June 1996 // Volume 34 // Number 3
Letter to Editor
Response to article by Claude Bennett in February, 1996 issue of the Journal of Extension.
Career Education and the Role of Work
The establishment of the National 4-H Workforce Preparation program to address present and future employment competencies required by business prompted the Allen County, Ohio, 4-H program to offer a career education program in cooperation with local schools and businesses to provide middle school-aged youth opportunities to explore the world of work. However, as the program evolved, we began to examine our goals and philosophies and realized that a small developing career club must question some basic assumptions about the world of work. Teens must understand, and 4-H must provide, a greater understanding of work.
Instructional Video Evaluation Instrument
A 17-item instructional video evaluation rating form is presented based on a review of the related literature. The product highlights both the importance of instructional design and media quality. The main purpose of the evaluation instrument is to allow Extension agents and other reviewers to establish baseline information related to a video before a decision is made to recommend the product for inclusion in a learning event.
Exploring Curriculum to Meet the Food Safety Needs of Bilingual Youth
One hundred thirty-two Hispanic youth in grades 4-6 participated in a study to determine the effectiveness of a food safety educational curriculum and a Spanish video. This project adapted youth educational materials and a video on safe food handling developed by Purdue University. The video script was translated into Spanish to reflect cultural language differences and a Spanish version of the video was developed. Four educational treatment groups were developed to determine the effectiveness of the curriculum. Youth who were taught the five lesson unit, completed recommended activities, and viewed the video scored the highest on food safety and handling. The control group scored the lowest.
Family, School, and Community Involvement in School-age Child Care Programs: Best Practices
Extension has provided supplementary funding and program resources to work with children, youth and families determined as high risk due to their low socio-economic status, complacent or permissive community laws, low neighborhood attachment, and generally negative media influences (Bogenschneider et al.,1990). The purpose of this study was to determine the best interaction methods and practices while working school-age children and their families through child care programs. A questionnaire to identify "best practices" was mailed to 30 USDA grant-funded school-age sites that focus efforts on children in communities identified as at-risk. School-age care programs in this study created a common thread of interest among these families. Respondents agreed that families as well as children need a range of community services including safe and positive opportunities from which to choose. Safe programs draw the child and family into the protective community adding an extra element of support to family survival and success.
Enriching the Future: Extension Youth Program in Summertime Learning
This article introduces Project YES, a collaborative summer intervention program for youth. The history of the program is followed by a description, using the Summer, 1993 incarnation as an example. It describes the multi-dimensional nature of the program, as well as how the program improves through quantitative evaluation. Project YES is presented as an opportunity for Extension to become involved with the current activity and debate in year-round schooling.
Research in Brief
Incentive Systems and Their Influence on the Capacity for Change
Proponents of Incentive Theory claim that employees contribute to organizations in response to the "incentives" they are provided. Incentives can be classified as material, solidary, status, or purposive. Dependence on particular incentive systems may determine the magnitude of organizational flexibility. This research examines the incentive systems operating in one Extension organization and how these systems affect the organization's capacity for change. The findings include Extension staff members' preferences for incentives based on: age, position, gender, job assignment, and ethnic background. These findings provide insights into feasible strategies for promoting organizational flexibility and for rewarding individuals for innovation.
The Radon Project: A Study in Environmental Hazard Education
"The Radon Project" was a cooperative educational program to increase public knowledge of the radon health threat and to increase testing and mitigation in at-risk homes. An evaluation survey of a sample of participants in the pilot program is reported. Almost half of the respondents did not perceive a radon problem despite objective evidence of risk. Factors affecting the perception of radon risk, and thus mitigation action, are discussed. Implications for educational programs are presented.
An Evaluation of the Wisconsin Rural Leaders Perspective Program
Reports on survey of graduates of the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program that seeks to increase knowledge of public affairs and skills in group problem-solving through enhanced capacities to deal with public issues. The study suggests that rural leadership development and the leader's economic status has a negative effect; the greater the income the less value and satisfaction with the program. The leadership development program appears to mediate between civic and community development participation and economic status. Implications for adult education and civic development discussed.
Ideas at Work
Extension's Free Lunch
A Leader's Luncheon conducted by the Family and Consumer Science Planning and Advisory Committee has produced positive results in Lake County, Ohio. These include increased awareness of Extension FCS programming, recruitment of new volunteers, recognition of current volunteers and increased use of Extension resource programming. The Leader's Luncheon also provides local legislators an opportunity to explore the need for FCS programming with community leaders. In addition, the Leader's Luncheon provides a broad-based yearly needs assessment and recommendations for FCS programming.
New Extension Professionals - Suviving the Start
The Indiana Cooperative Extension Service central administration presents a staff orientation package for new professional employees. In addition to the basic information of benefits, reports, etc., five three-day staff development workshops are required over the first two years of employment. The non-sequential package is: 1) Working With Volunteers; 2) Program Planning, Financial Management, Accountability,and Evaluation; 3) Collaboration; 4) Communications; and 5) Human Development.
A Practical Approach to Managing Cost Reimbursable Grants
Managing cost reimbursable grants can be an efficient operation with the right approach. In this article, the major areas of difficulty are reviewed. Based on personal experience in dealing with reimbursable grants, suggestions are made to deal effectively with the increasing number of requirements from grantors. Timely action on the part of the project director can pay big dividends by reducing time spent in managing the grant and by generating additional future grants for the agency.
Tools of the Trade
Use of Public Talk Tools in Integrated Farm System Planning
This article explains how public talk tools can be applied by Extension professionals to assist farm families and communities in critical thinking related to integrated farm system management. The National Issues Forum process developed by Kettering generates farm management decisions that are more sustainable because it encourages choice based on a wide array of variables rather than choices based primarily on single economic variables.
Body Power: School-Based Weight Management for Adolescents
Body Power! is a 20-lesson, school-based curriculum for adolescents that focuses on weight management. Activity-oriented lessons strive for improvement of body image, inclusion of regular activity, and better decision-making for healthy food choices. The program was piloted in a rural middle school by an Extension county agent and a health/physical education teacher. Participant knowledge, attitude, and food behavior was measured. Parent and community involved was encouraged. The program has been replicated in other settings and the complete package is available.