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 YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
It is vitally important in today’s technologically advanced society that people understand how to use messages to generate meaning with various contexts, cultures and media. Oral communication is a prerequisite for academic, personal and professional success. While youth can vocalize thoughts, the knowledge to construct those thoughts through effective communication has been a basic component of the 4-H program since its earliest days. Competent communication skills can help lead youth to meeting the mission of 4-H as self-productive and contributing citizens.
Henry County 4-H staff conducted monthly educational instruction in 126 fifth grade classrooms for 2,790 students. One of the subjects was Exploring Communication – Stepping into a Demonstration. In the months following this program, 1,978 fifth grade students presented an illustrated speech in their classroom in front of their peers, with 71% of students who heard the lesson making a four to five minute presentation with visual aids.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
In 2019, the Agriculture and Natural Resources program conducted 44 adult educational programs with 1,177 contacts and 76 agricultural programs and events with 4,424 contacts, processed 361 soil samples, conducted 42 water tests, made 8,166 contacts and conducted 35 site visits.
In addition to the educational programs, 10 TV 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 10th season with 2,286 consumers attending the weekly market. The Master Gardener Extension Volunteers contributed 2,340 hours to assist extension with educational programs. These volunteer hours have a value of $54,902. The community garden in Heritage Park had a good season with approximately 200 visitors visiting the garden per week. The garden was featured in a video produced by the Georgia Farm Monitor, which aired on August 17 and was viewed by more than 1,000,000 subscribers.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Trainings were offered to all levels of providers to include teachers, child care providers, food service providers and administrators. The trainings focused on improving the child care environment and early development, as well as health and well-being. The Healthy Children Conference was established to bring together the community through an organization that could collectively focus on how to raise a community of healthy and safe children. The agent collaborated with educators, the Board of Education, counseling centers, nonprofit organizations, health care providers and specialists to provide a variety of educational trainings for professionals in Henry County. As a result of the child care trainings, more than 200 child care providers and educators received more than 1,000 hours of instruction. In adherence to licensure requirements, the 200 providers have the capacity to care for up to 10,000 children. Reponses to session evaluations showed that 85% of the providers would introduce new activities for phonological awareness, incorporate what they learned into lessons, teach kids creative activities, and gained understanding of brain development. Overall, most participants showed a significant change in before and after evaluations that can be attributed to knowledge gained in the training.
One participant stated: “This program gives me more tools to use to improve my classroom.” Another said, “The knowledge gained in the trainings will benefit children in my program.” When reflecting on the Healthy Children Conference, an attendee left saying, “Working together builds a stronger foundation.”4-H Youth Development