Monday Update: Read Across Iowa

February 1, 2021

Reading is basic to success for every Iowan. That’s why in March, National Read Across America month, we will have our first Read Across Iowa celebration. Our goal is to help Iowa communities be places where adults make time to read with children, and children get the message that reading is important. Did you know?

  • Read Across Iowa.Dr. Connie Beecher from Human Sciences and Dr. Sara Nelson from 4-H Youth Development are working with the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation and the Iowa State Education Association in this effort. They have selected agriculture as the theme for our first Read Across Iowa celebration.
  • We want every county to plan some type of reading event in the month of March.
  • We will be sending each county a toolkit with books and ideas to get started.
  • Watch this video invitation and plan to attend the webinar Tuesday, February 9, at 10 a.m. on Zoom ( to learn more.

Open for Iowa

As we enter year 2 of the pandemic, we must remain vigilant so we can continue to be open for Iowa. I will continue to provide information regularly in my Monday updates, as well as in separate COVID-19 updates when the message can’t wait until the next Monday. Today let’s talk about travel.

  • Face coverings are required anytime more than one person is in a vehicle for the purpose of conducting extension business.
  • If you are planning on personal travel, please inform your supervisor. Together you can make plans for everyone’s health and safety when you return to work.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers guidance on domestic travel and international travel.
  • Question EE20 on the university’s COVID-19 FAQ gives guidance on what to do before returning to work after personal international travel. Question EE21 addresses travel restrictions that are in place.
  • For current ISU Extension and Outreach information, check the Open for Iowa website.

Initiative update: Reviving the economy

Extension staff are invited to a Zoom workshop March 3, 9:00-10:30 a.m., to explore angel investing, alternative credit, and enterprise development during the post-COVID economic recovery, as well as networking opportunities in Iowa. This program is supported in part by a USDA-NIFA AgVets grant. Field and county staff will learn about the subject matter and get assistance in identifying, inviting, and registering target populations and networks for a public Zoom workshop March 31. For more information about the workshops and registration links, see the Save the Date flyer. If you have questions, please contact Mark Edelman at

More notes

  • The next Second Monday Live is 10 a.m., February 8, at I will give an update on our COVID-19 response and announce the recipients of my COVID-19 Exceptional Effort Awards. I’ll also provide an update on our recovery initiatives.
  • The 2021 ISU Extension and Outreach awards deadline is February 10 at noon. Information about the specific awards and nomination guidelines are available on the website.
  • The Excellence in Extension grant submissions deadline is February 10 at noon. Please send all grant and application inquires to Alison DePenning,
  • Iowa State is striving to come in under the 1.2 PB CyBox storage limit to allow users “room to grow.” Extension Information Technology has posted recommendations and instructions for reducing your digital storage. (University ITS has posted in-depth how-to information.) If you have any questions on how to reduce your storage, please call the EIT support hotline at 515-294-1725 or email
  • Iowa State responds. The university has gathered a collection of stories highlighting some of the hard work, dedication and collaboration in the overall response to COVID-19 – including how ISU Extension and Outreach found new ways to reach our audience and draw in others along the way.

John D. Lawrence
Vice President for Extension and Outreach