10-01-2020 Letters and Commentary

TCR & Roy Davis fan Dear Karl & Amy, Thank you for a wonderful paper! Better than the Palladium. Marie Hartline P.S. Thank you for reprinting Roy Davis’ columns – miss him – but never met him.

MSU Ext. launches resource to support teachers, parents and homeschool families during COVID-19 pandemic (Press Release) With a back-to-school season that has looked unlike anything seen before, the 2020-2021 school year has brought and will continue to bring new challenges. To support teachers, parents and homeschool families in their educational efforts, Michigan State University Extension has compiled a list of helpful resources that can be used to supplement school plans. With a comprehensive index and robust list of resources, the virtual learning tools site supports youth in the classroom, online or at home. Arranged by audience, grade level and topic, extension.msu.edu/virtual-learning-tools hosts a variety of resources in differing delivery methods. From preK to high school, the site also features resources for special needs learners, parents of children ages 0-3 and parent support tools. Resources range from instructional videos to print-and-go lesson plans that can be used individually or as part of a series. While not all resources utilize school standards, many do. In addition to the educational tools, viewers can also explore the list of virtual events that are being offered to youth audiences. “As leaders in the field of experiential, out-of-school learning, we have a multitude of resources to support Michigan’s teachers and students,” said Erica Tobe, director of MSU Extension’s children and youth programs. “Many of our counties have partnered with local school systems for years and we wanted to ensure all the state’s learners, be they virtual or in-person, were aware of and had access to these tools as they tackle the 2020-2021 school year.” After browsing the many educational offerings, available in topic areas such as STEM, careers, arts, social studies, leadership and more, visitors to the site are also encouraged to connect directly with MSU Extension staff. Though the site features a dynamic listing of on-demand content, MSU Extension has a wealth of customizable trainings, programs and workshops that teachers, families and homeschool cohorts can request for virtual delivery. “MSU Extension’s children and youth staff possess both youth development knowledge and content expertise in areas such as science literacy, leadership and civic engagement, and career preparation,” continued Tobe. “In this virtual world, we are ready and poised to support learners across the state through personalized trainings on a number of topics. Connect with us to see how we can support your educational needs!” To begin exploring the educational resources for teachers, parents and homeschool families, visit extension.msu.edu/virtual-learning-tools. To learn more about MSU Extension’s remote learning resources for all audiences, extension.msu.edu/online4MI.

Donors have opportunity to help COVID-19 patients (Press Release) Plasma from whole blood donations made through the American Red Cross that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Donors are encouraged to make an appointment to give blood or platelets now to help ensure coronavirus patients and others who depend on transfusions have needed blood products this fall. “Donations that come back positive for COVID-19 antibodies now undergo secondary testing to confirm antibody results, and that enables the Red Cross to then potentially use the blood from those donations for COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. Erin Goodhue, executive medical director of direct patient care with the Red Cross Biomedical Services. “With approximately 2% of the U.S. population testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies, every donation is important to ensure patients with coronavirus have access to every treatment option available to them.” The Red Cross encourages eligible individuals to schedule an appointment, download the free Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Relief for our small businesses can’t wait any longer

When COVID-19 first hit American soil, countless small businesses across Southwest Michigan stepped up to the plate to produce critical supplies to fight this vicious virus converting their normal operations into PPE powerhouses. Their work to supply healthcare facilities and local communities with protective equipment like masks and gloves is a real reflection of the American spirit. But the sad reality is that too many of these folks face closing their doors for good without additional relief passed by Congress, and that is simply unacceptable. We must have their backs just as they have had ours these past several months. That’s why I signed onto a congressional discharge petition to unleash more than $130 billion in critical Paycheck Protection Program funds to help our small businesses keep their doors open and their employees on the payroll. Now is not the time to play politics with relief for American families, workers, and small businesses. Rather, it’s time we pass a bipartisan aid package – like our Problem Solvers Caucus March to Common Ground proposal – that will truly support folks here at home and across the country. My promise to our small businesses is clear: we are with you every step of the way as we look to defeat this virus and recharge our economy. To learn more about important legislative issues, follow me on Twitter at @RepFredUpton or by visiting my website: upton.house.gov. You can also call my offices in Kalamazoo (269-385-0039), St. Joseph/ Benton Harbor (269-982-1986), or Washington, D.C. (202-225-3761).

Announcing the ‘MI COVID-19 HERO’ essay contest