On December 6 the staff and volunteers of the Arlington and Alexandria Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) offices hosted a program showcase for local, state, and federal elected officials and other guests to highlight the contributions that VCE makes to the community. Six stations were set up to highlight each program area and volunteers staffed the stations and shared their experiences with elected officials and other visitors.
At the nutrition station staff and volunteers prepared and distributed samples of healthy smoothies. At the financial education station, volunteers talked about their experiences helping with Reality Store and Kids Marketplace simulations, teaching budgeting classes, and one-on-one financial counseling. At the Energy Masters station a large group of volunteers shared their experiences improving the energy efficiency in low-income apartments and showed the energy savings from using LED compared to regular holiday lights. At the 4-H station Alexandria 4-H agent Reggie Morris and one of his volunteers talked about the many new programs he has started since coming on board in May. At the Agriculture and Natural Resources station Master Gardener volunteers shared information about their many ongoing projects. And at the Master Naturalist station volunteers talked about their work.
Four of Arlington County’s five board members attended the event: Chair Walter Tejada, Jay Fisette, Mary Hynes, and Libby Garvey. Two Arlington school board members attended: Emma Violand Sanchez and Abby Raphael. At the state level Delegate Bob Brink, Senator George Barker, and legislative aide to Alfonso Lopez, Jason Stanford, attended. We were also very pleased to have retired senator Mary Margaret Whipple and retired delegate Judy Connally in attendance. Judy also served as mistress of ceremonies, acknowledging the diverse array of work that Extension does in our communities. At the federal level we were pleased to have the participation of Barry Londeree, aide to Congressman James Moran.
The showcase also highlighted the partnership of Virginia Cooperative Extension with Virginia Tech and Virginia State University. And we were delighted to host representatives from Virginia Tech National Capital Region including Deputy Director Nick Stone.
With more than 70 attendees this year’s event was the biggest ever. We look forward to hosting another program showcase at the end of 2014 and hope for even larger community participation.
Program Showcase highlights are also on the Virginia Tech National Capital Region website – click here http://ncr.vt.edu/highlights/Highlight-121113.html