Pella Chronicle

CNHI/Southeast Iowa

October 5, 2012

ISU Extension programs aim to improve community

OSKALOOSA — In what ways can the local community improve?

At the Mahaska County ISU Extension Office, 212 N. I St., they’ve got some ideas.

Natalie Ferguson-Spray, program coordinator with ISU Extension in Oskaloosa, said she’s creating programing to benefit the local community. Specifically, the areas of business and industry, family and nutrition are her focus.

“All these programs, they really are a puzzle because if families are stressed at home because of their teenagers and they are not getting along, then they take that stress to their workplace,” said Ferguson-Spray.

Ferguson-Spray, explained that the ISU Extension office in Ames has field specialists in these areas. She noted that core programming for each area of the state has been developed.

There are programming options for families looking to better manage their finances or those looking to start a new business, said Ferguson-Spray. Also available are programs that focus on improving nutrition among children and the older population.

“We have a really great program I’m hoping to do with some of the assisted living or some of the senior centers,” Ferguson-Spray said.

A big part of Ferguson-Spray’s job is determining which of these community-minded programs are needed first.

With the busy lives some families have, it can be difficult to set aside time to participate in classes to improve their lives. However, there are a few classes people can sign up for online and complete at home.

When it comes to improving business locally, Ferguson-Spray said it may be a good idea to have classes aimed at improving entry-level empoyees’ skills to help them move up in whatever business they are involved with.

“That’s kind of important — to be happy and to like your job,” said Ferguson-Spray. “Even if it’s not your dream job, what can we put in place to make it a better situation for themselves.”

Right now, Ferguson-Spray is in the planning stage when it comes to the programs to be offered at the ISU Extension Office in Oskaloosa. Ferguson-Spray is certified to facilitate two programs including a Family Storyteller class, which is a family literacy program designed to increase child literacy.

A program like this, which is aimed at parents of preschool children is important to not only the parents and the child, but local business owners, said Ferguson-Spray.

“Some day these preschoolers could be employees, so we need to invest in them now and see the value of that,” explained Ferguson-Spray.

Another program Ferguson-Spray is certified to facilitate is Strengthening Families, which is intended for parents and their children aged 10 to 14.

“It talks about the different challenges that teenagers go through — struggles such as drug abuse,” said Ferguson-Spray, explaining that the class teaches families how to  be better communicators.

Funding for other programming in addition to these two classes is in the works, Ferguson-Spray said.

To learn more about what ISU Extension does, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/mahaska/.

——————

Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at news2@oskyherald.com.

1
Text Only
CNHI/Southeast Iowa
  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Picture veteran -T -M Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Features
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Obituaries