WVU Extension Service briefs BOE on programs

Representatives from the West Virginia University Extension Service gave a presentation to the Randolph County Board of Education at its meeting Monday.

The WVU Extension Service provides educational programs for each of the counties in the Mountain State, covering areas of interest like 4-H youth development, community, workforce and economic development, and agriculture and natural resources.

Hannah Fincham, one of the extension agents in the area, focuses on the Families and Health field. She creates interactive activities that can be formatted to fit in-school or after-school programs as well as professional development authorities for adults (e.g. parent groups, employees, etc.). She covers areas like nutrition, food safety (including food preservation, ServSafe), healthy relationships ( “5 Love Languages, 5 Languages of the Workplace, 5 Languages of Apology”), diabetes prevention and management, family consumer sciences (like baking and cooking), financial literacy (Moonjar, Money Habitudes for Teens and Adults) and wellness.

Some of the programs are very extensive such as the Group Lifestyle Balance program for the Diabetes Prevention and Management lessons, which is a prevention class that promotes a lifestyle change where the participants meet once a week for 10 months. There is also the Dining with Diabetes lesson, which is more of a management program.

Tracey Valach also presented her work as a nutrition outreach instructor including the Family Nutrition Program’s youth curriculum, Show Me Nutrition, which is an age-appropriate interactive series of lessons focused on nutrition, physical activity and wellness. Each lesson series is scheduled over a nine-to-12-week period, with a seven-week minimum requirement. The instruction includes age and developmentally appropriate information and materials; teaching strategies designed to personalize information and engage students; and active student involvement through experimental and hands-on learning strategies and objectives to address individual values as well as attitudes and beliefs by relating content to student’s personal experience.

The FNP staff collaborates with teachers, community leaders and parents to deliver programs that focus on clear health goals and related behavioral outcomes. The lessons include take-home components for parents and supplemental activities and materials for teachers to reinforce other standards such as math, reading, science, language arts and 21st century learning skills.

Valach is doing work in many area schools throughout the county, but is currently working in Midland and Jennings Randolph Elementary schools. The WVU Extention Service will continue its work for this and future semesters for the schools in Randolph County.

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