Alabama Cooperative Extension System
The mission of Alabama Cooperative Extension System's Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Programs unit is to provide learning opportunities to meet the needs of all urban and nontraditional audiences with a specific focus on limited resource families, under-served audiences, individuals, and small enterprises.
Improve the general health of Alabama's urban population by conducting food safety, health, and nutrition programs to empower high-risk families, individuals and underserved audiences to pursue healthy lifestyles, and select, prepare, and consume a safe and healthy diet.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ranks nutrition and health education as a top priority. State statistics on nutrition and health paint a grim picture for many citizens. On average, more people die in Alabama because of a lack of food than in the nation as a whole. Within the state, one in four older Alabamians live in poverty and some 40 percent of the seniors admitted to Alabama hospitals are malnourished (Sznajderman, 2002). Government, industry, and educators working together can make a difference in the lives of even the hard-to-reach individuals and families by providing them with valuable information to help them make informed dietary and health decisions. The most successful programs are those designed to provide direct outreach to citizens wherever they live and work.
Geographically, Alabama's Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) cover only about one-third of the state's landmass. However, more than two-thirds of the state's population resides in urban counties. The United States Census Bureau's 2000 population estimates place Alabama's urban population at 3,065,673 citizens, comprising over 70 percent of the state's 4,368,862 residents. There are 572,743 families and 792,583 households. The racial make-up of the MSAs is predominately white (74 percent), while blacks represent 24 percent. Marginal percentages are Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian, with Hispanics being the fastest growing minority population. Females (52.8 percent) slightly outnumber males (44.5 percent); the median income is $25,449. The median income in urban counties is $31,569. Seventy percent (70 percent) of the urban population has attained a high school diploma and 18.1 percent has a college degree or higher.
In the state, 17.6 percent live below the poverty level. Twenty-four percent of the state's children live in poverty. There are 274,000 working parents below 200 percent of the poverty level. The majority of the poor are white, and about half are less than 18 years of age. Blacks represent about 32 percent of those below the poverty level. Poor families are more likely to be female-headed households and single parents. Over 9 percent of the state's population receives Food Stamps. In the primary metropolitan counties, statistics for Food Stamp recipients are as follows: Tuscaloosa, 8.6 percent; Morgan 4.4 percent; Montgomery, 13.4 percent; Mobile, 12.5 percent; Madison, 5.0 percent; Limestone, 7.4 percent; Lauderdale, 6.8 percent; Jefferson, 7.6 percent; Houston, 10.1 percent; Etowah, 8.7 percent; and Calhoun, 9.2 percent.
While the urban health statistics tend not to be significantly different from rural statistics on many high-risk disease variables, research indicates there are significant variations on certain health factors for some targeted groups. Specifically, some groups such as the poor, elderly, the homeless and unemployed within the MSAs are at higher risk for nutritional deficiency and some forms of cancer, or suffer from other chronic diseases (Health Status of Rural Alabamians, Alabama Rural Health Association, January, 1998).
ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED:
Issues to be addressed under this goal are metropolitan health and wellness, including food safety, food preparation, food selection, food purchasing, and healthy lifestyles.
Program activities under this goal target Alabama's ten MSAs including Calhoun/Gadsden, Houston, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Madison, Morgan/Lawrence, Mobile, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa Counties. Activities planned under this goal target three urban high-risk audiences: 1) seniors who participate in the nutrition programs at senior nutrition sites in the state's metropolitan areas; 2) youth and adults who live in public housing facilities in the metropolitan areas; and 3) youth and adults at risk for high-risk diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
OBJECTIVE 1: Pursue funding through USDA and other funding sources to support nutrition education and food safety programs for limited resource and urban populations.
Performance goals 1a: Design and submit a nutrition education program proposal to solicit funding support for an Urban Nutrition Education Program (UNEP) to serve underserved families and senior citizens in inner city communities.
OBJECTIVE 2: Empower low-income families and seniors to make wise food choices, to select and prepare safe foods, and to consume a nutrient dense diet of healthy foods
Performance goal 2a: Design and implement an educational curriculum that provides nutrition education to reach a minimum of 10 percent of limited resource families in the designated areas to promote the importance of good nutrition.
Performance goal 2b: Use the curriculum and supporting resources to offer training programs to improve the skills of 50 percent or more of the program participants on proper food selection, preparation, storage, and safety.
Performance goal 2c: Through educational seminars, publications, and interactive activities encourage increased physical activity of 10 percent or more of the program participants to reduce the prevalence of risk factors associated with chronic diseases.
Performance goal 2d: Through market tours, comparative shopping exercises, and food label comparisons, educate citizens on resource management practices to improve the skills of 50 percent or more of the program participants in securing and maintaining quality and quantities of food needed to promote good health.
OBJECTIVE 3: Promote lifestyle changes in dietary, social, and personal health habits to reduce obesity and the prevalence of chronic, high-risk diseases in youth and adults.
Performance goal 3a: Plan and implement a health campaign that addresses obesity or chronic weight gain to reduce the rate in adolescents.
Performance goal 3b: Establish community partnerships with health providers to increase knowledge, to improve proper food selection and decision-making skills, and to enhance stress management practices among an estimated 5 percent of the state's population relative to chronic diseases.
Performance goal 3c: Conduct nutrition education workshops, food demonstrations, and supermarket tours to promote wellness.
OBJECTIVE 4: Increase awareness of breast cancer and other forms of cancer by educating on: a) early detection, b) risk factors, and c) support groups.
Performance goal 4a: Continue the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Awareness Program in partnership with the American Cancer Society to increase the percentage of females who conduct breast self-examinations (BSEs) and have annual mammograms in Alabama by 5 percent.
Performance goal 4b: Conduct breast cancer awareness seminars and Purple Teas at churches, community centers, professional meetings, colleges and universities, etc. to support the delivery of BSE training and mammogram referral information in an effort to increase the percentage of mammograms and BSE practices for minorities and women over 40.
Performance goal 4c: Reduce the mortality of breast cancer victims in Alabama by implementing BSEs and Tell-A-Friend breast cancer awareness training.
OBJECTIVE 5: Educate youth on how to make healthy food choices to reduce the incidence of obesity among Alabama's youth.
Performance goal 5a: Identify community advocates and potential partners for program support.
Performance goal 5b: Design an educational outreach program that targets youth to improve their knowledge and skills in food selection based on USDA recommended guidelines.
Performance goal 5c: Initiate a campaign with agencies, organizations, and other community-based groups to support educational outreach to youth while in school, during after school programs, and in other community settings.
Performance goal 5d: Conduct educational training seminars to improve the food selection knowledge and skills of youth to reduce obesity.
Educational outreach to achieve the goals and objectives described will be accomplished through training seminars and workshops, published curricula, market tours, comparison analyses, health campaigns, self-examination trainings, and a support network of urban nutrition education program assistants in urban areas.
Through program initiatives under this goal, Extension educators seek to reduce the mortality rate of women due to breast cancer, improve the general health and nutrition of limited resource families among public housing residents and senior citizens, and reduce the obesity rate among children in Alabama.
EVALUATION OR OUTCOME MEASURES:
RECOMMENDED SUPPORT TEAM:
The recommended support team is Nutrition, Diet, & Health.
Funding to support programs under this goal include the Alabama Cooperative Extension System municipal, state, and federal funding, and USDA's Food and Nutrition Service Nutrition Education (UNEP) grant funds, and the State Health Department Breast Cancer Project funds.
Alabama Rural Health Association. (January 1998). Health status of rural Alabamians.
Sznajderman, Michael. (January 2002). Future grim for many elderly. Birmingham News.
U.S. Census Bureau. State and county quick facts. Retrieved March 19, 2004, from
Back to Goals
Implement an urban youth initiative to promote urban youth development by providing personal development, leadership, and service-learning programs designed to empower youth to reach their fullest potential as positive and contributing members of an economically and socially diverse society.
According to statistics released by the United States Census Bureau (2000), youth comprise about 25.8 percent of Alabama's population with over a million children between the ages of 5 and 18. Children advocates have defined clear goals to help youth meet the demands of citizenship and realize their full potential. The goals are based on premises that children deserve: 1) to be free from hunger and disease; 2) to have an education that prepares them to meet the future; 3) to have opportunities that allows them to grow up free from violence and abuse; 4) a secure future and stable family; and 5) to live in a community that affirms their membership (Alabama's Kid Count Special Edition, 1995).
The Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Programs unit of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System provides enhanced programming to meet the needs of the urban youth culture. Educators take a proactive approach to building and engaging the service learning and prevention skills of young people who dwell in Alabama's metropolitan areas. Programmatic activities are designed to promote positive citizenship and community development.
Kids Count Data 2003 affirms the importance of helping youth and families make the right connections. It states, "The simple fact is that many low-income families, especially those living in high-poverty communities, end up paying far too much for many of life's necessities: food, shelter, transportation, credit, and financial services." This does not include other social problems they encounter such as functional or marginal literacy, unemployment, being a single parent, or possibly becoming welfare dependent. In any case, reaching youth living in these conditions as early as possible becomes critical in breaking these life cycles.
ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED:
Youth issues to be addressed under this goal include urban youth development including leadership and community service, career development, consumer education, citizenship, and volunteerism.
The urban youth initiative targets inner-city urban youth in secondary schools, post-secondary schools, universities and colleges and inner-city community settings such as Boys and Girls Clubs, community centers, after school programs, and other juvenile facilities.
OBJECTIVE 1: Develop leadership skills through community service-learning activities, experiential curricula, and organized leadership and mentoring programs.
Performance goals 1a: Increase by 5 percent the number of trained educators in the state who are available to provide youth leadership by collaborating with educational institutions, organizations, and agencies to implement teen leadership programs across the state and region.
Performance goal 1b: Increase youth involvement in community and leadership development by implementing a minimum of one traceable, youth lead, service impact project annually in each of the state's ten MSAs.
Performance goal 1c: Conduct an annual statewide youth conference and enrichment camp designed to involve youth in community service and leadership development in conjunction with the state 4-H Congress.
OBJECTIVE 2: Improve the personal and life skills development of urban youth by engaging them in practical educational experiences in career exploration, consumer education, and cultural diversity.
Performance goal 2a: Partner with community agencies and organizations, university student organizations, and businesses to provide career track educational information for foster group home youth who will be transitioning to independent living.
Performance goal 2b: Educate youth on nontraditional, innovative workforce, and career development resources (using resources such as Welcome to the Real World and Youth Career Summits) to improve awareness and prepare them to make sound career choices.
Performance goal 2c: Improve credit and resource management statistics among 12- to 19-year-olds by recruiting and training them on resource management and consumer education issues using the online LifeSmarts curriculum in partnership with the National Consumer League.
Performance goal 2d: Recruit a minimum of one competitive team from each Urban Center to participate in state and national LifeSmarts competitions.
Performance goal 2e: Establish agreements with technical colleges and career education organizations and groups to support youth job shadowing programs for career development.
Performance goal 2f: Expand the pool of technologically prepared professionals by conducting Youth Career Summits in half of the Urban Centers to expose youth to professional role models and educate them on career opportunities.
OBJECTIVE 3: Promote positive self-esteem, and efficacy in young adults by encouraging service and volunteerism.
Performance goal 3a: Recruit 5 percent or more of Alabama's students enrolled at secondary (high schools) and post-secondary schools by expanding the SPACE (student volunteerism program) and Service-Learning Network across disciplines.
Performance goal 3b: Conduct volunteer training for 100 percent of the student volunteers in the SPACE and service-learning programs at participating institutions.
Performance goal 3c: Place 100 percent of student volunteers in the SPACE and service-learning programs with service agencies across the state.
OBJECTIVE 4: Maintain and establish partnerships with community agencies to design programs, services, and resources that offer positive alternatives to youth at risk.
Performance goal 4a: Continue working partnership with the PHOENIX program in Madison County to reach youth in the Juvenile Justice System and decrease the percentage of repeat offenders for juvenile offenses.
Performance goal 4b: Publish program guidelines to expand the PHOENIX program at two additional Urban Centers during this POW cycle.
DELIVERY METHODS: Program delivery methods to achieve this goal include in school educational outreach, after school training, community and church seminars and workshop training, organized volunteer groups, 4-H Club and Congress events, using adapted, adopted, or newly developed curriculum resources such as Welcome to the Real World, Teen Leadership Connection, and LifeSmarts online resources.
DESIRED OUTCOMES: Desired outcomes are improved knowledge in personal finances and resource management among youth, enhanced youth involvement in community leadership and service, enhanced knowledge of nontraditional career options, and career development opportunities.
EVALUATION OR OUTCOME MEASURES:
Outcome measures for this goal are:
RECOMMENDED SUPPORT TEAM/S:
Recommended teams to support implementation of this goal include the youth development core team and consumer science and resource management core team.
Funding support for the proposed youth development activities include funds from the Progressive Farmers Show House, Alabama Cooperative Extension municipal, state and federal funds, and Alabama Securities Commission funds to support LifeSmarts program activities.
Alabama's Kid Count Special Edition, 1995.
Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2003). Kids count data book.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2000). State and county quickfacts. Retrieved March 20, 2004, from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/01000.html.
Back to Goals
Examine the state of Alabama's new and nontraditional families and provide programs and information that promote the social, economic and cultural growth and development of these families and individuals across the lifecycle.
Today's families have been characterized as anything but traditional. Social, economic, environmental, and legal issues including violence and crime, increased abuse and neglect, family conflicts, welfare reform, and aging populations place some urban families at risk for meeting basic core needs and developing coping skills that are necessary for survival.
Seniors define an increasing percentage of our population. The group classified as the oldest old has increased by 274 percent over the past 30 years. More than 3.5 million citizens fall in this category of 85 years old or older. The health and financial well-being varies among subgroups of the elderly populations. Between 1972 and 1992 the median income increased significantly for elderly citizens. Yet wide disparities continue to exist in income between senior males and females and among racial groups, with elderly women being more likely to be poor than elderly men.
According to a 2000 "National Survey of
America's Families," the overall financial status has improved
slightly for non-elderly adults in Alabama. But the general well-being
of children and families has not changed significantly since 1997.
Family environments, employment, health status and statistics
on parenting measures have remained fairly constant (Snapshots
II: Findings from the National Survey of America's Families, 2000).
The Urban Family Network offers a comprehensive program to advance families in the twenty-first century through programmatic activities that address:
The intent is to build partnerships, networks, and groups to strengthen the resiliency of families, targeting urban community dwellers. Nontraditional delivery modes and state and nationally renowned, interactive curricula, and resources are used to educate families.
ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED:
Strengthening families, grandparents raising grandchildren, financial security, elder law and health of seniors, conflict resolution, and families in divorce transition are issues to be addressed.
Programs target senior citizens, families in inner city areas such as public housing facilities, families affected by domestic violence, and other nontraditional families including families in divorce transition, single-parent households, and grandparents parenting grandchildren (Census, 2000).
OBJECTIVE 1: Improve the general awareness of the state of Alabama's families by offering current information access and training to help prepare urban and nontraditional families to identify and respond to forces that impact their lives such as a changing economy, physical stress, changing roles, managing work and family, divorce, and aging.
Performance goal 1a: Educate urban audiences on the changing dynamics of families and expand the availability of programs that embrace family diversity including families in transition, teen parenting, single-headed households, teen fathers, limited resource families, etc.
Performance goal 1b: Design and maintain a website that highlights the state of Alabama's families.
OBJECTIVE 2: Conduct a family conference.
Performance goal 2a: Partner with local, state, and national agencies and organizations to sponsor a family conference to educate families and individuals on current best practices for parenting, financial management, and health-related issues.
OBJECTIVE 3: Launch in each of the state's l0 metro areas a "Successful Aging Initiative" to provide resources and information to senior citizens on legal, health, and financial matters.
Performance goal 3a: Develop publications to enhance citizens' awareness and identify responses to "Elder Law" issues for senior citizens.
Performance goal 3b: Partner with the State Bureau of Psychiatry, the Area Agency on Aging, Legal Aid, and faith-based organizations to provide legal assistance education and establish partnerships for legal and health referrals for senior citizens in each of the state's ten Urban Centers.
Performance goal 3c: Provide educational training and referral information on estate planning (i.e. wills and trusts) to increase by 5 percent the number of citizens in the ten MSAs who have wills.
OBJECTIVE 4: Educate citizens on legal resources and options for responding to issues related to sexual harassment on the job, elder law, youth and the law, civic rights and responsibilities, etc.
Performance goal 4a: Publish legal education resources to enhance citizens' awareness and response to legal issues including information on referrals and legal services.
Performance goal 4b: Conduct educational seminars and training expos to educate citizens on legal resources and options for responding to issues related to sexual harassment on the job, elder law, youth and the law, civic rights and responsibilities, etc.
OBJECTIVE 5: Initiate resiliency training in resource management, nontraditional parenting, companionship, health issues, and domestic violence prevention to prepare families to respond to and function in environments of stress and change.
Performance goal 5a: Maintain an Urban Family Network to increase family program offerings and contacts with urban audiences.
Performance goal 5b: Initiate partnerships with appropriate service providers to train trainers such as health care professionals and cosmetologists, to enhance awareness, responses (conflict resolution) and referrals in the area of domestic violence.
Performance goal 5c: Conduct a family conference to increase community connections and partnerships and enhance the knowledge of families relative to available resources in parenting, resource management, elder care and other family-related areas.
OBJECTIVE 6: Engage in community partnerships and collaborations with agencies and organizations addressing real issues of urban families to support "Family Center" programs offered in close proximity to inner city residents.
Performance goal 6a: Maintain the "Family Life Center" partnership with Huntsville Housing Authority, Madison County, and the Alabama A&M Family and Consumer Sciences unit to provide family resiliency information and services designed to improve the well-being of inner city families in public housing facilities.
Performance goal 6b: Maintain the partnership agreement with the city of Decatur to offer a satellite office in close proximity to urban clientele in the Morgan County MSA.
Performance goal 6c: Establish partnership agreements with other municipalities, agencies and organizations to create and maintain satellite centers in close proximity to inner city areas to support community-based program delivery of family, nutrition and other urban programs.
OBJECTIVE 7: Provide technical assistance for establishing and facilitating networks and support groups across the state that will conduct community information sessions, and identify community resources for grandparents and other relatives parenting children through the Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP).
Performance goal 7a: Collaborate with Area Agencies on Aging, American Association of Retired Persons, and other service agencies to establish a minimum of one support group for grandparents raising grandchildren in each of the state's primary MSAs.
OBJECTIVE 8: Create support groups to educate and counsel citizens on the financial, physical, emotional, and social needs of the elderly to prepare elder care givers and concerned communities to understand and better assist aging families in transition.
Performance goal 8a: Implement programs to educate communities and caregivers on the financial and physical abuse of the elderly, and appropriate community responses.
Performance goal 8b: Implement a Successful Aging Initiative in each of the state's MSAs through senior expos and seminars for senior citizens and their caregivers.
The "A Look at Alabama Families" website, online curriculum resources, satellite trainings, seminars and workshops, support groups, senior expos, and a family conference will be used to deliver programs and new program models.
Improved well-being of the state's aging population-health, financial and legal, structured support groups for grandparents raising grandchildren, enhanced well-being of urban and nontraditional families.
EVALUATION OR OUTCOME MEASURES:
RECOMMENDED SUPPORT TEAM/S:
Children, Youth and Families and Consumer Science and Resource Management are the recommended support teams.
Municipal, State and Federal Extension funds will support programs under this goal. Additional sponsorship received from the Alabama Securities Commission will support the Annual Family Conference and the Successful Aging Initiative.
Hobbs, Frank. (January 18, 2001). The elderly population. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 20, 2004, from http://www.census.gov/population/www/pop-profile/elderpop.html.
Inter-University Program for Latin Research. (April 10, 2002). Population 65 years and over projection for 2005 by state. Census 2000 Update. Retrieved March 20, 2004, from http://www.nd.edu/~iuplr/cic/population65_4_02/pop_65.html.
Zedlewski, Sheila Rafferty. (October 2000). Family economic well-being: Findings from the national survey of America's families. Snapshots of America's Families II. Retrieved March 20, 2004, from http://www.urban.org/pdf/Economic_Wellbeing.pdf.
Back to Goals
Strengthen family-centered communities through capacity building modes that target communities and organizations engaged in revitalization, work force and economic development, community building, and valuing diversity.
Successful community revitalization results when clearly assessed needs are addressed through community building. Planning and organizing using successful approaches can ultimately bring about community economic development when assets are realized and mobilized. Focusing on the positive, an asset building approach to community revitalization looks at community potential rather than community deficiencies. Both monetary and social assets in local economies are circulated to create magnified economic growth and impact.
Much of the success from asset building revitalization programs can be attributed to the respect and consideration given to all potential contributors within a diverse community. Individuals, groups, and organizations are valued and given full consideration for their resources (great and small) and potential.
Extension programs that address economic development needs of diverse and underserved communities are becoming increasingly important as Alabama's population statistics continue to shift. Many small towns are giving way to larger suburban communities as they struggle to hold on to their identity and small town heritage in the face of rapid change. Like larger urban and suburban environments, these towns and communities are seeking economic growth and community revitalization that will promote employment and a secure home environment for their families. Naturally, there is a direct link to sustained economic growth and higher employment. With Alabama's unemployment statistics fluctuating just under the national jobless rate of 6 percent, youth and adults are seeking workforce preparation guidance.
No doubt, Alabama's population is changing like the nation as a whole. More than two-thirds of the state's four million plus citizens live in urban settings. And, within these urban communities are diverse families and cultures. For example, the state has a growing Hispanic population. The term Hispanic is used to provide a common denominator to a large, but diverse population with connection to the Spanish language or culture for Spanish-speaking countries. Over the past 20 years, this population has exhibited tremendous growth in the United States. In fact, Hispanics have become the faster growing minority group in the states. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2000), the Hispanic population is growing seven times faster than the non-Hispanic. Today, approximately 33 million individuals (12 percent of the U.S. population) are identified as Hispanics. Furthermore, the U.S. Census Bureau (2002) reported that approximately 75,830 Hispanics currently reside in Alabama and 91.5 percent live in metropolitan areas.
The Urban Affairs unit explores nontraditional approaches by offering programs that expand on basic concepts and tap relatively underused resources to promote community revitalization and economic development. Areas of Urban and Community Forestry have been used to demonstrate the tremendous potential for training programs in nontraditional areas. Comprehensive programs in this area help communities to understand the value of embracing community diversity, links between employment opportunities and economic development, the human benefits of conservation and preservation of greenspace (people-tree interactions), and the human and community benefits of developing communities around natural resources and cultural assets.
ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED:
This state goal addresses community and economic development in urban and underserved Alabama communities.
This goal targets urban and underserved communities and community leaders, community resource development agencies and educators, under employed and unemployed citizens (youth and adults), employment agencies, Hispanic and diverse audiences and communities.
OBJECTIVE 1: Create an internal network of community and Extension educators to design a CRD outreach to new and urban communities.
Performance goal 1a: Assess the abilities of Extension personnel within the Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Programs unit to identify expertise to reframe the goals and objectives of community and economic outreach in new, urban, and underserved small towns and communities in Alabama.
Performance goal 1b: Identify and develop, adapt and adopt training resources, and build a human resource pool that will facilitate deliberations and needs assessments.
Performance goal 1c: Create an educational outreach package to address issues and concerns of small towns and under-served communities at risk.
Performance goal 1d: Build a support network of business, industry, community and municipal leaders to support educational outreach.
OBJECTIVE 2: Build partnerships and community building coalitions with statewide leaders to provide educational training and opportunities to empower small and underserved communities to expand economic development.
Performance goal 2a: Pilot a community strengthening program "Saving Towns at Risk" (STAR) through the Alabama Mayor's Cooperative for Economic, Cultural and Educational Development and other metropolitan, underserved communities.
Performance goal 2b: Identify community resource development potential of underserved communities through community mapping exercises.
Performance goal 2c: Create a communications network for community leaders and individuals interested in community and economic development through a monthly newsletter and website clearinghouse for towns at risk.
Performance goal 2d: Design and implement a community fundraising management campaign to educate towns at risk on proven approaches to building capital resources.
OBJECTIVE 3: Create family preservation programming that enhances tree-people interaction (TPI) through community development outreach with funds from the Alabama Forestry Association.
Performance goal 3a: Partner with community groups and leaders to identify untapped environmental resources to promote TPI programs.
Performance goal 3b: Pursue urban forestry funding to support enhanced delivery of programs that promote the social psychological benefits of tree environments.
Performance goal 3c: Partner with community groups to provide programs and services that support community revitalization that target parks, nature trails, wildlife habitats, and other forestry assets.
OBJECTIVE 4: Develop community capacity building in underserved communities through information exchanges, resource development opportunities, and technology support, including GIS application and educational materials.
Performance goal 4a: Provide educational training seminars and resources to inform citizens in small-underserved communities on capital building campaigns, programs and opportunities.
Performance goal 4b: Provide technical assistance to help small-underserved communities build programs and community efforts to address human and resource needs through community deliberations, needs assessments, and GIS applications.
Performance goal 4c: Create a regional economic development thrust that provides hard to reach audiences an unlimited access to economic and workforce-related opportunities provided by historically black colleges and universities' engagement in the community (engaged universities).
OBJECTIVE 5: Design and implement programs to educate and empower Hispanics in Alabama to function in the larger society by offering training in childcare, parenting, health and nutrition, food safety, resource management, and legal issues.
Performance goal 5a: Maintain a Spanish speaking professional in Marshall/Dekalb Counties (one of the state's most highly populated areas for Hispanics) to provide professional support to Spanish-speaking audiences in the areas of family, nutrition, and health.
Performance goal 5b: Design and maintain user-friendly resources including a website on family and community research-based information and publications for Spanish speaking audiences to educate Spanish-speaking citizens and assist English-speaking service providers to address real issues.
Performance goal 5c: Identify referrals and resources of agencies and organizations that can provide services to Hispanics.
Performance goal 5d: Conduct a series of family education and information fairs in a minimum of 50 percent of the state's MSAs designed to appeal to Spanish-speaking citizens focusing on north Alabama counties that have a large population of Hispanics.
Performance goal 5e: Establish information kiosks in a minimum of 50 percent of the state's metro areas to provide educational literature in Spanish to Spanish-speaking audiences.
OBJECTIVE 6: Collaborate with service agencies, organizations and established or developing diversity councils to provide an array of programs that offer educational opportunities for urban communities on Alabama's growing Hispanic audience and other diversity issues including age, sex, race, and culture.
Performance goal 6a: Assist urban communities in establishing diversity councils to establish and/or maintain a council in each of the state's ten metro centers to support expanded awareness of multicultural needs and differences.
Performance goal 6b: To reduce incidences of racial and cultural discrimination, profiling, and hate crimes across the state, increase the quality and quantity of programs and community events designed to enhance the understanding of citizens on diversity issues of age, sex, race, and culture to promote enhanced understanding, value, respect, and management of diversity.
Performance goal 6c: Establish partnership agreements with agencies and organizations to support community-based delivery of programs that address diversity issues.
Performance goal 6d: Offer multicultural activities that go beyond just creating awareness of other cultures but are designed specifically to include adapting to or integrating cultural differences to build healthy and lasting relationships across racial and cultural barriers (i.e. including Spanish-speaking presenters, using teaching tools translated in Spanish, etc.)
OBJECTIVE 7: Collaborate with law enforcement and criminal justice agencies to establish training programs to expand and enhance knowledge and understanding of Alabama's growing Hispanic audience and other diversity issues among law enforcement and social service personnel.
Performance goal 7a: Conduct law enforcement and criminal justice diversity training series to equip a minimum of 10 percent of the state's law enforcement and criminal justice professionals with an enhanced understanding and more competent skills to react appropriately to diversity and diversity issues in their professional roles.
OBJECTIVE 8: Design and implement a training series to educate and empower minority cultures in Alabama to function in the larger society by offering training in health and safety, family resiliency, civic responsibilities, and rights and legal issues.
Performance goal 8a: Identify referrals and resources of agencies and organizations that can provide services to minority cultures such as Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans.
Performance goal 8b: Conduct a series of family education and information fairs designed to appeal to minority cultures focusing on 50 percent of the North Alabama urban counties that are experiencing significant growth in minority populations.
OBJECTIVE 9: Design, adapt and adopt user-friendly resources to educate citizens on individual assessments, job search, career awareness, and job preparedness skills.
Performance goal 9a: Use adult and youth focused curricula such as Welcome to the Real World to educate an estimated 5 percent of the state's unemployed or underemployed citizens on career and job search skills.
Performance goal 9b: Maintain a one-stop, online job search and preparedness tool to assist citizens in preparing for and identifying available jobs across the state.
Performance goal 9c: Provide community focused seminars and career summits in 50 percent of the state's urban centers to educate young adults on career choices and job alternatives including small business ownership/entrepreneurship.
Performance goal 9d: Increase the percentage of Alabama high school graduates who pursue nontraditional careers in counties participating in Career Summits.
Performance goal 9e: Collaborate with small business organizations to provide training in small business enterprises.
Community partnerships and memorandums of understanding, websites, workshops and seminars, educational "family fairs," diversity councils, and career summits will be used to deliver programs.
Enhanced community and economic development in underserved communities in Alabama, a decrease in unemployment statistics, improved race and cultural relations in diverse communities in Alabama, increased awareness and appreciation of cultural differences are desired outcomes.
EVALUATION OR OUTCOME MEASURES:
RECOMMENDED SUPPORT TEAM/S:
Community Resources and Economic Development is the recommended support team for this goal.
Mourad, Moustafa and Howard Ways. Comprehensive community revitalization: Strategies for asset building, proceedings of the 1998 national planning conference.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2000). Census data 2000.
Back to Goals
Strengthen the capacity of adults, youth and seniors to establish consumer goals, maintain economic security, and become engaged proactively in public policy decisions related to consumer and personal money management issues.
Being a responsible consumer does not come with age or maturity. It is a learned behavior usually accompanied by a good knowledge of consumer rights. For many consumers, getting financial goals and priorities in order can pose a challenge. United States consumers hold over 1 trillion dollars of consumer credit debt. In Alabama and across the nation credit options are numerous, and many families and individuals are not guided in their spending by a financial plan. Additionally, technological advancements designed to facilitate easy access to consumer resources and credit can put those who are not cautious at risk. Identify theft is perhaps one of the most serious fraud issues facing consumers today where someone steals and uses another person's information for personal gain. This fraud issue is evolving rapidly.
Other consumer scams have posed concerns for specific target audiences, particularly senior citizens. Agencies such as the Alabama Securities Commission have identified educators across the state that have been vocal in carrying the messages against fraud and scams that prey on unsuspecting consumers. Partnerships, resources and support from this agency and with other advocacy groups will help the Urban Affairs unit to expand the reach of consumer information and training to citizens of all ages.
ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED:
Consumer resource management, consumer fraud, and banking services are issues to be addressed under this goal.
The objectives and performance activities under this goal target consumers in urban and rural communities, high school youth in grades 9-12 and senior citizens.
OBJECTIVE 1: Help ensure that adults know about their finances, and that they make more informed decisions that generate benefits from applying money management principles.
Performance goal 1a: Design and develop finance and "money tracking" resources for limited resource families.
Performance goal 1b: Offer training seminars in conjunction with the state's "Successful Aging Initiative" to educate seniors on senior fraud and scams.
OBJECTIVE 2: Generate an educational platform to help teens and younger children develop sound consumer and financial skills early in life.
Performance goal 2a: Maintain a license agreement with the National Consumer League to conduct the LifeSmarts consumer education program in the state of Alabama.
Performance goal 2b: Recruit volunteer coaches across the state to provide leadership for this program in schools and other youth education settings.
Performance goal 2c: Follow national guidelines to conduct county and state program activities to support LifeSmarts training and competitions across the state.
Performance goal 2d: Improve the finance and consumer knowledge by a minimum of 20 percent for the youth participating in the program.
OBJECTIVE 3: Create an understanding of consumer education and family economic security that will guide urban families and individuals toward knowing their consumer and financial rights and responsibilities through practices of consumerism and effective money management.
Performance goal 3a: Identify, adapt and design training tools and resources to support training in banking services and direct deposit.
Performance goal 3b: Launch an educational campaign to train youth and adults to better manage financial resources through wise choices in banking services.
Computer-based curricula and training resources, resource management and money tracking resources, established partnership with the National Consumer League, and an annual family conference are methods of program delivery.
Improved knowledge and application of resource management information, decreased percentage of consumer fraud victims, increased percentage of families with established budgets or money tracking resources are desired outcomes.
EVALUATION OR OUTCOME MEASURES:
RECOMMENDED SUPPORT TEAM/S OR EXPERTISE:
The Consumer Science and Resource Management core team leadership is recommended to achieve objectives under this goal.
Municipal, state and federal Extension funds, and sponsorship from the Alabama Securities Commission will be used to support programs offered under this goal.
Smith, Frances. (November 2000). Get your finances in order for the New Year. Commonsense Consumer Column, Volume 4, Issue 11. Retrieved March 10, 2004, from
Smith, Frances. (March 2000). Identity theft: What's at stake. Consumers' Research Magazine. Retrieved March 10, 2004, from http://www.consumeralert.org/pubs/research/CRMar00.htm.
Smith, Frances. (September 2001). Taking control of your credit. Commonsense Consumer Column, Volume 5, Issue 6. Retrieved March 10, 2004, from http://www.consumeralert.org/pubs/commonsense/CSense0907.htm.
Back to Goals
Promote urban and nontraditional horticulture, animal and environmental sciences by providing information to help citizens make informed decisions, explore new alternative production systems and services, and manage agricultural and environmental issues at the urban/rural interface.
Metropolitan areas are typically characterized by high economic growth and development and diverse populations. We may label the growth as urban sprawl, urban interdependence, or urban/rural interface. The fact remains, however, that outward movement is being made into areas once identified as rural farmland. This movement brings about change and challenges that citizens must deal with in order to manage issues at the crossroads. Interface is defined as that common boundary between regions where diverse groups interact. Over the past decade, increased emphasis has been placed on decreasing farmland, air quality, water contamination, alternative animal and crop production, growing dependence on foreign trade, and community diversity. These are but a few of the emerging urban/rural interface issues. When we look at the changing face of Alabama's rural and urban communities, it is only logical that Extension provides programming to address multicultural, land use, urban agriculture, environmental, and other prevalent issues that surface in inner cities and at the fringe.
Agricultural researchers are continuously developing innovative approaches to address the needs of small limited resource farmers, home and community gardens, urban and suburban families, and inner city communities that must manage agriculture including horticultural and environmental conditions in the face of rapid change. Enhanced programming is needed that responds to production needs and consumer demands through alternative production systems, market niches, greater diversity of farm products, biotechnology research applications, alternative animal and plant production, and other nontraditional animal and plant science research.
Nontraditional agricultural approaches are becoming increasingly prevalent to meet demands for agricultural production and to address accompanying environmental and horticultural issues such as the use of chemicals and pesticide management. Many communities are grasping the concept and benefits to be derived from community gardens and share programs. As society has moved from small rural communities to increasingly large urban and suburban centers the roles of animals in our home and family settings have also changed significantly. Families at the urban/rural interface are learning to appreciate the positive aspects of backyard wildlife as they deal with other associated issues, and more than 30 million Americans have dogs as companion animals. Enhanced programming is needed to address specific issues of animal care, maintenance and responsible ownership.
Moreover, there is an increased demand for nontraditional animal products such as goat and rabbit meat. Continued programming through alternative animal production systems and nontraditional animal science research and technology is needed to address the specific issues related to nontraditional animal agriculture. Agricultural and environmental sciences must complement one another as research and technology bring about changes in the way we have traditionally maintained our food and animal supply.
Families and communities have a right to clean, safe and controlled environments. As urban communities continue to grow and expand in landmass, urban fringe issues such as air quality and managing backyard wildlife become concerns for many families. There is an increasing demand for agricultural and environmental programs to address integrated approaches to pesticide management, nontraditional agriculture, wildlife management, and urban landscapes.
But, real changes in the environment cannot take place until community residents are prepared to provide broad input in environmental decision-making efforts. Additionally, each individual citizen must be prepared to make a conscious effort to minimize damage to enhance the environment whenever possible. Knowledge and understanding of environmental issues are essential tools for such in-depth involvement. People working together with agencies such as Extension that share the goal of saving the environment and improving the living standards of families wherever they live, can make a difference.
Through programs that address urban, new and nontraditional agricultural and environmental needs and issues in urban environments and at the interface, the Urban Affairs unit seeks to:
ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED:
Issues to be addressed under this state goal are urban agriculture, community gardening, horticulture and environmental concerns in urban communities, niche crop options, and alternative animal production to respond to changing agricultural environments and community needs.
This goal targets urban and nontraditional farmers, small farmers, families, and individuals in urban communities, community gardeners, and environmental control groups.
OBJECTIVE 1: Conduct an annual urban/rural interface conference.
Performance goal 1a: Partner with the School of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (Alabama A&M University) to conduct an annual urban/rural interface conference in conjunction with "Ag Week" activities.
OBJECTIVE 2: Provide information, interactive opportunities and methods in nontraditional horticulture, alternative niche crops, and alternative animal production.
Performance goal 2a: Improve the earning potential of small, new, and nontraditional farmers by training on alternative animal production and care including small ruminants (sheep, goats, rabbits).
Performance goal 2b: Increase the annual income of small, new, and nontraditional farmers who adopt the recommended practices.
OBJECTIVE 3: Explore agricultural concepts in urban horticulture, urban forestry, wildlife, and the environment; and educate small farmers, urban families, urban communities, and other nontraditional audiences on their applications.
Performance goal 3a: Develop programs to enhance environments for residents living in areas with limited access to plants and gardens.
Performance goal 3b: Establish self-sustaining community gardens or people-plant interactive environments in each of the state's urban centers.
Performance goal 3c: Increase the available sources of fresh fruits and vegetables to clientele participating in community garden programs by 20 percent.
Performance goal 3d: Through "food share" services, increase the available food source by a minimum of 5000 pounds for limited resource families in Alabama.
Performance goal 3e: Develop online resources for community gardens, people-plant interactions, greenspace, and horticulture therapy.
OBJECTIVE 4: Provide educational resources and information to assist Alabama's small, new, and nontraditional farmers in making wise decisions about alternative growth and maintenance of crops and animal products, alternative production, and niche crops.
Performance goal 4a: Provide information, opportunities and methods in nontraditional agriculture, alternative and niche crops through on-line services and publications
Performance goal 4b: Maintain a Shiitake mushroom production website.
Performance goal 4c: Produce for statewide distribution, a quarterly nontraditional agriculture and animal production newsletter.
OBJECTIVE 5: Maintain a certification program on "Dogs as Companions" to offer a nontraditional approach to responding to health and companion needs of families.
Performance goal 5a: Design and distribute educational resources that address the social, psychological, and therapeutic benefits of animals as companions.
Performance goal 5b: Partner with local and state agencies to increase by a minimum of 2 percent the number of animals certified as companions.
OBJECTIVE 6: Pursue technological developments in food and animal production systems and address the implications for communities and families.
Performance goal 6a: Partner with university research departments to provide programs and services to enhance the general knowledge and awareness of citizens on biotechnology and nontraditional animal and plant production.
OBJECTIVE 7: Expand wildlife and pest management programs to address the needs of urban communities.
Performance goal 7a: Increase the number of "nontraditional" wildlife and pest management education programs offered by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System to prepare citizens in urban and suburban communities to respond to changing environments.
OBJECTIVE 8: Prepare citizens to make informed decisions on issues of quality and safety that surface with new farm products and nontraditional production procedures.
Performance goal 8a: Build a training support base on quality and safety publications, resource tools, and a speaker's bureau to support expanded training in this area.
Performance goal 8b: Provide educational training on quality assurances and safety information for new products.
OBJECTIVE 9: Educate urban citizens to improve their knowledge of the ecosystem as it relates to urban environments to impact their responses to issues related to pollution, water quality and indoor air quality.
Performance goal 9a: Enhance the Alabama Cooperative Extension System's programming efforts and offerings in pollution control, water quality and indoor air quality in urban environments to reduce pollution, improve water quality and enhance indoor air quality for citizens in Alabama's metropolitan areas.
Performance goal 9b: Conduct community seminars and trainings with water quality themes to educate citizens on water quality issues.
OBJECTIVE 10: Partner with local and state agencies to train citizens in environmental law and environmental justice.
Performance goal 10a: Train approximately 5 percent of Alabama's urban communities to understand policies and procedures to prepare them to respond to environmental justice issues that protect the health and environment of citizens.
Seminars and workshop training, mini-grant proposals, food shares, online resources, publications, websites, partnerships, and demonstrations will be used to deliver programs and services.
Increased availability of fresh produce for inner city families, alternative crops and animal products for citizens with small farm production acreage, enhanced knowledge of urban agricultural concepts, enhanced knowledge and gardening opportunities for urban and new nontraditional audiences are expected outcomes.
EVALUATION OR OUTCOME MEASURES:
RECOMMENDED SUPPORT TEAM/S OR EXPERTISE:
The Horticulture-Homeowner core team of expertise is recommended to provide leadership for activities under this state goal.
Funding to support this goal will be provided through state funded urban agricultural mini grants and municipal, state and federal Extension funds.
Executive Order 12898. (February 1994). Federal actions to address environmental justice in minority populations and low-income populations. Federal Register, Vol. 39, No. 32.
Petit, J. and D. Gangloff. (December/January 1995). People of the urban ecosystem. Urban Forests.
Back to Goals
Capitalize on the value-added benefits of technology integration to expand the capability to address diverse educational needs, offer access to educational resources to a broader more diverse population base, and respond to issues related to the digital divide.
The new direction for Extension in the twenty-first century is technology focused. USDA National Extension Directors have made the decision to move forward with the implementation of e-Extension. This prompts a nationwide movement to plan and implement a coordinated Web-based information and education network for Extension clientele. This new approach to Extension outreach offers opportunities for expanded learning options, methods and access to science-based information of land-grant universities. In-keeping with the national movement and the goal to provide state of the art information and training to personnel and clientele, the Urban Affairs unit seeks to initiate programs that involve:
ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED:
Technology integration and the digital divide are issues to be addressed.
Programs and activities under this goal target urban communities, limited resource families, and underserved rural communities.
OBJECTIVE 1: Create greater public access to Extension resources to families and individuals with limited access to technology through computer networks and independent systems of information retrieval and referral.
Performance goal 1a: Partner with community agencies and university units at both Alabama A&M University (AAMU) and Auburn University (AU) to educate citizens and create a greater awareness of computer resources and access.
Performance goal 1b: Create safety nets for digital have-nots by educating and training an estimated 5 percent of the state's population of "digital have nots" to use technology resources at their disposal (i.e. public libraries, community centers, continuing education centers, Extension services, etc.)
Performance goal 1c: Utilize interactive computer technology, hotlines, e-mail, websites, info-stands, etc. to establish independent information dissemination centers in a minimum of 50 percent of the state's urban centers.
OBJECTIVE 2: Expand Extension outreach through technological delivery of programs that target limited access individuals, families and communities including Web-based, satellite, video, e-commerce, computer-aided support and other information technology.
Performance goal 2a: Increase access to Extension information for 10 percent of the state's targeted urban and nontraditional audiences by using technology to deliver Extension programs through online Web-based training, satellite programs, video transfer, etc.
Performance goal 2b: Recruit "virtual volunteers" that will donate computer-training expertise and resources to educate citizens on how to use the computer as a resource and information tool.
OBJECTIVE 3: Engage youth and adults in interactive training programs and activities to educate more of the states limited access communities to the particulars of digital technology applications.
Performance goal 3a: Build community coalitions with local service agencies to coordinate training activities at local technology centers.
Performance goal 3b: Establish formalized agreements to connect with the education community to ensure ongoing use of computer labs and training rooms in local communities.
Performance goal 3c: Through engaged university activities in collaboration with AAMU's interactive video laboratory, implement mobile laboratory training programs in ten of the state's targeted underserved communities to expose remote communities to technological tools and resources.
OBJECTIVE 4: Maintain an urban clearing house/resource center and communications laboratory to promote dissemination of state of the art, best practices in urban outreach, program development resources and telecommunications.
Performance goal 4a: Continue to build on the Urban Resource Center concept to make available on-line resources and Internet access to organizations and individuals involved in family and community issues in urban environments.
Performance goal 4b: Maintain an online compiled directory of resources available within the System to address urban priority needs.
Performance goal 4c: Maintain a state-of-the-art communications laboratory to support technological delivery of programs and services.
Computer based training and in-services, satellite downlinks/uplinks, websites, resource centers, video conferencing, hotlines, and information kiosks are examples of delivery methods to be used.
EVALUATION OR OUTCOME MEASURES:
RECOMMENDED SUPPORT TEAMS OR EXPERTISE:
Communications and Information Technology are recommended sources of expertise to support proposed planned goals and activities.
Municipal, state, and federal Extension funds will be used to support performance goals.
Macavinta, Courtney. Digital divide growing, study says. CNET News.com, July 28, 1998. Retrieved May 29, 2001, from http://news.com.com/2100-1023-213840.html.
U.S. Department of Commerce. (July 1995). Falling through the Net: A survey of the "have nots" in rural and urban America. Retrieved May 31, 2001, from http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/fallingthru.html.
Back to Goals
Design and implement a program marketing plan to increase the visibility of Urban Extension programs and Urban Centers as viable outreach to urban, new, and nontraditional audiences.
The state of Alabama has made a concentrated effort to expand Extension outreach in Alabama. However, assessments continue to show a low level of awareness of Extension in general and of the state's Urban Extension Centers that are designed to expand programs to urban, new, and nontraditional audiences. To the contrary, surveys have shown a high interest and participation in program offerings that have been priority areas for the Urban Affairs unit since 1995. Citizens consistently voice an interest and have expressed a support for programs such as workforce development, domestic violence prevention education and youth development.
The expressed need for programs of this nature gives merit to and support for the outstanding potential of programs that the Alabama Cooperative Extension System has designed to target urban communities. Operating since 1914 as a rural based program, Extension has a deep-rooted history in rural Alabama and across the nation. However, urban census data for the state of Alabama gives further impetus to the need to expand Extension's reach to more of the state's urban and under-served communities as Alabama's urban population continues to accelerate. This expansion must carry a strong marketing message that promotes Extension as an educational outreach designed to serve all of the people of Alabama.
Hence, a goal for the Urban Affairs unit is to design and implement a marketing plan to bridge the gap between Extension services and urban clientele and increase the visibility of Urban Extension Centers and urban program outreach.
ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED:
The purpose of activities proposed under this goal is to enhance the visibility of Urban Centers and Extension programs that target urban, new and nontraditional audiences.
The general urban population in Extension's urban base program priority areas is the target audience.
OBJECTIVE 1: Highlight program successes and/or impacts in a marketing brochure.
Performance goal 1a: Review annual reports and accomplishment reports to highlight significant impacts and accomplishments during the past ten years.
Performance goal 1b: Work with communications staff to format a marketing brochure to tell Urban Extension's story in the state of Alabama.
OBJECTIVE 2: Develop a marketing and promotion video.
Performance goal 2a: Design and develop a brief marketing video for use by Extension administrators and educators to build advocacy, program awareness, and program support.
OBJECTIVE 3: Develop and maintain a current PowerPoint presentation to support program marketing to potential advocates and supporters.
Performance goal 3a: Design a PowerPoint presentation for use by Extension personnel to market programs to potential sponsors and supporters.
OBJECTIVE 4: Identify external marketing support.
Performance goal 4a: Identify and retain a professional consultant to assist with the fine-tuning and implementation of program marketing concepts.
Performance goal 4b: Make use of community advocates and resources to help promote programs and services (i.e. agency billboards, kiosks, mass transit systems, community centers, church, and family life centers, etc.)
Delivery methods are to be more specifically defined by the marketing campaign to include but not be limited to billboards, kiosks, printed media, radio, television, community announcements at centers, churches, and family life centers.
More visibility, respect, responses and requests for program services offered to urban, new, and nontraditional audiences are desired outcomes.
EVALUATION OR OUTCOME MEASURES:
RECOMMENDED SUPPORT TEAMS OR EXPERTISE:
Municipal, state, and federal Cooperative Extension funds will be used to support marketing activities under this state goal.