Tag Archives: first book

Videos that promote our programs air on WKAR

Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications has collaborated with WKAR to produce a new mini-series called “Did You Know?” The mini-series features 90-second videos focusing on programs within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Many of the videos focus on Michigan State University Extension programs.

 In case you missed any of the videos, you can view them on the MSU ANR YouTube site here.

 The “Did You Know?” videos include:

  • 4-H Partnership with Ingham County Family Center
  • 4-H Science Blast
  • Black Stallion Literacy
  • Eat Right – Active Life
  • The Great Dairy Adventure
  • MSU Local Beef Initiative
  • Ready, Set, Read

As developed, other videos will be offered to WKAR for consideration, including a piece on the First Book/early childhood literacy book give-away that we highlighted last week in this email and blog, and a recent 4‑H recruitment event.

 

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Book give-aways continue to help the cause of literacy

The early childhood literacy targeted program, part of our “I Know MI Numbers” initiative, aims to boost pre-reading skills needed to help children to be reading at grade level by the third grade. This goal received a big boost due to the efforts of two organizations: The Molina Foundation (part of Molina Healthcare) and First Book. Earlier this year, the Molina Foundation offered to donate up to 50,000 books to Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development for distribution mostly in the southeastern part of the state. This effort kicked off with an event early in March, which I wrote about in an earlier Spotlight article (March 10, 2011).

In June, the Molina Foundation hooked us up with First Book, who offered to donate up to 500,000 books to Michigan through Michigan 4-H and our continuing partnership with the Molina Foundation. Retired Extension associate director and former State 4-H Leader Cheri Booth coordinated both the Molina and First Book book give-aways, with the latest one culminating in the distribution yesterday and today of 100,000 books for Michigan organizations that serve youth who are in need and another 340,000 books being shipped to youth organizations all over the country. Volunteers who helped distribute the books came from several organizations and even included MSU senior associate provost June Youatt. Among everything else, Cheri arranged for donated warehouse space in Delhi Township and for the direct delivery of books to the 4-H program in Lansing’s Southside Community Center and to a “Reading in the Park” Extension event in St. Johns.

The Lansing State Journal picked up the story and interviewed Michelle Lavra, MSU Agriculture and Natural Resources communications manager, about the program. Read the article here.

Retired MSUE associate director Cheri Booth and senior associate provost June Youatt help load books

Retired MSUE associate director Cheri Booth and senior associate provost June Youatt help load books destined for local youth Aug. 10, 2011, at the Delta Township distribution warehouse. Photo by Michelle Lavra.

Julie Chapin helps out at book give-away

MSU Extension Children and Youth Institute director Julie Chapin hands a box of books to a Molina Healthcare volunteer. Photo by Michelle Lavra.

Kids choose free books at give-away.

Kids were eager to choose their two free books at Lansing’s Southside Community Center Aug. 10, 2011. Photo by Michelle Lavra.

A child chooses a book at the book give-away.

A child tries to decide which two books to choose at the book-giveaway at Lansing’s Southside Community Center Aug. 10, 2011. Photo by Michelle Lavra.

A child shows off her free books from the book give-away.

A child shows off her free books at Lansing’s Southside Community Center Aug. 10, 2011. Photo by Michelle Lavra.

Dad shows his son a book on dinosaurs.

A father helps his young son choose a book about dinosaurs at the Reading in the Park event in St. Johns on Aug. 10, 2011. Photo by Michelle Lavra.

Toddler enjoys her new book

This toddler shows her excitement about one of her new books obtained at the Reading in the Park event in St. Johns Aug. 10, 2011. Photo by Michelle Lavra.

Young 4-H'er chooses a book

This future 4-H’er takes his time choosing his books at the Reading in the Park event in St. Johns Aug. 10, 2011. Photo by Michelle Lavra.

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I Know MI Numbers featured at Ag Expo

As you know, Michigan State University Extension is implementing the I Know MI Numbers initiative, focusing on five targeted programs among many identified as critical to the state’s future on Gov. Rick Snyder’s dashboard. MSU Extension staff members educated the public about each issue in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources tent and the MSU Extension Bookstore tent at Ag ExpoJuly 19–21. In temperatures in the 90s with humidity that led to heat indexes in the 100s, our dedicated staff soldiered on to encourage attendees to improve their quality of life.

MSU Extension Bookstore tent

MSU Extension Bookstore tent

At the MSU Extension Bookstore tent, Ag Expo attendees could purchase soil test kits. The kits make it easy for gardeners to get quick results and information when they send in their soil samples through Extension to the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Lab. Mary Wilson, MSU Extension consumer horticulture educator and state coordinator of the MSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program, was on hand in the CANR tent to explain the process. Using the soil test results, gardeners can more accurately determine the amount of fertilizers and herbicides to use – lessening the chance of overuse. This would reduce runoff, improving water quality – a goal of the I Know MI Numbers targeted program: Agriculture That Protects Michigan’s Waters. We’d like to see Michigan’s water index moving higher than 88, on a scale of 100. (If you missed getting a soil test kit, you can still get one at the MSU Extension Bookstore at bookstore.msue.msu.edu.) Staff involved with the water quality initiative staffed a display at the CANR tent as well. And during Ag Expo, many demonstrations throughout the three-day event focused on agriculture that improves water quality. We have nearly 60 programs or events throughout the state that focus on key water-quality issues.

Agriculture That Protects Michigan's Waters

Agriculture That Protects Michigan's Waters exhibit. Photo by Katie Alexander.

In the CANR tent, Extension staff members measured visitors’ height and weight to help them determine their BMI (body mass index). Staff members were ready to talk nutrition and healthy habits with attendees. Reducing adult obesity is a targeted program that aims at reaching 8,000 people across the state to make healthy changes in their behavior. In Genesee and Saginaw counties, 35 adult obesity prevention/reduction classes reach hundreds of adults with information to help them improve their BMI.

Reducing adult obesity

Reducing adult obesity exhibit. Photo by Katie Alexander.

Helping Our Cities and Towns Succeed aims at helping local officials address the fiscal crisis and reduce the cost of government. Michigan residents attending Ag Expo could determine their local fiscal health number (by checking a chart on the Michigan Department of Treasury’s website, created by MSUE) and compare it to other communities. They then placed a colored tack on a map that represented one of three categories: neutral, watch or stress. The goal of this targeted program is to have all communities fall in the neutral category, a number between zero and four. Extension is partnering with the governor and the Michigan Department of Treasury to educate Michigan residents about fiscal health.

Helping Our Cities and Towns Succeed

Helping Our Cities and Towns Succeed exhibit. Photo by Katie Alexander.

Increasing early childhood literacy focuses on Michigan children entering kindergarten with the skills they need in order to be reading at grade level by the third grade. In the CANR tent, a children’s story hour took place every hour. After listening to the story, a child could choose a free book to take home. MSU Extension has held five events since June in which children and parents focused on developing pre-reading skills. And we’ll be distributing up to 500,000 books donated by First Book to youth living in low-income situations.

Increasing Early Childhood Literacy

Increasing Early Childhood Literacy exhibit. Photo by Katie Alexander

MSU Extension is helping to improve science literacy by supporting teachers with resources, experiments and lesson plans that align with Michigan Science Education standards and coordinating 4-H Science Blast and 4-H National Youth Science Day. Kids who attended Ag Expo participated in two water-quality science experiments and the Fashion-a-Fish project activity to improve their own science literacy.

Improving Science Literacy

Improving Science Literacy exhibit. Photo by Katie Alexander.

Thanks to all who participated in making it possible to get the word out about the I Know MI Numbers initiative at Ag Expo.

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