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Showing posts from April, 2018

Even good events can cause stress — and call for resilience

By Karen Shirer, associate dean, Center for Family Development

Work and home have been both stressful and exciting lately. At work, this spring has been filled with budget planning for 2019 and responding to grant opportunities. Meanwhile, day-to-day work continues.


In my family, we are anticipating the adoption of a new grandson any day now. In late March, my older daughter, Lizzie, and her husband learned that a birth mother selected them to adopt her soon-to-be born son. Although totally unexpected, we are delighted with the news.

FR project brings healthy homes info to Latino communities, wins good reviews from participants

By Mary Jo Katras, program leader in family resiliency, and Antonio Alba Meraz, educator in family resiliency

Home is where the heart is, the old saying goes. But home is also where physical, chemical, and biological health risks lurk. We all need to know how to keep our homes healthy places for our families to live.


With that in mind, the Latino Financial Literacy Team led by Antonio Alba Meraz, presented 17 two-hour workshops titled "Healthy People in Healthy Homes" to Latino residents in late summer 2017. A total of 172 people attended the Healthy Homes workshops, conducted in Spanish in 12 counties of southern Minnesota. This work was supported through a CLEAR Corps grant of $3,333 that Antonio received last summer.

Standing on the shoulders of those who went before us

By Trish Olson, director of programs

It’s the end of March, and my mind is whirling from recent events. I often have to step back and connect the dots of events so I can make sense of them.

I said more than once in meetings this week that we have to stand on the shoulders of those who went before us. I said this in the context of programming and scholarship, as we discussed the importance of literature reviews. That way, we will conduct activities that are proven to work and not reinvent the wheel evaluating or researching what’s already known. We do this so we can focus on our shared goals of learning and teaching with participants. Conducting literature reviews shows how we value our participants’ time.

Extension partnering with Guatemalan university on youth and family programming

By Silvia Alvarez de Davila, Extension educator in family resiliency

A University of Minnesota Extension team has been in partnership with a team from Guatemala for almost two years now, and I thought you’d like to know what we’ve been up to.

The partnership stems from an agreement University of Minnesota Extension signed in 2017 with the University of San Carlos of Guatemala School of Social Work. Two Extension centers, Family Development (FD) and Youth Development (YD), are working on this initiative. The aim is to co-create a program serving youth and families in Guatemala.

2017 PoP Club results are in — and we’re making a difference!

By Jessica Norman, Extension educator in health and nutrition

In 2016, the Extension Center for Family Development received an issue area grant to create and launch the Power of Produce (PoP) Club Toolkit. PoP clubs aim to expose children to farmers markets and increase kids’ consumption of fruits and vegetables.

FD in the news

Here’s a monthly roundup of regional media coverage on the work of Family Development staff and partners.

Dedicated to fresh ideas and making the range healthy – long term
Hibbing Daily Tribune

The Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability (IRPS) has been working for nearly a decade to promote environmental and economic sustainability on the Iron Range. The Rutabaga Project aims to get nutritious and local food to everyone in the city of Virginia and beyond. The Rutabaga Project is a shared initiative of IRPS and many other groups and initiatives including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed).

Lions Club partners with Cub Foods to offer diabetes screenings
Woodbury Bulletin

A new Lions Club initiative aims to increase awareness of Type 2 Diabetes with events to detect the risk for diabetes and prediabetes. The Minneapolis Health Department, Healthy Northland, YMCA and University of Minnesota Extension will also partner with the initiative to provide resources a…