Cooperative Extension focuses on issues that are important to individuals and families and especially to those who are limited in their resources. The following papers are no exception with their attention to exploring ways to provide programming and resources to consumers (individuals and families) to assist them in meeting their needs.
One successful program, Smart Child Care: Caregiver education for Parents, Family, Friends, and Neighbors, is described and shown to be highly successful in increasing the knowledge and skills among ethnic minorities. Another paper looks at the TANF and SNAP participation fluctuations during the ‘Great Recession.’ The impact of the recent recession on the use of public assistance can provide important insights useful for informing FCS Extension programming efforts for low-income audiences. Another paper focuses on the issue that not all of those eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participate. An educational program, More In My Basket, which targets limited-resource audiences to dispel myths and encourage SNAP participation is used to explore ways to encourage sign-up. The study compares various delivery techniques in motivating older adults’ interest in applying for SNAP. Another paper explores using the determinants of consumer energy conservation decision-making as a basis for the development of residential energy conservation programs to provide the consumers with knowledge to make wise decisions. The authors point out that consumers in the U.S. have tried many ways to lower their cost of fuel and have a heightened awareness of and interest in energy conservation and efficiency as the costs have risen for heating and cooling homes as well as for automobile gasoline.
Finally this issue includes a review of the book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, by Dr. Ken Robinson. In his book he tells fascinating stories of people’s lives being changed by their being allowed to follow their passion and talent as well as points out issues with the way we currently define success in our children. Dr. Allen points out the value and relevance of the book content to the field of Family and Consumer Sciences.
As always, it is my hope that you will read the articles, apply the information to your situation, and enjoy the experience.
Jacquelyn W. McClelland, Ph.D.