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U of I Extension educators help Illinois residents live well

Published April 10, 2013
siblings making sand castle

URBANA – University of Illinois Extension’s “Living Well” campaign, conducted by local Extension family and consumer science professionals, is helping families raise children, eat right, and spend smart, said a U of I Extension family life educator.

“Extension has more to offer than great ag-related programs and 4-H,” said Cheri Burcham.

For 100 years, U of I Extension educators have been providing research and information to the public to help people make their lives better, healthier, safer and more profitable, she said.

“Family and consumer science educators specialize in food preparation and safety, nutrition, budgeting and financial management, healthy lifestyles, and relationship and parenting skills. These educators reach thousands of people each year through workshops, webinars, social media and online classes. They are providing practical, education to help people, businesses, and communities solve problems, develop skills, and build better futures,” she said.

Family life programming includes “Headstrong,” which focuses on healthy aging and memory as well as the workshop series “Caregiving Relationships,” which targets and teaches caregivers of older adults ways to cope with the emotional pressures of caregiving and how to strengthen family relationships, Burcham noted.

“I on Diabetes,” created and facilitated by educators on the nutrition and wellness team, is a workshop series that assists in understanding diabetes treatment goals and self-monitoring; managing carbohydrates, sodium, cholesterol and fat portions; planning meals; and reading food labels,” she said.

And consumer economics educators inform those who want to plan successfully for retirement through the “Plan Well, Retire Well” website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter and e-news.

To find out more about these programs and what else Extension is doing, check out their website at www.extension.illinois.edu. “We are also on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter,” she said.