Program Center for 4-H and Youth, Family, and Adult Development
West Virginia children need safe and nurturing environments to become contributing citizens later
in life. National studies show that over two-thirds of all child care programs are poor to mediocre.
WVU Extension programs reach children, parents, and child care providers with research-based
training and practical behavior-focused information. They engage communities and build on the
Energy Express (contact: Ruthellen Phillips)
The six-week summer program promotes school success and reading skills of children living in rural
and low income communities across West Virginia. The 2002 program was in 90 communities, served
two nutritious family-style meals each day to over 4,300 youth, and engaged 515 college students in
community service. Instead of the normal summertime decline in skills, Energy Express children gain
skills in word identification, comprehension, and broad reading scores and are better prepared to start
the next school year.
Family Storyteller (contacts: Ruthellen Phillips and Susan Gamble)
This family literacy program involves parents and children in literacy and language activities to help
parents become their children’s best teachers and make literacy fun. With funding from the Benedum
Foundation and Verizon, approximately ten counties will pilot Family Storyteller Program in 2003.
Family Times Newsletter (contact: Carol Winland)
The newsletter series provides over 3,500 parents of kindergarteners with valuable parenting
information each year. Parents report that the newsletter is an effective tool for learning parenting
CYFAR (Children, Youth and Families at Risk) (contact: Rich Fleisher)
CYFAR is a USDA-funded program to develop and document, assess, and sustain a successful
approach to empowering limited-resource citizens and communities in every county of West Virginia.
Extension faculty, volunteers, and partners are increasing their capacity to better serve families in
poverty, and strengthen local collaborations.
Child Care Training programs (contact: Elaine Bowen)
Community programs increase the quality, affordability, accessibility, and availability of child care
services for pre-school and after school child care. Annually, approximately 150 training programs
reach over 1000 providers who care for over 8000 children. To enhance this effort, a Child Care
Apprenticeship Instructors Academy in June and August 2003 will train seven extension faculty to be
part of the state network of undergraduate instructors. A series of four classes will assist students in
acquiring an Associates degree in Child Care.
Family Resource Management (contact: Linda Waybright)
In partnership with the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office and the State Department of Education,
extension’s High School Financial Planning Program reached approximately 1120 teens in eight
counties. Participants gained information and skills in financial management that are critical to their
4-H Youth Development programs integrate research-based strategies into ongoing activities to help
youth gain essential life skills. Through hands-on educational experiences, 4-H and other youth
programs prepare youth to be capable community leaders, future employees, and family members.
4-H Program (contact: Debbie McDonald)
58,468 youth ages 9-21 participated in 4-H programming throughout West Virginia in 2002.
Educational opportunities in 4-H include community clubs, overnight camping, Energy Express,
participation in state and national events, and projects from aerospace to veterinary science.
4-H Community Clubs (contact: Debbie McDonald)
18,842 youth participated in West Virginia 4-H community clubs in 2002. 4-H Clubs are organized
groups of youth, with elected officers and a planned program that is carried on throughout the year.
Members complete projects, exhibit at fairs, plan community service and fundraising activities and are
supported by adult volunteer leaders.
Collegiate 4-H Clubs (contact: Patty Mulkeen)
Collegiate 4-H Clubs provide service and support to their local and state 4-H programs by serving as
judges and conducting training workshops. They are also a service and social group for campus
students, regardless of prior 4-H membership. In West Virginia, Collegiate 4-H is active at West
Virginia University, Concord College, Shepherd College, and West Virginia Wesleyan College.
4-H Camping (contact: Patty Mulkeen)
Since 1915, the West Virginia 4-H Camping program gives youth opportunities for acquiring
knowledge, life skills and forming values through cooperative group living in a natural environment.
In 2002, 11,089 youth participated in overnight 4-H camps at the state and county levels. An eight-
county study showed that younger campers perceived a gain in ability to respect others and make
friends with people who are different from themselves. Older campers perceived gains in taking
responsibility for their actions and accepting differences.
4-H Volunteer Camping Assistants (VCA) (contact: Patty Mulkeen)
The 4-H Volunteer Camping Assistant program enhances the leadership and educational program
delivery skills of the young people who serve as VCAs and provides well-trained assistance to county
4-H camps. In summer 2002, 47 young adults served as VCAs in 77 week-long county camping
4-H Charting Program (contact: Patty Mulkeen)
Through the 4-H Charting program, adolescents build skills in self-understanding, critical thinking,
decision making, communication, leadership and future planning. Members complete exercises in
which they explore values and personal traits, make decisions, and plan future goals. Discussion
sessions and group exercises are led by trained instructors.
Character Counts (contacts: Zona Hutson and Pat Gruber)
Character education programs are designed to promote the development of trustworthiness,
responsibility, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship, the same values promoted by the 4-H program
for over 75 years. Trained Extension faculty work with local school systems and community
organizations to incorporate character development in ongoing activities. Community Educational
Outreach Service Clubs and 4-H are key players in this initiative.
Entrepreneurship Education (contact: Doug Hovatter)
Small business, not large corporations, will increasingly serve as West Virginia’s dominant engine for
the creation of jobs and innovative products and services. WVU Extension Service partners with the
Kauffman Foundation and trains teachers in entrepreneurship education curricula.
Volunteer Development (contact: Pat Nestor)
Volunteer leaders are the critical delivery link between extension educational programs and recipients.
Volunteer leaders are accepting more responsibility for planning and delivering extension programs on
the local, state and regional level.
Healthy lifestyles are essential in preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and
cancer. WVU Extension programs focus on promoting behaviors that will make a difference and
improve the health and well-being of families and individuals.
WV Family Nutrition Program (contact: Jeff Olson)
Nearly 2,000 limited-resource families and 5,200 youth enroll in the FNP each year. Among the
positive behavior changes reported by over 90% of program families were increasing daily fiber and
protein. The comprehensive program reaches those who do not readily access health services because
they are at high risk for lifelong health problems.
CARDIAC Initiative (contacts: Renee Davis and Lisa Westfall)
CARDIAC (Coronary Artery Risk Detection In Appalachian Communities) identifies children at risk
of heart disease later in life, and engages them in educational activities to reduce unhealthy behaviors
and increase healthy behaviors. In partnership with Dr. Neal and local Rural Health Education
Partnerships, extension’s CARDIAC Initiative has two components: CARDIAC Fun! and 4-H
CARDIAC. Now being piloted in 26 counties, children and their parents will learn about good
nutrition, prepare and eat healthy meals, and exercise together in participatory, informal settings such
as weekend family camps, 4-H residential camps, community classes, and 4-H club meetings. The
CARDIAC Initiative will be the first family-based chronic disease prevention program in West
Dining with Diabetes (contact: Guen Brown and Karen Newton)
Dining with Diabetes is a statewide diabetes nutrition education program developed by the West
Virginia University Extension Service with CDC grant funding through the West Virginia Diabetes
Control and Prevention Program. Approximately 1,200 diabetics and their caregivers participate and
increase their knowledge about this disease, improve abilities to select and prepare foods, and manage
National Eye Institute Grant (contact: Karen Newton)
A $10,000 grant from the National Eye Institute will develop and test a curriculum to include lecture
notes, handouts, overheads, and a power point presentation on diabetic eye disease, glaucoma and
cataracts. This will enhance the Dining with Diabetes program throughout the state.
On the Road to Living Well with Diabetes (contact: Guen Brown)
Sponsored by the Joslin Diabetes Center-Harvard University and Cooperative Extension System-
USDA, this partnership enables extension to collect clinical data from Dining with Diabetes
participants. The data will show the extent to which the program may impact health outcomes.
Diabetes Symposium & Workshop (contact: Guen Brown)
An annual Bridging the Gap with Education – Diabetes Symposium and Workshop brings nationally
recognized speakers to West Virginia to present cutting-edge diabetes research and program
information to health professionals from all over the country. The 2003 symposium is in Charleston,
WV October 9 – 10, 2003. Conference speakers are from well-known institutions such as Mayo
Medical School, Joslin Clinic in Boston, and the University of California at San Diego.
Active for Life (contact: Guen Brown)
Active for Life is a community based, volunteer led exercise program for older adults currently being
conducted in 20 counties. Extension professionals train community volunteers in how to lead groups
in activities that increase flexibility and mobility. The ultimate goal is to improve participants’ ability
to sustain independent living.
Food safety is a major public health issue. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that up to 76
million cases of food borne illness occur annually. The associated costs of such illnesses in terms of
medical and lost productivity amount to $ 9.4 billion. Food safety education is a priority program.
Germ City (contact: Sally Summers)
Germ City is an interactive hand-washing demonstration, exhibit, and education program. Hand
washing is an often-overlooked behavior that is important for food safety, disease prevention, and
personal health. Over 1500 WV State Fair-goers participated in Germ City and learned the importance
and techniques of hand washing. It is funded by a USDA grant involving five states.
Teaming Up for Safe Food (contact: Sally Summers)
Over four million pounds of food and other products are distributed annually by the Mountaineer Food
Bank. To improve the safe handling of this food, extension professionals trained 194 volunteers. The
project results were showcased at two national conferences. It was funded by the Benedum
ServSafe (contact: Sally Summers)
This is a food safety certification course by the National Restaurant Association Educational
Foundation. Extension professionals trained and certified 103 food service managers and workers to
prevent food borne illness.
Consumer Food Safety Education (contact: Sally Summers)
Consumers and food vendors need food safety education. WVU extension educators and Greenbrier
County health department professionals reached 88 food vendors at the 2002 WV State Fair and the
214,949 consumers who visited the Fair.