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.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
In 2018, the Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) program offered by UGA Extension in Henry County conducted 104 adult educational programs with 3,459 contacts, processed 392 soil samples, conducted 28 water tests, made 3,248 office contacts and conducted 34 site visits.
In addition to the educational programs, 11 television shows were produced featuring gardening tips and healthy-eating advice. These shows have a viewership of 30,000 per show. The Henry County Farmers Market completed its ninth season with approximately 3,000 consumers attending this weekly market. Master Gardener Extension Volunteers contributed 3,740 hours to assist the Extension office with educational programs. These volunteer hours have a value of $94,209.
Topics covered in adult classes included backyard fruit production, spring vegetable gardening, pesticide safety, well-water testing, growing tomatoes, tree care and nuisance wildlife.
Family and Consumer Sciences
There are 200 childcare centers and in-home childcare providers in Henry County serving nearly 9,000 children, most under the age four. With provider-to-child ratios as low as 1 to 6 for infants and 1 to 18 for 4-year-olds, there are hundreds of providers requiring training for licensure in Henry County. Although research indicates that the quality of childcare is the most important determining factor in young children’s readiness for school, recent studies indicate that the quality of most childcare in Georgia is marginal or poor. Programs with well-trained and well-educated teachers are more likely to provide high-quality care for children. According to Bright from the Start’s Georgia Child Care Market Rate Survey, on average, families pay $128 to $148 weekly per child for preschool to infant care, respectively.
In 2018, Henry County Extension trained 150 childcare providers and professionals with 665 hours of instruction. In adherence to licensure requirements, the 150 providers have the capacity to care for up to 2,890 children. Data from the evaluations showed that 80 percent of participating providers would introduce new activities for phonological awareness, incorporate what they learned into lessons, teach kids creative activities, provide activities with reading, and provide more sensory activities.
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. In the 2017-18 school year, the career indicator in the CCRPI required that students receive grade-specific lessons on career awareness that are aligned with the Georgia Department of Education’s career clusters.
The Henry County 4-H Club partnered with local elementary schools to provide lessons on career readiness during in-school lessons throughout the school year. Four 45-minute standards-aligned lessons were conducted in more than 130 fifth-grade classrooms for just over 3,000 students. Each lesson focused on careers in one of four different fields: finance, information technology, government and public administration, and marketing. An elementary school counselor shared the following about 4-H lessons: “Each facilitated lesson reinforced necessary career-cluster information as well as soft-skill development. The 4-H partnership has been a vocational bridge between school and community. We are grateful for 4-H’s help as we collectively mold students prepared for every facet of their future.”