The Village stands empty.
On these beautiful spring days the Village should be filled with children. They should be learning about pioneers and how they lived, about how life has changed over the years, about their place in history. They should be sitting at picnic benches eating their lunches and sharing a moment with their friends. They should be riding those big yellow buses back to school and taking those stories home to share with their families.
The Governor’s announcement that in-person learning is suspended for the remainder of Michigan’s school year means that our Village will remain quiet. Our staff is working hard to reach students, parents, and teachers in new ways. They are working to engage Villagers all over the state through social media, the website, and with personal phone calls. We want to be at the Village teaching and challenging students of all ages, but in these extraordinary times we are finding new ways to reach out.
Be assured—the Village will reopen. But this loss of school children is more than just an emotional blow; it is a financial one as well. The spring is our busiest time for school programming, and those programs are a key source of income this time of the year. Civil War Days, a terrific program offered each May for 1,700 eighth graders, generates over $25,000 in revenue. We are tapping as many state and local resources as we can, but as of today, we are facing a total loss of $70,000 from missed programming. In order to re-open with our phenomenal, hard-working staff intact and ready to teach, we need you.
We realize you may also be suffering financially during this time, and we understand if you are unable to give. If you do have the means to give, we ask for your help now. A generous supporter has pledged to make your donation go further—any donation of $100 or more will be matched, up to $15,000. Even before the announcement of this match, one Villager mailed us a $500 donation. Her message to us on the memo line of the check said simply, “Stay open!” These Villagers are committed to the same mission we are—to cultivate life-long learning using our historic resources and educational staff.
Thank you for your continued support. Stay safe and we hope to see you at a Tea, Constitution Café, or another mind-broadening, community-building Village program soon.
Padma Kuppa, President
Loraine Campbell, Executive Director
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