NCSU - Commit to working with community stakeholders to develop a strategy for the continued operation of Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Educational Center as an Extension outreach of NCSU and North Carolina 4-H
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To Commit to working with the community of stakeholders to develop a strategy for the continued operation of the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Educational Center as an educational outreach of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the North Carolina 4-H Program for the benefit of the children of North Carolina; and to provide the relevant information on the needs and concerns specific to Betsy-Jeff Penn so that they can be addressed by the community.
It was announced on 10/16/13 that the State 4-H Office will close the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Educational Center on January 1, 2014. Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Education has served as a valued resource for education and youth development for the children of North Carolina for 50 years. Nearly 1,200 children participate in life skills development through the resident and day camp programs, resulting in 6,000 user days of education each summer. Schools throughout the state utilize Betsy-Jeff Penn as an educational resource providing science and life skills education to 4,500 students for more than 10,000 user days of education each year. In addition, the Center serves as a conference and training facility for youth development professionals and volunteers, teachers and community and corporate groups imacting 1500 citizens for more than 3000 user days. Most of these users will no longer be served by Extension once Betsy-Jeff Penn is closed; since the remaining facilities - Eastern Center is too far away and Millstone is too primitive for these user groups. Lives are changed because of the programs that are provided through Cooperative Extension and its partners. The Center is crucial in providing access to innovative educational approaches to an underfunded public school system as well as North Carolina State University’s Youth Development community. Penn was a gift to the 4-H program by Betsy Penn. Millions in donor and tax dollars and volunteer sweat equity have been invested in this unique and valuable resource. Turning our back on that investment is a breach of trust with those supporters and the public we serve. And that is just the beginning of the story. Every one of those users has their own story.
The impact that Betsy-Jeff Penn has had on participants, staff, public school teachers, students, conference participants, residents of the surrounding community, and anyone who has ever been near the facility, is far reaching. Exploring the world around them, exploring the relationships between them, the friendships both old and new, and campfire songs and stories should be a part of every child’s summer. For almost 50 years, that has been a part of thousands of children’s lives. This camp has given kids the tools to: work as a team and make good decisions; the confidence to try new things; and the ability to think outside the box. More than 1300 young adults have received intensive training and experience in youth development and education as staff and have learned about themselves and how to have a positive impact on the world around them. 4-H is about making the best better, not taking what is best and eliminating it. Continuing to operate Betsy Jeff Penn allows the Center to fulfill its mission and maintains a place for kids to make their best better while creating a better future for the citizen of North Carolina.
We call on you to sign this petition and to call and email or write Dr. Marshall Stewart , Dr. Joe Zublena and Dr. Richard Linton, Chancellor Randy Woodson, your state legislators and the legislators that serve the region where Penn is located (Phil Berger, Bert Jones, and Bryan Holloway) and ask them to commit to the continued operation of Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Education Center. Every signature, every letter and every phone call counts! Sign and help us tell the story of how this investment has paid dividends to you and to your community. Email and share this petition with the youth development and 4-H community throughout North Carolina. For more information, contact the Facebook Page: Betsy-Jeff Penn Appreciation Group.
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