Making A Difference in Our County
We're working hard for the citizens we serve. Here are some examples of successful projects from the past year:
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
The annual tomato-growing class has become one of the more popular programs offered by Henry County Extension. Classes are regularly updated so that even those who attend each year are learning new things. Rhett Paul submitted these comments after a recent class: "Y'all did a great job with the lecture and 'mater' sandwiches yesterday! I was impressed that you didn’t repeat the same lecture from years past, and the mini research project on soils was very interesting. I always enjoy the 'lunch and learn,' but this one was outstanding. Keep it up." Ninety-seven percent of participants evaluate the tomato-growing classes as good or excellent. The Extension staff held eight classes with a total attendance of 212. The Henry County Times proudly proclaimed that past editions of its newspaper were being used as mulch in the Extension garden, and tomatoes were featured in the "Garden Delights" television show, which has a viewership of 30,000. In addition to teaching classes, the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent supervises the Henry County Farmers Market, which has an average of 1,974 shoppers per year.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) is a comprehensive school improvement program that not only measures student performance in reading, language arts and math, but also includes science, social studies, career preparation and graduation rates. The career indicator in the CCRPI requires that students in Georgia schools receive grade-specific lessons on career awareness that are aligned with the Georgia Department of Education's 17 career clusters. UGA Extension in Henry County partnered with local elementary school counselors and fifth-grade teachers to provide lessons on career readiness during monthly in-school 4-H sessions throughout the 2015-2016 school year. Four 45-minute standards-aligned experiential lessons were conducted in each of 131 fifth-grade classrooms for just under 2,900 students. Each lesson focused on careers in one of four different fields: finance, information technology, government and public administration, and marketing. A fifth-grade teacher stated, "The value of the 4-H experience is one that cannot be replaced with any other program. It is a wonderful way to introduce topics such as finance, community, etc., that really gets the students engaged."
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Many young children spend the majority of their day (10 to 12 hours) in child care centers, family child care homes or other forms of nonparental care. Programs with well-trained and well-educated teachers are more likely to provide quality care for children. There are over 96 child care centers and homes in Henry County, with the capacity to serve nearly 9,000 children, most under the age of 4. The Extension office provides quarterly child care provider trainings tailored to all levels of providers, including in-classroom teachers, food service providers and administrators. The training focused on early development, improving the child care environment, and health and well-being. In 2016, the Extension office trained 105 child care providers with 276 hours of instruction. In adherence to licensing requirements, the 105 providers have the capacity to care for up to 1,890 children. Henry County Extension partnered with the Henry County Environmental Health Department to offer ServSafe® trainings, a nationally recognized food safety program for managers. In 2016, 150 food service professionals attended the trainings. After attending, one participant commented, "Serving safe food is the best way for a company to be productive and successful."