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.
4-H CHATHAM COUNTY
Chatham County 4-H had 1350 students enrolled in 2019. There were 66 clubs in Chatham County. Programs were conducted in 34 schools, both private and public. The Chatham County Extension 4-H program reached a total of 15,789 young people. Members participated in 4-H State Congress, State 4-H Council, District Project Achievement competition, summer camp and monthly club meetings. A total of three new community clubs were established in partnership with community centers. These clubs reach out to limited resource and at-risk youth within the city of Savannah. County competition teams included forestry, wildlife, shooting sports and poultry judging. Chatham County 4-H also works on the Wildlife Enhancement Project, which provides educational activities for youth to learn vital research skills by investigating facts about local and invasive species. They use the skills learned to complete projects to increase biodiversity in partnership with the Audubon Society and the Superior Landfill. One of our Chatham 4-H’ers was selected to represent the state of Georgia at the 4-H National Conference. This selection process is very competitive and is one of 4-H’s highest honors.
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education (EFNEP)
UGA Cooperative Extension in Chatham County delivered free nutrition education through EFNEP. Federal, state and local resources are merged to reach families with children and youth. EFNEP successfully delivers a series of educational nutrition programs, which allow participants the opportunity to develop skills, increase knowledge, influence changes in behavior and impact their daily lives. Food demonstrations and taste-testing encourage clients to sample and prepare new foods. In 2019, UGA EFNEP directly reached 593 individuals in Chatham County, representing households of 2,594 individuals. Of those participants, 85% were caregivers for children under the age of 19. Community collaborators volunteered 727 hours of their time valued at $17,732 of in-kind services. Food Talk, or Hablemos de Comida, sessions drew a total of 363 participants.
Family and Consumer Sciences
UGA Cooperative Extension assisted 6,610 Chatham County residents through Family and Consumer Sciences resources and programs on topics such as chronic disease prevention through nutrition and physical activity, managing personal finances, homebuyer education, healthy homes, food safety and preservation, and parenting.
Chatham County Extension also provides low-cost, high-quality educational programs to increase the knowledge and skills of child care providers. Quarterly trainings were offered, and 2,220 educational contact hours were provided to 370 child care professionals. Of those attending, 85% of providers stated their skills were significantly improved as a result of the trainings.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Chatham County Extension assisted 11,409 urban consumers in finding answers for their agriculture-related questions. Chatham County Extension supports the Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program, with 126 active Master Gardeners. The Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens had a total of 42,339 visitors. This includes those visiting the gardens as well as those attending educational outreach programs.