Virtual Lifestyles

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A friend of mine posted recently that her six-year-old son has lived through three major hurricanes, a drive by shooting, and now is surviving through a world pandemic. That is a lot for our children to go through, and the scariest part is that most of that is way outside of what we can control. However, how we react to these tough situations is how our children will react. If we are fearful, they will be fearful. If we think about all those around us, they will too. So we have some quick choices to make.

Most everyone has said if we keep our routines as normal as possible, that will ease the stress our children face. Well, that is going to be tough with schools out and no extracurricular activities. We are even canceling 4-H events in support of social distancing and the overall health and well-being of our community. That does not mean that we won’t be coming up with some really neat stuff online.

We had second grade embryology out in 26 classrooms in the county. Embryology is the study of embryos, specifically in this instance, chicken embryos. Some of the teachers opted to take the eggs home with them, others are bringing them back to us to hatch. We are so “egg-cited” about this opportunity that we plan to go live on Facebook every morning with an update on the eggs, and even work through some of the classroom activities. We will see about streaming the hatches live! Parents will be able to check this out on our Facebook page (N.C. Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center), and we will also include links to other learning resources.

We started a virtual club earlier in the year and we hope to continue that model. It will still allow youth to physically social distance themselves while emotionally create some new social dynamics they all need to grow. It will be a great opportunity for our youth, and we will try to work in activities as well. If you have children who would like to take part, go ahead and register them for 4-H at 4HOnline. You will get information on all the great opportunities coming up.

All this being said, a whole new virtual world of learning will open up for our youth. Creating a schedule for them to get up to do their chores, and determining learning screen time versus entertainment screen time can’t be a bad thing. Keep them busy and learning to help them maintain the streak they are on and avoid another version of the summer slide. Our goal is to promote learning and growth during this period of change, not fear. Please keep an eye on the Robeson County website for information about virtual programs and other offerings we will have for folks of all ages.

Stay safe and be careful. We will continue to do our best to help you and your family – it’s just going to look a little different for a while. For more information, contact Shea Ann DeJarnette, Extension 4-H Youth Development Agent, at 910-671-3276, by email at Shea_Ann_DeJarnette@ncsu.edu, or visit our website.

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