.m. - Focus on current 4-H members, volunteers and families
    • 1 p.m. - Focus on mental health and wellbeing of children and youth and those who work with and support them

If you do not have internet access, you can attend sessions by calling 1-646-876-9923 and entering the meeting code 934 2458 8739 when prompted.

We prefer participants attend one of our live listening sessions, but if that cannot be accommodated, they can provide input.

MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. Persons with disabilities have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodations. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Darren Bagley at bagleyda@msu.edu to make arrangements. 

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