Dear Members of the 116th Congress,
On behalf of National 4‑H Council, we thank you and your staff for passing the “Phase 3” stimulus supporting nonprofits during the COVID-19 crisis. As you turn to Phase 4 and beyond, we urge you to continue advocacy for 4‑H and nonprofits serving youth.
4‑H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, with six million youth served by more than 3,000 Cooperative Extension educators and 500,000 volunteers—in every county and parish. 4‑H focuses on creating social and economic opportunity for all kids—with programs in STEM, workforce development, health and civic engagement. The COVID-19 crisis has significantly impacted these programs—closing the National Conference Center as well as in-person 4‑H clubs and programs nationwide.
The Phase 3 bill brought much-needed support for 4‑H and nonprofits, but it’s clear more work is needed to aid long-term recovery. In a Phase 4 bill, 4‑H is seeking the following recovery measures:
1. 4‑H Conference Center Stimulus Request of $21.7M: 4‑H has shuttered its National Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD, a nonprofit hotel and conference center hosting 4‑H youth and volunteers in a safe and enriching environment. There is an immediate and critical need for additional capital to perform necessary and now deferred maintenance to the physical plant and make customer-facing renovations to ensure the Conference Center can successfully resume operations in the DC-metro marketplace.
2. Immediate Funding to Address Learning Loss: Cooperative Extension and 4‑H provide educational resources, social/emotional support and a sense of belonging to the six million 4‑H’ers across the country—as well as all youth and families who need us. To help us bridge the gap of anticipated spring and summer learning loss in 2020, National 4‑H Council is requesting funding to make Cooperative Extensions’ 4‑H e-learning experiences and opportunities available in a consumer-friendly format for all kids and families to access.
3. Robust funding for the Department of Justice’s Youth Mentoring Grant. The Youth Mentoring Grant supports 4‑H’s mentoring activities in 38 states, particularly in areas devastated by opiates. As already-vulnerable families face uncertain economic futures, youth mentoring will be more needed than ever. We strongly encourage that you provide at least $250 million in emergency funding for the Youth Mentoring Grant for immediate (FY 2020 supplemental) funding and $8.25M for National 4‑H Council in FY 2021.
As you continue your work, I invite you to contact us for more on 4‑H’s COVID-19 response and positive impact in your district. Please contact Eliza Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Thank you for your leadership and support during this difficult time.