Contact Us

Willene Buffett
County Extension Director
University of Illinois Extension
8751 S. Greenwood Avenue, Suites 112-122
Chicago, IL 60619
Phone: 773-768-7779
FAX: 773-768-4818

Public Value Statements

Public Value Statements

Community Health

When you support the University of Illinois Extension's sexual and reproductive health programs, participants are more inclined to delay sexual activity and make less risky choices that can result in pregnancy and spread of disease. Community stakeholders will benefit from a community with less unintended pregnancies and lower rates of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Studies show this type of education may improve other serious social problems including poverty, child abuse and neglect, father-absence, low birth weight rates, school failure, and poor preparation for the workforce.

Social and Emotional Learning 

When you support the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program, K-12 Teachers will become equipped with tools to address the SEL needs of all young people, which leads to students lifelong success. It is beneficial to all community members when we contribute youth to society who are better able to manage their emotions, make responsible decisions, form healthy relationships, and express empathy for others.


When you support STEM teacher professional development programs, participants will gain familiarity with and learn implementation strategies for the Common Core State Standards in Math and the Next Generation Science Standards.  This leads to more effective classroom instruction and student engagement in STEM fields, which will benefit the greater community by having a technologically literate and economically competitive workforce capable of making informed environmental, social and political decisions.

Illinois Nutrition Education Programs (INEP)

When you support the INEP program, participants will make healthier food choices and manage their food dollars more effectively which leads to increased effectiveness of public funds spent on food assistance and lowered healthcare costs.

Family Life/Childcare

When you support Family Life childcare programs, service providers strengthen their skills in ensuring secure, healthful and thriving conditions for children in their care. This benefits parents who are more productive at work with lessened parental stree and children who are ready to learn. Ultimately the community benefits with a flourishing and productive workforce and children who are academically prepared to start school.

Growing and Accessing Adequate Food to Prevent Hunger

When you support the University of Illinois Master Gardener program, participants are able to teach, mentor and assist the public in the creation and ongoing success of community vegetable gardens, leading to the production of a healthy and sustainable food source, which will benefit the greater community by providing local fresh foods, a healthier environment and healthcare savings.

Master Naturalists

When you support the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist program, volunteers will learn to convey research driven information about biodiversity, ecosystem services, resource and wildlife management, and conservation to residents of all ages.  Master Naturalists will also put their knowledge into practice as they conduct volunteer field work.  These efforts will result in a more informed population of people willing to take part in preserving the large and diverse region in which they live, and contribute to the increased health of the environment and its residents.

School and Community  Gardens

When school and community gardens are supported by University of Illinois Extension, participants knowledge of growing fresh produce and its’ nutritional value is enriched, which leads to improved eating habits and diet. This benefits the greater community by having a healthier population.

Local Food Systems and Small Farms

When you support the Cook County Local Food Systems and Small Farms Program, participants gain knowledge and resources, adapted to urban and peri-urban contexts, to better understand and develop functional urban food production systems. This leads to an increase in awareness, understanding, and number of local food systems. Community stakeholders benefit by the increased availability of local food entering the local food system and a larger local food economy.

Learning is Timeless

When older adults are involved in University of Illinois Extension's Learning is Timeless program, they are able to learn new skills to better their lives in retirement, which increases confidence in their abilities, reduces their stress, and contributes to their overall physical/emotional health, thus helping them remain independent and active in their communities longer. This increases the generational vitality of communities, and potentially may delay the need for formal long-term care.

Protecting and Appreciating the Environment

When you support U of I Extension horticulture programming, trained volunteers can provide free unbiased research-driven information to home gardeners in need of horticultural advice. This can be a contributing factor in protecting our environment by preventing unnecessary pesticide and fertilizer use, and providing native and more-suitable plant choices that ultimately provide a habitat for local wildlife and help preserve the local ecosystem.

Inquiry Adventures

When you support Extension's Inquiry Adventures youth environmental education program, urban youth get the chance to design and conduct their own scientific investigations while making positive associations with the outdoors. This leads to an increased confidence in their ability to do science and a deeper appreciation and respect for the natural world, which will benefit the community by creating a scientifically literate citizenry capable of making informed decisions to support our environment and ensure that we continue to benefit from the ecosystem services it provides.

4H Youth Development

When you support 4-H Youth development programs: participants will have an informal, positive educational experience and demonstrate creativity and leadership skills; which leads to youth learning, growing, developing, and making positive decisions; which will benefit other community members by serving and supporting their community for a lifetime.