After completing three weeks in a rotation at a community hospital where I was learning about clinical dietetics as well as patient services, I began a rotation at WVU Extension Services this week. So far, I have been learning more about the role of Extension Services here in West Virginia and the resources available for community education programs. West Virginia University is a land-grant institution, so there is a mandate to share research based, practical information with the people of the state.
I want to share the mission statement of the organization:
“WVU Extension Service educators and volunteers build and help sustain collaborations and partnerships with people and organizations in West Virginia, to improve their lives and communities.
Our programs and services strengthen leaders of all ages, youth, and families. We develop and teach best practices for sustainable agriculture, for responsible use of renewable resources, and stewardship of natural resources. We work to improve our state’s communities, workforce, and the economy.”
In each of WV’s 55 counties, the Extension Service helps people to protect their resources, increase their income, improve their health, and build their leadership and career skills.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to see some of the community work that Extension Services does by visiting two sites where a summer literacy program is held. This program is known as “Energy Express”, and you can find out more about it by clicking here. It was great to see the children engaged in creative summer learning, and they also receive breakfast and a family-style lunch as part of the program. School walls were filled with arts and crafts, and little tents and reading nooks in the rooms made the setting an inviting place to learn and expand young minds.