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University of Illinois Extension serving Cook County

Cook County
8751 S. Greenwood Avenue, Suites 112-122
Chicago, IL 60619
Phone: 773-768-7779
FAX: 773-768-4818
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

1114 N. Arlington Heights Road
Suite 201
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Phone: 847-201-4176
FAX: 847-201-4175
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Cook County
1140 N. Lamon
Floor 2
Chicago, IL 60651
Phone: 773-287-8333
FAX: 773-287-8335
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Cook County
4747 Lincoln Mall Drive
Suite 601
Matteson, IL 60443
Phone: 708-679-6889
FAX: 708-679-6855
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4 pm

Cook County
Enterprise Center
2205 Enterprise Drive, Suite 501
Westchester, IL 60154
Phone: 708-449-4320
FAX: 708-492-1805
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4 pm

Cook County
9415 South Western Avenue, Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60643
Phone: 773-233-2900
FAX: 773-233-9183
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Cook County
9415 South Western Avenue, Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60643
Phone: 773-651-4011
FAX: 773-651-4047
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Extension Meetings

Extension Council Meeting

Friday March 9, 2012 • 11:30 AM

This meeting has passed.

Extension Council

Meeting Minutes

March 9, 2012

Attendees: Lori Bortnick, Megan Blumenshine, Dr. Jack S. Brar, Willene Buffett, Helen Charity, Richard Dobbins, Julie Emerick, Lee Fantroy, Susan Gasper, Tabitha Hoskins, Sylvester Hughes, Courtnye Jackson, Dennis Leaks, Ethel Muhammad, Ashley Phillips, June Price, Terrence Pruitt, Karen Sweatt, and Florida Turner


A Peacock in the Land of Penguins- A Story about Courage in Creating a Land of Opportunity. Everyone in attendance received a copy of this book and received a DVD of the movie. This was an icebreaker that served to open the eyes of the people working together in the workplace. Although everyone may have different work ethics it is important to note that we can all work together.

Meeting called to order by: President Ethel Muhammad at 11:48

New Business

  • Administrative Updates:

o 4-H Metro Positions

Willene discussed that the 4-H Metro Educator position in North Cook County would not get filled at the moment. Willene and the program leader on campus Denise Legvold thought it would be more beneficial to provide services in north cook through hiring Extension Program Coordinators and/or Community Workers.

Willene discussed the statistical breakdown of the youth in Cook County. There are more than 220 youth services in Chicago; what is the role of 4-H in Chicago? Taking a step back from what 4-H has been doing and what 4-H will offer will be to create more opportunities for Volunteers and creating new clubs throughout Cook County.

Willene stated that the youth population could be best served through hiring an Extension Program Coordinator and a Community Worker. There is a strong need for someone to be stationed at the North Cook County's office. The requirements and job description for a community worker is to: 1. Provide valid proof of high school diploma. 2. Assist the Extension Program Coordinator with delivering programs. The requirements and job description for the Extension Program Coordinator for 4-H will be developed based upon the needs of the Educators. The coordinator would ultimately find new opportunities and partners. The community workers will assist in teaching a specific issue.

The Extension Council discussed what could be potential possibilities in hiring staff to work under 4-H. These were the posed suggestions:


Community Workers













Terrance Pruitt suggested in order to have successful programs with volunteers, establishing a firm bank of volunteers would be key. Hiring one Extension Program Coordinator to closely managing the bank of volunteers would help keep the interest of the volunteers. Hiring an additional Extension Program Coordinator could assist in finding new partnerships and opportunities for the Community Workers to teach.

  • Stipend Volunteers

Helen Charity suggested that adding an incentive would grab the interest of a volunteer and may keep them around longer as well. An incentive could be something along the lines of a certificate of teaching of some sort. Ms. Charity also added if we could come up with a solution to taking into consideration people who may get hits while going through the CANTS background check.

Megan Blumenshine suggested that a great incentive would be to offer a small stipend. This would definitely attract more volunteers. Many people are still recovering from the economy and this would be an excellent way to get them back to work.

After much discussion and clarification Dennis Leaks motioned that hiring two Extension Program Coordinators and one Community Worker and providing volunteers with a stipend would best fulfill the need of 4-H. Lee Fantroy second the motion and all council members where in favor. Mr. Leaks stated that starting out on the low end of hiring Community Workers would be ideal because the key is to find and sustain a bank of volunteers and partnerships before delivering curriculum.

  • Internships

Willene discussed how their will be opportunities for college students to intern with the University of Illinois Extension during the summer and fall. The minimum requirements would have to be a least a sophomore in college according to credit hours and they would be able to receive pay and/or a grade for completing an assigned project. Willene's concern to the Educators would be that everyone would want to have interns assist them.

June Price mentioned that she manages volunteers at Chicago State University and would love to assist with the implementation of recruiting and managing the interns. Megan Blumenshine also expressed that she would love to assist with the implementation of the interns.

Willene also asked that a group of council members get together to convene the actual job descriptions of both the Extension Program Coordinator and the Interns. Tabitha will be sending these items electronically.

  • New Extension Educators

Sue Gasper, STEM Educator, Chemistry

Courtnye Jackson, STEM Educator, Small Animal Health

Ashley Philips, Community Health

  • Other

Willene mention that on Saturday, March 17th she will be attending a meeting with the South Suburban Fair Association in regards to hosting the annual fair in another location. Willene will be meeting Bill the president of the association at Panera in Matteson, IL to discuss future planning and the expenses of the fair.

  • Old Business

o Minutes from Previous Meeting

The minutes from the last Extension Council Meeting were motioned by Dr. Brar and second by Sylvester Hughes and all of the council were in favor. Our next meeting will be Monday June 11th and this will be a meeting that would include the entire staff. Potential places of meeting location; Millennium Park/Cultural Center; Garfield Park Conservatory and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Meeting Adjourned at 1:28pm

Respectively submitted: Tabitha Hoskins