FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2020
Dear 826michigan Friends,
One day makes quite a difference. Since we first communicated yesterday, COVID-19 has escalated in our state and thus our need to take action for the health and safety of our entire 826michigan community. At our last check, there are 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our state, and at least 2 of those cases are in Washtenaw County. Some of the other confirmed cases are in the counties directly surrounding Detroit. Following the recommendations of public health officials and expert medical professionals, Governor Whitmer has instructed that all K-12 schools—public, private, and boarding—be closed through April 5 to mitigate spread of the virus.
With the health and safety of our entire 826michigan community in mind, we are making the difficult decision to align with this state mandate and close all 826michigan buildings and cancel all in-person 826michigan programming to the public, effective immediately, now through April 5. We will continue to closely monitor changes and updates from our public health officials and other experts in this matter to guide our decision to reopen on April 6. Please review your emails, check our website, and monitor our social media pages for the latest 826michigan news.
Please also be assured that we do not take this decision lightly. We recognize the disruption and difficulty our program cancellations will cause. We also recognize that this news triggers an immediate need for emergency supplies of food and other daily necessities for many in our community. With that in mind, we are actively gathering a list of resources where families may find food and learning plans during this time we are physically apart. We will send that list sometime very soon.
Finally, we are also imagining how we can continue to inspire students to write, even virtually, during this time. As we consider what our temporary future may be, we encourage families to explore 826 Digital for ways to engage right now.
Recommendations informing our decision to temporarily suspend our in-person programs can be found here:
As always, we welcome ideas on how to best support one another as we move forward. Please do not hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have something to share that may benefit a few or all of our students and their families.
Take care and be well, Friends. We send much robot love and elbow bumps in this ever-evolving and challenging time.
AN ANTICIPATED UPDATE:
- First things first: 826michigan is still operating and we still need money to do it. Our two major spring fundraisers had to be canceled, but our ingenuity remains in full swing. You can help to ensure that we can teach and engage all 3,000 students we served pre-pandemic by joining the 826 Robot Roundup! It’s easy to do. You can create a team of your friends to raise $826 on our behalf. You can join a team that’s already committed to raise $826 on our behalf. You can simply donate any amount you can afford to give to an existing team or the general campaign. No gift amount is too small.
- Secondly, but not less important: Your students can write with us! Our programs team is now fully digital! Dr. Blotch created a writing challenge for nearly all ages. Also, we expect to share an exciting online celebration honoring the phenomenal work of our 2020 Ypsilanti High School Young Authors later this spring. If you only read our emails, now is the time to also start following us on social media. We’re on Facebook and Twitter @826michigan. Find us on Instagram @onwardrobots.
- Finally, for now: We want you to know how grateful we are for you. Thank you for being our friends.