As COVID-19 isolates many children and families in their homes, many youth mentorship programs like 4-H have been forced to online formats.
More than 40 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to House leadership, advocating for more than $260 million in grant funding to support mentorship programs.
In 2018, Congress reauthorized grants for groups like the National 4-H Council and the National FFA Organization but never funded them. The letter is recommending $12 million for the program. Organizations like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America would also be eligible. It also recommends an additional $250 million to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Youth Mentoring Grant.
Republican Frank Lucas (R-OK) signed the letter. He said he was involved with 4-H as a child and knows how the program supports families.
“When you got entities like 4-H that do such a great job of youth mentoring, why not help them extra right now as they have to step up in an extra way to help people across the country?” Lucas said.
Representatives like Collin Peterson (D-MN), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Henry Cueller (D-TX) also signed the letter.