Extension Unit News
University of Illinois, College of ACES’ Dean Kidwell visits local Extension Unit!
How does Extension serve the communities of Logan, Sangamon, and Menard counties? That was what Dr. Kimberlee Kidwell, Dean of the College of ACES at the University of Illinois came to see as she met with local staff, volunteers, youth, and community members to discover the impacts of University of Illinois Extension in area communities.
Unit 16 County Extension Director, Terri Miller explains that "the county Extension offices give residents a local link to the University of Illinois. Our Educators provide training and expertise in a variety of areas such as small farms, horticulture, youth development, and nutritional education." She went on to add that "U of I Extension provides educational programs and unbiased, research-based information to help Illinois residents improve their quality of life, develop skills and solve problems. That is why our motto is 'Extending Knowledge, Changing Lives'."
The day began at the Logan County Extension office in Lincoln. There Logan County 4-H teens demonstrated to the Dean, campus members and local representatives the free program they offered last summer to teach youth about healthy living entitled "4-H Escape Challenge: Human Body Detectives." The next stop at Washington Monroe Elementary School in Lincoln showcased the local Extension Ag in the Classroom program where students learned about this history, production… and even taste of cranberries. Next, the group travelled to Creekside Outdoor Center for Environmental Education north of Lincoln, where a local Master Naturalist volunteer, Pam Moriarty, explained the educational programs offered to both adults and youth during a tour of the facility.
The group then travelled to the Sangamon County Extension office in Springfield where they viewed a video of about a local Menard County farming family, followed by a brief meet-and-greet with local representatives and supporters. The Sangamon County Master Gardeners led tours through the pollinator pocket garden and the courtyard of the Dana–Thomas House in Springfield. The tour continued with a SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) lesson where the Kindergarteners at Ridgley Elementary School learned about making healthy food choices. The Sangamon County portion of the tour also included a stop at Enos Elementary School in Springfield where 4-H Teen Teachers were educating students about drug and alcohol safety. To conclude the tour, the group stopped at the Lincoln Colored Home, a National Historic Site in Springfield, where 4-H SparkTank members installed an informational sign last year to mark the site and inform the community of its significance.
Some of the other special guests in attendance included Dr. George Czpar (Assoc. Dean of Illinois Extension), Ken Barnhart (BRANDT), Prof. Al Hansen, Kimberly Meenen (ACES Assistant Dean for Advancement), Richard Vogen, Dr. Doug Parrett, Tina Veal (Director of ACES Alumni Relations), and David Mendenhall (Sangamon County Board Member & Extension Council Chairman).
For Further Information about Extension programs, contact the Sangamon County Extension Office 217-782-4617.