Dugan reflects on time at extension
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:00 PM
In reflection of my almost six years in my work as the Health & Human Sciences Educator for Purdue Extension in Montgomery County I find I have met some incredible people, and fostered personal and professional relationships with great organizations serving Montgomery County.
In my work with volunteer groups associated with Purdue Extension it is hard to reflect on the work of Extension without mentioning the Extension Homemakers Association. Their insight, advice, and input have been invaluable to my work as they have raised their families here, and engaged in Extension service for a number of years. This type of advisement holds great weight as we work together toward the goal and mission of strengthening families through: Continuing Education, Leadership Development, and Volunteer Community Support. This membership has many facets and you can connect to service and learning on many levels. This group works to support international, state, and regional entities ranging from water filters to hand sewn puppy pillows. They donate and volunteer locally to a variety of organizations as well. My work connected with the Literacy Attainment Committee. This committee supports a 4-H Reading project we wrote in 2008 that is unique to the county. They also work to partner with local school corporations, through their Title One programming, to deliver research based reading technique of Dialogic Reading. This presentation was given to increase attendee's preference of reading for fun. This engaging technique has been shown through research to improve reading attainment.
We have also developed programing to assist and enrich programing though the Map & Moss programing as well as the Probation Department. This programming was aimed at improving student self-efficacy and educational attainment as we worked to develop the individual student. We engaged the students in horsemanship, nutritional food demonstrations and tastings, service-learning, and walking tours in Crawfordsville. This programing was significant as it worked to develop our most precious resource, our youth. Thank you to the instructors and departments who allowed for this type of engagement in programing.
The food safety aspect of my work would not have been possible without the great partnership with Beverly Turner though Southmont Senior High School. Most recently with the partnership with Megan Oppy and Elise Burns of North Montgomery High School. This program has been offered for five years. The program highlights engagement of the learners as it is hosted in foods labs allowing for attendees to make and take home their food goods. We have also tested, at no charge, pressure canners at the Extension office to ensure safety in processed foods.
Support for our programing for Pregnant and Parenting Teens was invaluable as agencies worked to assist in advertisement, the Crawfordsville Park and Recreation in housing the programming, and the attendees for adding to the programing though focus groups. This programming was also enhanced by Juniper Spoon Catering as they delivered perfectly portioned delicious local foods for our enjoyment and discussion of nutritional cooking & feeding habits of families.
Dining with Diabetes is another program that has been a significant offering though Purdue Extension. The Crawfordsville Park and Recreation community room and kitchen served assist us in hosting this as we met over four sessions to talk about this dietary consideration, how to manage it to avoid further complications, as well as a cooking school to discuss and observe cooking techniques. Tasting the great recipes was also very helpful to debunk the myth that healthy food is not tasty food.
Our newest programing offering of Captain Cash offered at Nicholson Elementary was a great voyage as we learned about money management with the third graders. How exciting to see students consider what they might invest themselves in beyond High School, and what was most important for them to save their money for. Thanks again to the administration and instructors to allow for this most fantastic voyage!
Many great programs are coming your way as the Crawfordsville Public Library is partnering to with us to offer Block Parties, as well as we hope more third grade classrooms will allow for Captain Cash, as well as programming that fits the future needs of Montgomery County and its residents.
It has been my great honor and pleasure to serve Montgomery County in this capacity. As a 10-year 4-Her and Purdue University graduate I have great pride in working for Purdue Extension. I will be passing the torch of this great work to another as my last day will be April 30. As I wrap up my work, I am thinking of you all and your great support and engagement from the past years. It was a wonderful experience working with you all. I am going with a lot of good memories which will be long cherished. I thank you for providing such a wonderful and supportive stay.
Purdue Extension-Montgomery County
Health and Human Sciences Extension Educator