Category Archives: Family

Henrico County youth learn the business of babysitting

Teen participants sitting at a table with baby dolls.

More than 240 youth have completed babysitting training since the Henrico County program began in in 2010.

The young entrepreneurs who attended Virginia Cooperative Extension’s babysitting training in Henrico County got more than just a new set of babysitting skills — they got a sense of confidence.

“It was a great learning experience. It was informative and all-around fun,” said one Henrico County participant who is starting to earn money by babysitting.

But while babysitting can be an excellent source of additional income, it can also be difficult work full of various unplanned events. Participating in babysitting training can help youth be better prepared for the job.

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Chesterfield financial planning classes pay off for local residents

Economic woes and balancing personal finances can be challenging for anyone, but it can be doubly hard when someone is living in poverty or doesn’t speak the native language.

So the local Virginia Cooperative Extension offices in Chesterfield, Virginia, are equipping people with knowledge that helps them create a better economic future.

More than 6 percent of Chesterfield County lives below the poverty line. In homes where a single mom is raising kids, that number creeps as high as 31 percent. People living in these situations are especially vulnerable to losing control of their finances.

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Students experience community nutrition while serving as FNP summer interns

students standing by HNFE department sign.

2016 Family Nutrition Program Interns

The Family Nutrition Program welcomes 12 students from Virginia Tech’s Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise into its internship program this summer.

This program serves as a partnership between the Family Nutrition Program and the HNFE department. This internship provides students with real-life experience that is related to their studies.

“It really benefits HNFE since it gives students a chance to experience real-world community nutrition,” said Lynn Margheim, a trainer for Virginia FNP. “The students not only get to participate in delivering nutrition education, they’re also learning about government food programs and accountability, and they’re putting the food safety skills they’ve learned into practice.”

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Virginia Cooperative Extension encourages residents to plan ahead during National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 15-21.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is encouraging residents to plan ahead during National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 15-21, 2016. Hurricanes are one of the most common natural disasters that Virginia experiences. In addition to high winds, other hazards also follow hurricanes including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, and tornadoes.   Hurricane season begins June 1, so begin planning now.

One of the greatest hazard risks for Virginia residents during hurricane season is flooding. This risk is particularly high in the many coastal communities of Virginia where the elevation is very low and the impact from storm surge is increased. However, inland areas are also susceptible to flooding, especially along rivers and streams that can overflow their banks during intense and sustained periods of rainfall. Even if you have never experienced a flood in the past, it doesn’t mean that you won’t in the future.

What many homeowners don’t know is that standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not typically cover flooding. In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program to help provide a means for property owners and those who rent property to financially protect themselves. However, to be eligible for flood insurance, you must live in a community that participates in the NFIP. Fortunately, most communities in Virginia do participate in the NFIP. To find the listing, go to: In addition, not all insurance companies participate with the NFIP to sell and service flood insurance policies, so check with your local provider to find out if they do.



Energy Masters Program energizes Arlington County

white woman installing a shower head.

A Master Energy Volunteer installs a low low-flow shower head.

Written by Emily Halstead, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and a communications intern for Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Volunteers in Arlington County are making a difference — one light bulb and toilet tank at a time. With more than 6,000 hours of volunteer service under their belts, these masters of energy efficiency have been helping low-income families improve their comfort levels and reduce their water and energy bills.

The Energy Masters Program, funded by the Arlington County Community Development Fund, has made strides in improving energy efficiency for residents living in affordable housing units in Arlington County neighborhoods. The program is a collaborative effort between the Virginia Cooperative Extension Arlington County Office and two county nonprofit organizations — Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment and Arlington Thrive.

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