This summer, three Family Development staff members received Extension Issue Area Grants to further work in Minnesota communities.
Issue area grants were created to support cross-disciplinary work, increase external visibility, and demonstrate Extension's comparative advantage in addressing complex issues, such as promoting youth educational success and food systems. The three proposals accepted in this round are the following.
Building Capacity to Address Grand Challenges: An Action Plan to Advance Extension's Leadership in the Minnesota Food Charter
- Project leaders: +Noelle Harden, Extension educator in health and nutrition, and +Maria Regan Gonzalez, health equity project manager with the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
- Extension partners: Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Consumer Horticulture, 4-H, Master Gardener, Community Vitality
- External partner: Center for Prevention
- Project goal: To expand Extension’s role in the Minnesota Food Charter by bringing together an internal Leadership Team and Action Cohort.
Hmong Families and School Partnering for Students’ Success
- Project leaders: +Silvia Alvarez de Davila, Extension educator in family resiliency; +Kathleen Olson, program director in the Partnering for School Success (PSS) project; and +Mary Jo Katras, program leader in family resiliency
- External partners: Hmong College Prep School and Minnesota Department of Education
- Project goal: To adapt the existing curriculum, Education: Our Best Legacy, a PSS program, for Hmong families.
Improving Childhood Food Behavior and Engagement at Farmers Markets: Statewide Power of Produce (PoP) Club Toolkit for Minnesota Farmers Markets
- Project leader: Jessica Norman, Extension educator in health and nutrition, and Andrew Doherty, SNAP-Ed educator
- Extension partners: Youth Development/4-H, Master Gardener Volunteer Program
- Extension partner: Minnesota Farmers Market Association
- Project goal: To create a statewide toolkit and facilitate Minnesota farmers markets in the implementation of the PoP Club, an incentive program for children ages 5 through 12.
Past issue area grant projects led by FD staff include “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners: Growing Environments to Foster Learning and Academic Success” (see Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners) and “The Fresh Connect Learning Laboratory: Leveraging Extension and Community Expertise to Support Emerging Food Hubs in Greater Minnesota” (see Case Study: A Rural Food Hub).