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University of Illinois Extension serving Lake and McHenry Counties

Main Office (Lake County)
100 South US Highway 45
Grayslake, IL 60030
Phone: 847-223-8627
FAX: 847-223-9288
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm

Branch Office (McHenry County)
1102 McConnell Road
PO Box 1430
Woodstock, IL 60098
Phone: 815-338-3737
FAX: 815-338-4755
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm

Discover Extension


Thank you for visiting our website! Unit 3 Vision is to become “Highly Visible and The Leading Local Institution” in Lake and McHenry County where people come to hear and receive research-based education and information in the following areas to make a difference in their lives, homes and communities: 4-H Youth Development Program--Nutrition (SNAP- Ed) Program--Horticulture (Master Gardeners) Program--Local Foods/Small Farms Program

Today's Features

University of Illinois Extension of Lake & McHenry County has 2 full-time positions open for a SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education) Extension Community Worker. Click on the link below for the job description and qualifications. For more information please contact the Lake County Extension Office at: 847-223-8627 and the McHenry County Extension Office at: 815-338-3737.

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Speak Up and Be Heard! Do you want to give back to the Illinois 4-H program? Do you enjoy sharing what 4-H means to you? Join the Speaking for Illinois 4-H “team” of teens who help promote 4-H in their own counties AND in the state! Speaking for Illinois 4-H offers teens ages 14-18 an opportunity to advance their public presentation skills by providing training to connect with potential donors, tell their 4-H story to elected officials, and promote 4-H to civic groups. Attendance at this one-day training places members on a statewide roster that includes invitations to participate in 4-H Legislative Connection events at the state capitol each spring. The training has been designed and is provided by teens on the Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team. Sound exciting? It is!!! Our next Speaking for Illinois 4-H training is set for Saturday, Nov. 12 in Princeton at the Bureau County Extension Office. Teens must register on-line for the training by Wednesday, November 2 and also submit an application and other required paperwork in order to attend. The registration fee of $10 includes all materials for training and lunch. Teens must attend the entire day’s programming from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in order to be placed on the state roster. Registration opened October 1, 2016.

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Pumpkins require a great deal of space and are recommended only for larger gardens. However, to conserve space they can be planted where early corn is growing; the early corn will mature before the pumpkins need much room. Diseases and cultural practices are much the same as for cucumbers and muskmelons except that pumpkin plants are spaced farther apart. The main insect enemies of pumpkins are the same as those of squash. Allow fruits to mature on the vine but harvest them with the stems attached before the first severe freeze. Pumpkins for storage should be handled with great care to avoid cuts and bruises that permit the entrance of decay organisms. Store in a dry room where temperatures are about 55° to 65° F.

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Parental Involvement in School- Studies have indicated that children whose parents and/or other significant adults share in their formal education tend to do better in school. Some benefits that have been identified that measure parental involvement in education include: 1.Higher grades and test scores 2.Long term academic achievement 3.Positive attitudes and behavior 4.More successful programs 5.More effective schools All parents want their children to become successful, caring adults. Similarly, many parents want to be involved with the formal education of their children. Sometimes, however, they don't know where to start, when to find the time, or how to go about making positive connections with the school. At the most basic level, parents can begin encouraging the education of their children by showing that they truly value education themselves.

National Walk to School Day! October is HERE and with it comes crisp cool evenings and bright sunny days. Why not take advantage of some of the best weather of the year by participating in International Walk to School Day! Seems kind of funny that we have a day set aside for a very ordinary practice, or at least it was. However, now it is a rare sight, children with their books walking to school. I know many of us grew up listening to our parents’ stories about walking to school, 10 miles, uphill, in a raging blizzard. Some of us really did walk to school, every day. Not now, for reasons of time or scheduling or the fear of safety; children simply do not walk to school anymore. Let’s change that fact. October 5th is International (U.S., Canada and the UK) Walk to School Day! We know that we all should get more exercise—get out there and walk with your children. Get up 20 minutes early, it will be good for you and good for them. You might even have a real conversation on the way!

WHY SCHOOL LUNCH? I’ll admit it—when my children were in school they brought lunch from home far more often than they purchased the school prepared lunch. I thought it made me a “better” mom. I knew exactly what they were eating, or so I thought. I justified packing their lunches with that myth—mommy knew best. I would make sure they had fruits and veggies and sometimes even a little encouraging note. And I thought I was right, it made me feel good. And, way back then, the school lunches were a little, shall we say, nondescript. School lunch was often a monochromatic set of globs on a beige plastic tray. My, how things have changed! Fast forward to the school cafeteria today—a cheerful place with colorful posters on the wall and a rainbow of food on a plate. There are salad bars that will rival any restaurant. Fresh fruits and veggies galore. Whole grains and even desserts. How do I know that? —well U of I Extension has been given the opportunity from the Illinois Sate Board of Ed, to work with school food service staff to encourage students to eat the school lunch. I have worked with several schools in my area and I find that many children are not eating the school lunch. Why not? I have no idea! I think it’s habit. I think maybe parents took their lunch back in the monochromatic days and they habitually pack their children’s’ lunches. Let’s kick that habit! Go to your child’s school—eat lunch with them. You will be pleasantly surprised. The Healthy School Lunch movement has done an awesome job. The prices are fair, the foods are tasty and it’s all delivered to your child. Did you know that if you take 10 minutes to pack your child’s lunch everyday it amounts to 30 hours per year? Yikes—that’s almost a week! Why school lunch? • It’s healthy • It’s cheap • It saves time • It opens up another avenue of conversation with your child—ask them how school went and they will say—fine—then ask them what they had for lunch—it opens the conversation door • Eating with others encourages children to try new foods • School lunch supports local state economy by participating in farm to school purchasing of milk, produce, meat.The average school district spends 6% of their budget on local products.

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Information and Resources for You

4-H Youth Development Consumer Economics Family Life Horticulture Local Food Systems and Small Farms Nutrition and Wellness

Extension Meetings

2015 Annual Report
Wednesday July 13, 2016 • 12:00 PM
Extension Council September Meeting Minutes
Tuesday September 27, 2016 • 6:30 PM

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