In April 2020, COVID-19 brought much of Arizona’s economy to a screeching halt. All businesses not deemed “essential” were ordered closed by Arizona’s governor Doug Ducey. The lockdown continued for nearly two months. When Gov. Ducey finally gave the go ahead to reopen, businesses slowly began the road to recovery. Even those listed as “essential” had a challenge with this economic recovery.
Many small businesses and non-profits in Arizona didn’t survive the lockdown. The businesses that did survive are hanging on as best they can. Copper Area News wanted to give something back to the local business community as a thank you for supporting us through these troubled times. Our newspapers (Copper Basin News, Superior Sun and San Manuel Miner) have been featuring local businesses and non-profits since the beginning of 2021, encouraging our readers to Shop at Home, stay local and support our local businesses. To date, Copper Area News has featured 104 businesses and groups in the Copper Corridor.
It is hard enough starting a business or expanding one during normal times. But to start one during a pandemic adds an entirely different twist to things.
As the COVID-19 Pandemic took its toll, businesses, families and even local non-profits had to adjust their strategies to keep their missions moving forward while working through the pandemic. Meetings were moved to Zoom and fundraisers had to become creative as in-person events were not allowed.
The 4-H Club serves many communities, rural and urban, throughout the United States of America. Yet, in each area, as in Pinal County, the 4-H Club is adapted to suit the needs of the local community.
As a system, Cooperative Extension believes that diverse perspectives, values, and beliefs help generate better ideas to solve the complex problems of a changing—and increasingly diverse—world.”
4-H does not just provide entertainment or education for youth or stress relief for their worried families. It impacts the communities where these families live by encouraging members to take an interest in the betterment of their community.
Youths can participate in a wide range of projects, from cooking, citizenship, aerospace science, shooting sports, animal husbandry and more.
Kearny Koyotes 4-H Club is currently enrolling members. To join, the child must be at least 8 years of age and not over the age of 18 before Jan. 1, 2022. Substituting the ages to reflect the program, this same rule applies for the Clover Bud program for youths who are 5 through 7 years of age.
Arizona 4-H now enrolls youth and adults into any program through an online enrollment system called Zingbooks, found at 4h.zsuite.org. If you call Patti Bingham, your local 4-H Community Club leader, at 520-610-0205 she will help guide you through the system.
4-H Clubs, like many groups during this pandemic, have had to adapt to this ever changing world.
In May 2020, the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension released its ‘Guide for 4-H Club and Project Meetings: COVID-19 Mitigation, which can be found online for those who wish to download it: tinyurl.com/3tydy4y6.
The guide begins by telling 4-H Volunteers “… you are responsible for the health and wellness of the members, parents, and other volunteers…” before going into a description of social distancing and mitigation effort “best practices” to follow. Including a statement that “Postponing or not holding events is the best way to prevent contamination and transmission of this disease. However, as we establish the new normal and begin in-person programming mitigation efforts are required to ensure the 4-H program does not contribute to spreading the disease.”
Much information and suggestion follows on how to stay up to date on information from the CDC, keep club members far enough apart, and even how to make sure handouts and doorknobs are touched the least amount possible.
A statement on ‘4-h.org’ says, in part, “We recognize it can be stressful for parents and families to find resources available to maintain a sense of normalcy and make sure kids don’t get off track in their daily development. And, while some schools are implementing a virtual learning plan, others don’t have the resources to continue student lessons. 4-H is provided to providing free and low cost online and print educational resources to support 4-H’ers and families while schools and clubs remain closed.”
4-H Club has a FOURWARD fund to help children who may have the talent and drive to succeed, but do not have (as yet) the opportunity to find out what they are capable of and blossom into who they can be.
With 4-H At Home, there are hands-on learning experiences provided for children, both younger and teenage, throughout the year. tinyurl.com/3tydy4y6
On the same site where you can learn all this information, there is another statement that says, “Access, equity, diversity, and inclusion are essential elements of 4-H’s goals related to positive youth development and organizational sustainability. For more than 20 years, 4-H has been intentional in building an organization and culture of belonging by actively inviting the contributions and participation of all youth.