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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The Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families (APCYF) lauded Tobin “Toby” Smith as a Connect with Kids Champion during the Arlington-Alexandria Virginia Cooperative Extension annual breakfast and showcase last week.
Connect with Kids Champions are people who go out of their way to develop and maintain positive, supportive relationships with young people. Each fall and spring, APCYF invites the Arlington community to nominate individuals, groups, businesses, and non-profit organizations as Champions because of the relationships they’ve built with young people.
Smith, vice president for Policy, Association of American Universities, volunteers with Arlington 4-H Youth Development. He has connected with kids since 1988 using nature and fishing as the hook. Starting with a 4-H Gardening Club for children of refugees from Southeast Asia, he later formed a 4-H Fishing Club for ten children ages 8-10 and worked with that group until they graduated from high school.
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Arlington County may just be one locality in the heavily populated area of Northern Virginia, but this relatively small spot of land that borders the District of Columbia is home to a population that hails from all regions of the globe including Asia, Central and South America, Africa, and the Middle East.
In addition, many residents of Arlington County are classified as having low English proficiency, so unifying this diverse population through Extension programming can be challenging.
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BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 17, 2014 – Students in Melissa Chase’s special topics class in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences learned what celebrity chefs with a conscience already know: that providing access to healthy food is only half the solution to alleviating food insecurity in communities where access to fresh, affordable, and healthy food is limited.
The other half is showing people how to safely prepare foods they purchase like fruits, vegetables, and seafood, in a safe and appealing way, which was one of the objectives of the class.
The class was offered through the Department of Food Science and Technology and provided students access to faculty expertise, food preparation techniques, and served as an educational resource for the community. It was also designed to cultivate future Master Food Volunteers and introduce students to career options within the food science and technology field and Virginia Cooperative Extension.
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Sharon Beasley of Roanoke County participated in one of Virginia Cooperative Extension’s drinking water clinics held across the state.
The average person uses as much as 100 gallons of water a day. Imagine having to regularly test water quality and maintain your own water system.
This is an issue 1.7 million Virginians with private water supplies have to deal with. Sharon Beasley is one of many who is concerned with her home’s water quality. Read More