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
Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push
Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.
Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits
Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.
Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds
A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.
Fundraiser for soldiers' families approaching
CENTERVILLE — Justin Zaputil remembers when Master Sgt. Travis Riddick died. The common reactions didn’t feel right. Mourning and then moving on left something undone. It didn’t seem to accomplish what Zaputil and a handful of others wanted. It didn’
Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet
It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.
A quarter of the world's most educated people live in the 100 largest cities
College graduates are increasingly sorting themselves into high-cost, high-amenity cities such as Washington, New York, Boston and San Francisco, a phenomenon that threatens to segregate us across the country by education.
Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive
For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.
Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website
Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.
The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky
What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.
Blue Zones hold cooking demonstration at farmers' market
OSKALOOSA — Two local chefs gave a cooking demonstration at the Oskaloosa Farmers’ Market Tuesday afternoon to show just what you can do with produce you buy there. Renee Edgar and Michael Glesener set up a portable kitchen on the east side of the cit
We're raising a generation of timid kids
A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?
Starbucks sees more Apple-like stores after Colombia debut
This week Starbucks opened its first location in Colombia — a 2,700-square-foot store with a heated patio, concrete columns, mirrors on the ceiling and walls of colorful plants.
- Murder weapon belonged to Techel's friend DAVENPORT — A shotgun that belonged to a friend of a Wapello County man accused of slaying his wife was the weapon that shot and killed Lisa Caldwell Techel. The owner of the gun as well as a crime-scene investigator discussed details of the murder w
VIDEO: New story emerges about Texas children locked in hot car
After footage showed Texas shoppers breaking the windows of a hot car to rescue children trapped inside, additional witnesses have come forward to correct the story behind what has become a viral video.
Gunshots narrowly miss TV reporter
A reporter for a West Virginia television station narrowly escaped injury or worse Monday while covering a fatal weekend shooting in Beckley.
- More CNHI/Southeast Iowa Headlines
- Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push