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Showing posts from June, 2018

Reflecting on preventing suicide and building community

By Trish Olson, director of programs, Extension Center for Family Development


I am sharing the authorship of the blog with week with multiple coauthors. A little over a week ago I sent a reflection to my colleagues on 4th floor Coffey Hall about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide and it sparked many thoughtful responses and resources. So, with their permission, I am re-posting this email trail (something I usually do not recommend). I thank my colleagues for letting me share their reflections to my initial email.

I think posting my email conversation reflects a way to build community in the Extension Center for Family Development (FD). The first step is sharing a concern, a joy, or a vulnerability, and the second step is for the rest of us to provide a simple acknowledgement to tell someone they are heard and to inform them of resources if we know of any.

We structure the Family Matters blog so you can respond or reply or simply say… “I hear you.” Please use the blog in this way to …

Cohort of 20 graduate from Financial Educator Certificate Program

By Mary Jo Katras, program leader in family resiliency

Twenty more community professionals now have the tools and confidence to teach people better ways to manage their finances thanks to the Financial Educator Certificate (FEC) Program.

Welcome to new SNAP-Ed educator Faro Jones

By Janice Rasmussen, SNAP-Ed regional coordinator

I am excited to introduce Faro Jones, our newest SNAP-Ed educator working out of the Extension Ramsey County office in Maplewood. Faro will be part of the Frogtown-Rondo place-based approach team and will teach classes and do policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) work around the Twin Cities-metro area. After training later this month, she will begin teaching I CAN Prevent Diabetes classes.

Smarter Lunchrooms collaborative–A tale of two states

By Nikki Johnson, Area Extension specialist, North Dakota State University
In the beginning In fall 2016, University of Minnesota Extension, along with the Smarter Lunchrooms National Office and key organizations in the state, formed the Minnesota Smarter Lunchrooms Collaborative. The collaborative’s goal is to improve the school nutrition environment by making the healthy choice the easy choice.

Collaborative members meet each quarter to get the latest news from the Smarter Lunchrooms National Office at Cornell University. They also discuss marketing strategies, capacity building, funding opportunities, and best practices for implementation techniques. (See Kelly Kunkel’s blog entry elsewhere in Family Matters for more information.)

Minnesota Smarter Lunchrooms Collaborative still going strong

By Kelly Kunkel, Extension educator in health and nutrition

Did you know that Minnesota formed the country’s first Smarter Lunchrooms collaborative in fall 2016? The collaborative includes University of Minnesota Extension, the Minnesota Department of Education, and the Minnesota Department of Health.

The collaborative implements the research-based strategies of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement to nudge kids to choose healthier foods, especially fruits and vegetables, in school cafeterias. Smarter Lunchroom strategies also aim to reduce food waste at schools and increase participation in school meal programs.

A bit of this, a bit of that

By Karen Shirer, associate dean, Extension Center for Family Development

The last few months have been a whirlwind of personal and professional transitions plus lots of important work related to the center. This blog is a little of this and a little of that to help highlight these events.

NHOC highlight: Priester Award winners lead the way in health and wellness programs

By Sharon Mulé, staff development coordinator, Extension Center for Family Development

The 2018 National Health Outreach Conference in Bloomington gave attendees the opportunity to learn about many innovative programs. Perhaps one of the best chances to learn occurred at the Priester Awards Luncheon on the second day of the conference.

FD in the news

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

NHOC highlight: Expert emphasizes importance of promoting positive mental health

By Cari Michaels, Extension educator, Children, Youth & Family Consortium

Corey Keyes, Ph.D., a professor of sociology at Emory University, served as our keynote speaker for the Priester Awards Luncheon at the recent National Health Outreach Conference in Bloomington.