One Week, Two Awards

During the week of May 13 we learned that the Arlington VCE office was the recipient of not just one, but two state awards. Our Extension Leadership Council (ELC) came in first place for the ELC programming excellence award in Marketing and Jennifer and community partners received a state award for achieving excellence in New Initiatives. Both awards were announced at the annual meeting of the Virginia Extension Service Association and both come with monetary awards to use for program support or professional development.

The ELC is truly deserving of this honor because the volunteer members have worked hard over the past year to help introduce initiatives that spread the word about VCE’s programs and successes. ELC members helped staff create our new blog, networked with schools and the Arlington Credit Union to increase the number of Kids Marketplace and Reality Store events that we do each year, increased our presence at Arlington Chamber of Commerce events, facilitated a full-page article about VCE in the Chamber newsletter, organized the Energy in the Community forum, formulated public value statements to better inform legislators about the economic, social, and environmental impact of VCE’s programs on the community, and much more. Staff are very grateful for the dedicated work of ELC members.

Along with recently winning a Green Giant award from the Washingtonian Magazine, Senior Extension Agent Jennifer Abel and community partners Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment and Arlington Thrive (the new name of Arlingtonians Meeting Emergency Needs) won the Northern District and State awards for excellence in New Initiatives for the Energy Efficiency Education Program. Started in 2011, this is the program through which we train Energy Master volunteers to make energy- and water-saving improvements in low-income Arlington apartments. To date volunteers have performed retrofits in 232 apartments and we are starting to collect data about energy savings that have been realized. Staff and volunteers truly appreciate the recognition of this exciting program. The next training for new volunteers will begin on September 26 with applications due July 1st. Contact Jennifer if you are interested in applying: jabel@vt.edu.

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