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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
In what ways can the local community improve?
- CNHI/Southeast Iowa
Most deadly fraternity scraps initiation for new members
Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the largest U.S. fraternities and the deadliest, said Friday it will ban the initiation of recruits, citing the toll that hazing has taken on its newest members.
VIDEO: Michigan woman's death, mummified body hidden by auto-pay for six years
The mummified body of a Michigan woman was discovered in the backseat of her car approximately six years after her death. The body was only found after the bank that foreclosed on the home ordered work on the property.
Knoxville football coach arrested
The Knoxville Police Department issued a press release indicating that head football coach Troy Rider has been charged with sexual abuse and has turned himself in to the authorities.
VIDEO: Chrysler orders community college to crush rare Dodge Viper
Students at a community college in Washington are fighting to save a rare Dodge Viper given to them by the Chrysler Corporation. The company now says it must be destroyed for legal reasons.
VIDEO: Penguin sweaters save birds trapped in oil spills
A wildlife group in Australia is inviting volunteers to knit sweaters for the penguin population it conserves, because it says the sweaters can actually save the lives of birds caught in oil spills.
- Pella Students to serve during Spring Break Stephen Dykstra, Hannah Wittenberg and Sarah Wittenberg are three of 177 students from Northwestern College that will travel across the United States and overseas for the college's annual Spring Service Projects (SSP) March 1-11. This year's teams wi
VIDEO: Kentucky AG holds back tears, announces he won't defend marriage ban
In a tearful statement that went viral this week, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced that he would not defend his state's ban on gay marriage in court. Conway made the announcement after a federal judge ruled that Kentucky must recognize same sex marriages performed in other states. However, Gov. Steve Beshear said he will hire private attorneys to appeal the judge's order.
Staples to close 225 stores as online competition hurts sales
Staples Inc., the largest U.S. office-supplies chain, will close as many as 12 percent of its North American stores and cut as much as $500 million in costs as online competition continues to hurt sales.
2 in Indiana sickened after eating contaminated Skittles
Health officials say packages of Original Skittles sold at a convenience store in Richmond, Ind., were contaminated, and two people who ate from a package were hospitalized with symptoms including burning throats, cramping and diarrhea.
VIDEO: A panoramic view from atop One World Trade Center
NBC's Today Show aired footage from a year-long project by TIME magazine to capture a 360-degree moving image from atop One World Trade Center, the 1,776-foot structure in New York City that is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
5 memorable college hoops tourney buzzer beaters
It's March, which means the NCAA Tournament is just around the corner. But before March Madness takes hold, the conference tournaments, which get under way this week, often provide their own share of exciting finishes. Here are five memorable buzzer beaters from conference tournament play.
What you need to know about subtle office bullying
Sad to say, but bullying does not just exist in the schoolyard. It is alive and well in the workplace.
Lilly's diabetes drug rejected by FDA
A diabetes pill developed by Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim was rejected by U.S. regulators because of previously disclosed manufacturing deficiencies at a German plant that hadn't been resolved.
Target seeks new technology head after data breach
Target Corp., still reeling from a security breach that exposed the personal information of tens of millions of customers, is seeking a new top technology executive to help prevent future attacks.
Facebook cracking down on illegal gun sales planned on site
Facebook is cracking down on illegal gun sales planned through its website, seeking to prevent criminal activity and setting a precedent other social- media sites could follow.
- More CNHI/Southeast Iowa Headlines
- Most deadly fraternity scraps initiation for new members