With changing tax laws and, at times, costly tax preparation services, the RSVP tax assistance program, from ISU Extension and Outreach, is helping Iowans by providing a trained core of volunteers to assist people who can't afford to have their taxes done professionally.
Highlights from Jasper, Poweshiek, Marion and Mahaska counties:
- Mahaska County Clover Kids
Clover Kids is a youth development program for children in kindergarten through third grade. Children participate in hands-on activities designed to build different life skills. The groups explore science with simple science experiments, strengthen motor skills through a variety of art and craft experiences, and more. The Clover Kids program in Mahaska County has doubled in size during the past two years and currently boasts nearly 120 youth participating in five school districts throughout the county. Clover Kids provides positive youth development for young people resulting in youth who thrive as citizens and learners.
- Poweshiek Ag Marketing Club
Producers, landowners and agribusiness leaders say improved marketing skills have resulted in increased revenue and economic impact for Poweshiek and surrounding counties. Since 2000, farmers and business leaders have joined forces as part of the Ag Marketing seminars, organized by ISU Extension and Outreach in Poweshiek County. A leadership team defines topics and speakers, and handles promotions, funding and meeting logistics. Participants placed an average-per-farm value on these meetings at more than $11,000, creating an area economic benefit of $1.32 million annually.
- Entrepreneur for a Day
The Entrepreneur for a Day (E4D) program is dedicated to teaching fifth-grade students the fundamental principles of entrepreneurship and how to start a business. Students learn the distinct differences between becoming an entrepreneur and being an employee. One of the goals of the program is to get kids thinking about being a job creator versus a job taker, and encourages students to view entrepreneurship as a viable career pathway. ISU Extension and Outreach in Poweshiek County is currently offering E4D to five schools reaching nearly 400 youth.
- Early Care and Education Program
The Early Care & Education (ECE) Program provides technical assistance, support and education to early care and education programs to improve the quality and quantity of child care. This grant-funded program partners with Child Care Resource and Referral to provide one-on-one and group training opportunities to child care and preschool providers in Mahaska and Wapello counties. In the first quarter, ECE provided training and technical assistance to 21 child care and preschool providers serving 346 families. These families received higher-quality care for their children resulting in a better educational beginning and improved performance as a K-12 student.
- For more information, visit: Jasper, Poweshiek, Marion and Mahaska county webpages.