Making A Difference in Our County
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is working hard for its constituents. The following are examples of Extension’s impact in the county over the past year.
Teacher Summer Camp
Bibb County Extension partnered with Bibb County Board of Education to provide hands-on environmental education opportunities for teachers that could be transferred into classrooms. Bibb County Extension planned a four-day program that encompassed many topics and speakers used annually in the Master Naturalist program. The program included topics such as gardening, journaling, geology, kaolin, wastewater treatment, stream ecology and trees. The Bibb Board of Education advertised the Teacher Summer Camp program to their group. Teachers ranging from Pre-K through 8th grade registered for the program. The BOE Science Director said, "The Teacher Camp was a phenomenal opportunity for our teachers to learn about the amazing science and STEM opportunities right here in middle Georgia. Teachers have taken what they learned and implemented it in their classrooms to connect learning standards in a way that directly relates to students' lives.”
Financial Capability Campaign
Bibb County Cooperative Extension secured $69,000 in grant funding from USDA FSA to help address heir property risk factors in Bibb County as well as target landowners in Marion, Wilkes, and Crawford counties. The project identified several areas of need specific to the target audience, they include: the need for in-depth personalized training on estate planning, technical assistance on long-term planning strategies such as planning for incapacity; asset organization; disposition of assets; wealth planning for future generations; role of executor; probate; technical assistance with development of the basic components of an estate plan specifically Power or Attorney Financial, Advance Healthcare Directives and Last Will and Testament. UGA and Fort Valley State University Cooperative Extension and licensed attorneys provided direct education and technical assistance. Estate planning educational materials were distributed to over 22,000 Georgians through outreach including flyers, videos, email blasts, social media posts and newspaper advertisement. Seventeen workshops were offered and over 235 participants were educated. Currently, 61 participants received over 167 hours of personalized education with a Georgia Board certified attorney. The workshops proved helpful to most residents, including 70 percent who learned new and useful information, 77 percent who would share the information, and 42 percent who shared they learned best practices to protect property and other assets. To date the program has completed 61 estate plans for Georgia residents from 18 counties. With the assistance of this program, over 470 acres of land valued at $3.3 million; 47 homes valued at $6.6 million and seven businesses valued at over $800,000 were secured through estate plans. Additionally, attorneys working with the project contributed over $14,000 in in-kind donations and participants completed over 160 hours of direct education.
Just for the Health of It: Home Edition
In 2020, Bibb and Clayton counties united to offer Just for the Health of It: Home Edition (J4HI). The weekly one-hour workshops stream on Facebook live to teach ways to manage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, as well as offer cooking demonstrations to highlight the topic of the month. The series shares tips on healthy habits, and food safety, and encourages the reduction of fat, sodium, and sugar. J4HI expanded to Chatham County in 2022. Since the initial postings, Just for the Health of It: Home Edition episodes have been viewed by over 18,000 people in 19 states and seven countries. Using J4HI lesson plans and recipes, Bibb County served 196 participants through six face-to-face classes. Additionally, Chatham County reached 260 clients. Post-surveys revealed that over 92 percent of surveyed participants felt more knowledgeable about the topics presented and 90 percent stated they would consider modifying behaviors.