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Story in Brief

Students in Georgia public schools missed several weeks of school in 2020 to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus on a widespread scale. After schools were closed, 4-H programs also had to alter programming plans due to Georgia 4-H’s role as a partner in public education. University of Georgia Extension agents saw a need for 4-H lessons to be shared on an online platform so parents and students could have a resource for fun, educational learning opportunities. Extension agents in Banks, Burke, Morgan and Greene counties partnered to create an online resource for students and parents to use during the pandemic. The first edition of Plugged into 4-H was published on March 18, the same day that Georgia's Governor ordered Georgia's schools to close, and the last edition was published on May 15, as schools were closing for the summer. This short-term project was meant to bridge the gap for students and parents who were suddenly thrust into new territory in hopes that enrichment could come in the way of hands-on, ready-to-use lessons. Subscribers received a newsletter each weekday, and each issue covered a different topic, including a brief recorded lesson, story time, activities and crafts for students ages 5-18, parent resources, and a snack recipe. Activities and community service projects could be completed at home with common household materials. Lessons covered a wide variety of Extension-related topics and encouraged students to seek out their local 4-H program and new interests. Over 40 daily lessons were created to serve students as a resource during the pandemic. The resources reached over 700 students across the nation and Canada. The resource not only allowed students to be involved with 4-H while in quarantine, but also helped 16 4-H professionals across the state share their lessons and service ideas to students across the nation. One parent wrote, "During a time of uncertainty when parents were trying to find educational programs to help their children while at home, this program was perfect.”