Michigan State University Extension will be collaborating with the Michigan Department of Education on the recently awarded 2014 USDA Team Nutrition grant. MSU Extension educators across the state will be working directly with 50 schools to conduct Smarter Lunchroom Assessments in the school’s cafeterias. Schools that participate will receive a small financial incentive to complete 10 activities in the cafeteria. The MSU Extension staff members that are leading this partnership include Dawn Earnesty, Sheilah Hebert and Becky Henne.
The evidence-based activities are designed to equip schools with tools that improve children’s eating behaviors, and improve the cafeteria environment and food offerings. Thirty-five of those schools will also be given the opportunity to receive additional support from MSU Extension staff to implement a Healthier School Environment Toolkit. The toolkit will include resources on Coordinated School Health Teams, Healthy School Action Tool Assessment, Local School Wellness Policies, Smart Snacks legislation and other evidence-based strategies such as taste testing, working with student teams, healthy meetings, and adult and peer modeling and coaching to make healthy choices.
MSU Extension staff will receive specialized training on conducting Smarter Lunchroom Assessments, a program designed by the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs.
This week during the Michigan State University Extension webinar update, Doug Brinklow, director of ANR Communications, addressed some of the rumors that have been circulating about the upcoming transition of the MSU Extension Bookstore. No, the bookstore will not be going away, but we are going to be making some improvements.
Later this year, the MSU Extension Bookstore will move from our current platform to shop.msu.edu, which is part of University Stores. University Stores already successfully runs a retail operation through online, phone and face-to-face interactions and also handles product storage and fulfillment with a dedicated staff. They are PCI compliant, which means they maintain a high set of security standards to protect credit card information of purchasers and can make the necessary updates to keep our material easy to purchase or download.
This decision did not come easily. ANR Communications, ANR Technology Services and MSU Extension staff members spent months investigating options to ensure we can retain an easy-to-use system that is positioned for growth. Rather than spending time and money to reinvent the wheel within our current system, the group agreed that the resources available through shop.msu.edu will help us become more efficient.
With this big of a change, there were obviously a few questions for us to clear up. Here are the highlights:
- The MSU Extension Bookstore will remain open until shortly before the switch to shop.msu.edu.
- Extension county office discount pricing will be retained.
- We will still have the ability to publish online-only documents through shop.msu.edu.
- You will still be able to pick up bookstore items from campus, but they will now be located at Angell Building, 166 Service Rd., East Lansing, MI 48824.
- All stakeholders/customers will be informed of all steps that need to be taken to begin using the bookstore through shop.msu.edu.
Michelle Lavra, who supervises the communication production team and the video/multimedia team in ANR Communications, will maintain the bookstore relationship with shop.msu.edu. We are on track to meet our goal of transitioning by October 1, 2014, and we will provide more details by mid-September.
As with any transition, we know that there will be wrinkles along the way. We appreciate your help in making this transition as smooth as possible by bringing any issues to the attention of ANR Communications so we can iron them out immediately.