The Nonprofit Management Academy, offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, is a series of workshops designed to enhance the management skills of those in leadership roles in the nonprofit sector. The academy offers a variety of topics such as leadership, financial management, succession planning and working with boards from trainers at the local, regional and national level, as well as an opportunity to network with other nonprofit employees.
Other highlights from Benton, Linn and Jones counties:
- Senior Volunteers Trained to Deliver Food Assistance Education
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach trained retired senior volunteers in Linn County to deliver education about Food Assistance and how it can help seniors with low incomes purchase the foods they need to maintain and improve their health. The volunteers delivered education to 144 seniors who participated at seven different sites. Survey data indicated that participants learned something new about eating healthy food, eligibility requirements for Food Assistance and how to apply for Food Assistance. When seniors apply and are eligible, every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates $9 in total community spending.
- ISU Extension and Outreach Responds in Disasters
When strong straight line winds moved across Benton County on July 11 resulting in major damage to homes, crops, farms, and trees, ISU Extension responded by providing educational information and participating in the county organization active in disasters. The response: 110 producers attending a crop and livestock meeting held three days after the storm, 20 producers attended an emergency grain storage meeting in August, and more than 80 home owners and city officials attended meetings to learn about tree care and replacement. ISU Extension disaster resources also helped homeowners make decisions on repairing storm damaged homes.
- 4-H in New Ways
Last school year, ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development reached 2,893 Linn County K-12 youth through clubs, special interest groups, school enrichment and other 4-H programs. These numbers are similar in Benton and Jones counties. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities are getting kids and teens excited about high-tech careers and staff are working to reach youth through non-traditional 4-H clubs and activities.
- Mind, Body, Medicine
As flood waters overcame many eastern Iowa communities in 2008, Kristi Cooper, ISU Extension family life specialist, assembled key partners and founded the Eastern Iowa Mind Body Medicine Coalition. Cooper has helped more than 1,000 flood-impacted individuals and service providers reduce stress, depression and anxiety. Research shows that people who practice mind-body skills regularly can lower their blood pressure and heart rate, increase their mental clarity and ability to concentrate, have stronger immune systems, and sustain a sense of hope and well-being. In addition, Cooper recorded several videos and posted them online. The videos feature relaxation techniques that can be practiced in less than six minutes each and used by anyone who would like to reduce their stress: http://tinyurl.com/relax2011.
- Reach Out Iowa
ISU Extension and Outreach’s Reach Out Iowa service-learning initiative gets young people, ages 12 to 17, involved in meaningful community development work through service learning experiences. The projects develop leadership skills in young people and showcase the positive things that young people can do for a community. This spring, after seven months of planning and preparation, Marion High School’s Reach Out Iowa service learning project, “One Day in May,” became a reality — 15 Marion High School student committee members, three key teachers and more than 500 youth took part. Students identified and carried-out projects at seven area nursing homes, city parks and a museum.
- For more information, visit: Benton, Linn and Jones county webpages.