Tag Archives: curriculum

Learn to RELAX with MSU Extension anger and stress management curriculum

A Michigan State University Extension curriculum has been updated and is getting new attention, thanks to eXtension and other online learning options. “RELAX: Alternatives to Anger,” an educational series for those who want to manage their anger and stress both at home and at work, was recently updated by MSUE educators Suzanne Pish and Holly Tiret.

Since it was released on eXtension in December, ten individuals have taken part in an online offering of this program. In addition, nearly 70 copies of the curriculum CD have been sold through the MSU Extension Bookstore. Staff members can also order workbooks to use when offering the program, and incentives like stress balls and promotional magnets.

Suzanne and Holly worked with ANR Communications technical writer Katie Gervasi to produce the curriculum. Others in ANR Communications were involved in designing templates and getting the RELAX items into the MSU Extension Bookstore. The team wanted to extend the availability of the curriculum so they decided to also offer the online option through eXtension. Anyone can take the course. The cost is $20.

Closer to home, Suzanne will collaborate with the MSU Extension Staff Wellness Committee to offer RELAX for MSU Extension campus staff March 26. Register here.

“We would like to have MSU Extension staff to help advertise the online course to potential participants,” Suzanne said, “Just a week ago, a participant from Wisconsin called to say how much she enjoyed the course.”

Holly said, “I also got an email from an MSU student looking for an anger management class for himself. I emailed him and gave him instructions on the online course. We are even reaching students at MSU!”

To get to the online course, go to http://msue.anr.msu.edu/resources/relax_alternatives_to_anger_online_program.

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Filed under Social and emotional health

New mentoring curriculum is ready to go

One of the things that people in our organization do best is to realize there’s a need and then take the steps to fill that need.

Back in 2009, Michigan State University Extension 4-H staff realized that they lacked existing processes to help new mentoring staff and AmeriCorps members gain skills and resources for mentor training. A search for current hands-on mentoring training materials came up empty. The team decided to create a curriculum to meet the need.

The result, Ready to Go: Mentor Training Toolkit (4H1642PDF),provides mentoring professionals with a customizable mentor-training curriculum, support for using the curriculum and a toolkit to ensure that all mentors in planned youth mentoring programs have access to evidence-based training.

Led by MSU Extension 4-H senior mentoring specialist Lisa Bottomley, project director for the curriculum, the team includes project managers Molly Frendo, 4-H associate program leader; Anna EldenBrady, former 4-H program worker; Christine Sisung, 4-H program coordinator; and Jillian Tremonti, former 4-H program worker.

Numerous lead authors and contributors made the curriculum possible. They include MSU Extension professionals as well as partners from other organizations such as the Department of Human Services and Alma College.

The team piloted the curriculum at professional development trainings in 2010 and 2011. Peer reviewers made up of mentoring and other youth development professionals with related content-area expertise critiqued the activities. Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications staff edited and designed the final product, completed in October.

Lisa and Molly recently attended the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Conference Oct. 21-25 in Orlando, Fla. They had the opportunity to share one of the five modules of the curriculum with attendees.

Lisa said, “The new mentoring curriculum was very well received and participants showed enthusiasm for utilizing it as both a volunteer and staff training development tool. Though we designed it to train mentors, it’s proven to be an effective tool to train any youth-serving volunteers.”
Extension educator Scott Lakin found the curriculum to be an excellent resource.

Scott said, “As a new educator, I was able to easily plan a complete, two-evening training for volunteers wanting to become 4-H Tech Wizards Mentors. The training menu examples gave me a framework to adjust for our local needs and the organization of activities by modules ensured I covered all the basics with the new group. Each activity was thoroughly explained in a consistent format, making them easy to refer to during the training and giving me plenty of ways to extend the activity if there was extra time.”

Scott recognizes the versatility of the product.

“I can see this training curriculum being an excellent resource for our mentoring programs, a supplement to our other volunteer training programs and a great product for other organizations to take advantage of for their programs,” Scott said.

You can find the toolkit in the MSU Extension Bookstore as a downloadable PDF. View the free introduction and cover pages to get an idea of the scope of the curriculum.

MSU Extension staff members can purchase a PDF file of the entire curriculum at half price. To make this purchase, you must first log in to the MSUE Bookstore site and create a user profile (if you don’t already have one). You can also log in using a county email and password. Please note, this special offer is only for the full curriculum, not the individual unit modules. The product number for the half-price item is 4H1642PDFMSUE. You can find it by searching for that number or by entering the title.

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Filed under Mentoring

New 4-H rabbit member guide now available

I love it when we can engage our Michigan State University Extension volunteers in not only delivering programs but also providing input into program development. They not only take ownership for the outcomes, but they also learn what goes into creating quality, science-based curricula.

 This was the case in our newly revised 4-H Rabbit Fitting and Showing Member Guide (4H1268) that’s now available from the MSU Extension Bookstore.

4-H Rabbit Fitting and Showing Member Guide

 The volunteers who comprise the Michigan 4-H Rabbit Fitting and Showing Curriculum sub-committee put a monumental effort into the manual, and their hard work and dedication paid off. This should be a popular curriculum in Michigan and beyond, as I’m told there is no other manual like it. I could take the rest of this column to list their names, as well as the MSUE staff members who contributed to the guide, but instead I’ll encourage you to pick up a copy from the MSU Extension Bookstore. The retail price is $5, but MSUE staff can purchase it at the county rate of $4.

 This informative source is a helpful tool to guide 4-H members through both fitting (choosing and preparing a rabbit for show) and exhibiting rabbits. Full-color photographs take 4-H’ers through the proper steps of handling, posing and examining their rabbits for show purposes. The guide also focuses on the members themselves: their appearance and attitude, sportsmanship and leadership.

 And of course, it uses a hands-on inquiry-based approach that is the hallmark of 4-H experiences and curriculum.

 Katie VanderKolk, MSU Extension animal science educator, says, “We are glad to offer an updated curriculum to enhance youth knowledge and skills in the rabbit showmanship area.”

 Read more here.

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Filed under 4-H

Two curriculum products now available

Two great curriculum products are now available. Youth Take the Stage: An Introduction to Interactive Theatre was developed by Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development led by project coordinator Betsy Knox. This new curriculum is a guide for adults on leading six hours of training with middle and high school age youth on being part of an issue- based interactive theater experience. Instructions for forming a post-training performance troupe are part of the curriculum. Youth are taught important life skills such as self-esteem, teamwork, empathy, problem solving and decision making. If you want to work with youth in interactive theater – even if you have no prior theater experience – this guide is for you. You can download the curriculum at the 4-H Performing Arts Page at http://web1.msue.msu.edu/msue/cyf/youth/perfarts.html.

More 4-H curriculum can be found at the 4-H Educational Materials page at http://web1.msue.msu.edu/cyf/youth/guide4h/index.html. 4-H has a profusion of materials on topics from animals to science and technology available to download from this Web page.

  In this fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever for parents to spend quality time with their children. Another problem that parents face is getting their kids to make healthy food choices and to stay physically active. The recently revised Family Book Bag allows families to have fun reading together and at the same time learn about healthy eating and physical fitness. The bag is used by educators and designed to go home with a different child each week. It includes resources for educators such as an overview of the book bag, a parent letter, tips on how to set up a book bag program, incentive ideas and more. It also includes materials for families such as a Family Tip Sheet with information on making healthy food choices, being more physically active and reading with children. Five children’s books that reinforce positive food and physical activity choices are included in the bag. Families also receive eight family recipe cards. Order your Family Book Bag at the MSUE Bookstore (formerly called the Bulletin Office) at http://bookstore.msue.msu.edu/.

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Filed under Resources

Infant feeding curriculum now available in Spanish

The Infant Feeding Series curriculum (TIFS), which was developed here at Michigan State University (MSU), has been available for use with women living in low-income situations who are pregnant or new mothers to assist them in developing healthy infant feeding practices. The lessons were developed based on research with white and African American mothers. Recently, MSU graduate student Tara Fischer, worked with Hispanic mothers and peer counselors to demonstrate that the curriculum is appropriate for use with Hispanic women. Pat Benton, Children, Youth, Families and Communities program leader; and her staff helped locate those participants. Celina Wille, Extension educator, helped with the Spanish translation, and the Michigan Nutrition Network assisted with funding. The curriculum and handouts in English and Spanish are available at: http://nursing.msu.edu/tifs/curriculum.asp. Mildred A. Horodynski, Ph.D., R.N., and a professor in the College of Nursing; and Beth Olson, Ph.D., assistant professor and Extension specialist, are principal investigators on the TIFS project team. They have recently revised the TIFS curriculum to assist mothers feeding infants throughout the first year, and are completing the research to demonstrate efficacy of the curriculum, in collaboration with Colorado State University. We look forward to seeing that new curriculum.

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Filed under Nutrition