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Extension unit helps promote strong families

Published: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

As we approach Thanksgiving and the annual celebration of National Family Week, Nov. 18-24, take time to measure the ways in which, during the past year, University of Illinois Extension has helped families make sustaining and enriching connections.

What have we done as a community to connect families to the opportunities, networks, services and sources of support that enable them to become self-sufficient?

As community members, we take pride in the fact we have more than 550 youths who joined in the Revolution of Responsibility through our 4-H program, learned valuable skills for a lifetime, and made connections with caring adults. More than 300 adults generously donate their time to helping our youth in the 4-H program. They’re committed to our young people. 

We’ve provided education to more than 1,800 parents, child care providers, and family caregivers. They’ve learned how to help their children develop and grow, manage stress, take better care of their families, and engage in healthy social relationships.

We thank our dedicated AmeriCorps volunteers who helped bring summer educational programming to youths and continue to engage in our youths in a robotics camp. Master Gardeners provide thousands of volunteer hours through educational seminars, community and youth gardens, and solving horticulture questions and problems. They share their expertise and passion for gardening, home horticulture and problem solving.

We’ve strengthened communities by helping them understand wind energy issues, cope with absentee landlords, and learn about elections and government. 

During National Family Week, thank those whose efforts help strengthen families. Embrace the premise that children live better lives when their families are strong, and when they live in communities that connect them to economic opportunities, social networks and services.

For more information about how to join University of Illinois Extension as a volunteer or participant in our educational programs, please call 815-835-2070.

Note to readers – Janice McCoy is the family life educator for the University of Illinois Extension for the Carroll, Lee and Whiteside Unit.

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