A Monthly On-Line Newletter for Home*A*Syst Coordinators, Partners and Friends
Welcome to The Threshold, the newsletter for Home*A*Syst coordinators, partners and friends! The name was chosen not only for its associations with the home, but also for its connotation as a point of beginning. With this first issue, the national Home*A*Syst office will publish a monthly on-line newsletter with two goals: To share state Home*A*Syst program success stories with others (see New York's story in this issue), and to share news from the Home*A*Syst national office, including any upcoming funding opportunities. Back issues will remain on the web for your convenience.
Your ideas and comments are always welcome — share your thoughts with Kadi Row, National Home*A*Syst Coordinator, or Janice Kepka, Web Administrator. If you know of someone who does not receive notice of this newsletter because they are not on the Farm*A*Syst/Home*A*Syst listserv, let us know and we'll be happy to send them an announcement each month.
$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $TITLE: HUD Healthy Homes Initiative - Notice of Funds Availability
DEADLINE: September 23, 1999
GOAL: To protect children by supporting one or more demonstration projects employing cost-effective, replicable interventions to correct safety and health hazards in the home environment capable of producing serious diseases and injuries in children.
MORE INFO: http://www.hud.gov/fundsavl.html#hhi
What does Home*A*Syst have to do with nutrition? A lot, if you are one of two counties in New York piloting delivery of Home*A*Syst through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). A program of the Cooperative Extension System, EFNEP's goal is to provide nutrition education for low-income families with youth, and at-risk pregnant women and teenage mothers. EFNEP currently operates in all 50 states with an existing, community-based outreach strategy that reaches individuals through home visits. County Extension home economists provide on the job training and supervision for paraprofessional educators.
Cornell Cooperative Extension in New York saw an opportunity to link Home*A*Syst's healthy homes education to the EFNEP program for a number of reasons. According to New York Home*A*Syst Coordinator, Katrie DiTella, the idea really came from the counties: "The counties had a lot of interest in Home*A*Syst, but felt unable to reach low-literate, limited resource audiences with the existing materials," she said. To address the problem, county educators approached Ann Lemley, program leader for the Water Quality Extension Program, with suggestions. Ann explains, "This demonstrates how the best programs are those which develop at the grassroots level, by the people who need them."
Through a grant from the USDA's Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service's Water Quality Initiative, New York Home*A*Syst was able to modify program materials and develop a training and outreach program with EFNEP educators. "The nice thing about working with EFNEP", according to Katrie, "is that the Nutrition Teaching Assistants (NTA's) have already developed a rapport with the families." Because home visits and nutrition checklists were a format NTA's and client families were already familiar with, Home*A*Syst assessment checklists fit into an existing model. Finally, the assessment and evaluation data were formatted to fit into existing EFNEP reporting models, facilitating documentation of impacts.
How it works: Four Home*A*Syst assessment tools (Lead, Drinking Water, Septic Systems and
Household Hazardous Products) were modified for a fifth grade reading level. An additional
checklist on radon was developed to address an particular area of local concern. Participating
county directors and NTA's were involved in the checklist modifications. In 1998, NTA's were
trained to cover a 2-county area: Chemung County which is rural, suburban and urban; and Delaware
County which is rural. Training covered an overview of water quality issues and background in
each of the assessments to be used.
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Throughout this pilot year, NTA's have visited approximately 300 families, with six visits each, in the two-county area. During the initial visit, participants complete a pre-test survey to assess areas of knowledge and identify home environmental health risks. Based on the findings, NTA's return for up to 5 visits, each time covering a different assessment topic. At the last visit, participants complete the original survey again, which serves as a post-test to measure knowledge and behavior change.
A final component to the program is Home*A*Syst's incorporation into the EFNEP summer youth program. Called "Healthy Homes/Healthy You", youth participants spend six sessions learning about safe water, lead poisoning and nutrition, and household hazardous products. Approximately 500 youth participated in the program in the Summer of 1999.
Cornell Cooperative Extension has collaborated on a proposal with Wisconsin and Louisiana to develop and pilot a new food safety chapter for Home*A*Syst through EFNEP educators.
For more information on NY Home*A*Syst and the collaborative project with EFNEP, contact Katrie DiTella, Cornell University, Water Quality Program, TXA, 239 MVR Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, Phone: 607.255.4537, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Produced by the National Home*A*Syst Office, 303 Hiram Smith Hall, 1545 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1289 608.262.0024, email@example.com
Web address: http://www.wisc.edu/farmasyst/homeasyst/newsletters/aug99.htm
Comments can be made to Kadi Row, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Created by Janice Kepka, email@example.com
Last modified on Wednesday, 18-Feb-2004 17:22:44 CST.