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Birmingham Alabama City Skyline

Alabama Extension at Alabama A&M University maintains a unique approach to Extension outreach. Our Urban Specialists develop programs that can be delivered where they are needed most, directly to our audiences in local schools, community centers, and places of worship, among others. We have programs for everyone, including families, older adults, students, teachers, business owners, and community leaders. We plan ongoing learning programs that build relationships through continued classes that complete a series, as well as quick lessons that can be delivered in one short class.

Personalized Approach to Learning

If you are interested in learning through Urban Extension, reach out to our assistant director to see how we can adapt our programming to suit your needs. We can adjust the length of the lesson, prepare materials for all age levels, and host your group or travel to your chosen site for program delivery. Kimberly Sinclair Holmes, assistant Extension director, Alabama Extension at Alabama A&M University, Office: (256) 372-4941 or Email:  ksh0035@aces.edu

Examples of our personalized learning opportunities: face-to-face program series, consultations, community meetings, teaching gardens, club meetings, on-site visits, classroom demonstrations, group classes, youth camps & field days, interactive webinars, conferences and speaking engagements.

Urban Extension Program Areas

Scroll down to browse all of our current programs or skip to a specific subject area by clicking one of the topic links below.

Animal Science & Forages • Community Resource Development •  Family & Child DevelopmentForestry, Wildlife & Natural ResourcesHealth & NutritionLawn & Garden • Personal Financial ManagementUrban AgricultureUrban 4-H Youth Development 

Animal Science & Forages

The Small Ruminant Program educates landowners and small scale producers about raising healthy goats and sheep, and integrating small ruminant production with forestland management. The program also explores research and best practices regarding appropriate stocking rates for silvopasture systems and the long-term effects of grazing management on tree growth, soil properties, and forage production.

Community Resource Development

Career Countdown is an educational series for youth and adults that uses interactive lessons to provide participants with insights for linking their interests, skills, and abilities to career choices and how to create pathways to achieve career goals.

Small Business Café is a resource for all entrepreneurs and small business owners in Alabama looking to connect and learn. This program provides educational resources such as webinars and a public Facebook group where members can network and seek advice.

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Family & Child Development

PCREP (Parent-Child Reading Enhancement Program) teaches parents and guardians techniques that will help to improve the reading level and skills of children ages 4-9 in five key areas: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency.

Successful Aging Initiative promotes health and estate planning for Alabama’s older adults, families, and caregivers. Successful Aging Initiative also uses Seniors CAN, a curriculum that educates older adults on issues such as abuse, health, safety, economics, and well-being to prepare them for independent living in the latter years of life.

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Forestry, Wildlife & Natural Resources

EMEP (E-Waste Management Education Program) teaches about the hazards of electronic waste (e-waste), the importance of recycling, and the benefits of being good stewards of the environment. EMEP works to increase awareness and help individuals adopt safe e-waste management practices.

SerPIE (Synergistic Efforts to Reduce Pharmaceutical Impacts on the Environment) offers a one-health approach to minimizing environmental impacts. The program highlights the connection between pharmaceutical drugs, personal care products, and pollution by tackling tough topics like the opioid crisis and giving the public information to safeguard their home and the environment.

UESEP (Urban Environmental Science Education Program) provides adults and youth with natural resource conservation strategies that lead to improved environmental awareness and stewardship. UESEP uses the following resources:

  • Camp Conservation is an on-site field trip alternative for youth to experience environmental science education that focuses on green issues currently facing urban communities.
  • Engaging Citizens through Environmental Education adapts programs regionally across the state that focuses on wildlife recovery and sustainability, GPS and geocaching, disaster preparedness, and urban forestry and ecological processes.
  • Youth Exploring Environmental Science is an in-school or after-school program that pairs hands-on learning experiences with school curricula for a better understanding of environmental science issues.

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Health & Nutrition

CHAMPION (Community Health, Aerobics & Motivational Program, Initiating Optimal Nutrition) is a ten-week series focused on the prevention & understanding of chronic diseases like heart disease & diabetes. The program provides interactive education to improve eating habits, to increase physical activity, and to decrease chronic disease risk factors through health literacy.

TEEN (Technology Enhancing Exercise and Nutrition) uses technology such as apps, exergaming, and health-related websites to engage teens. These tools are used to increase knowledge of nutrition and exercise in an effort to reduce childhood obesity. TEEN is an active program that works great in a school gym or other large areas where participants can spread out and move.

Urban EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program) is geared towards limited-resource Hispanic mothers with children under five, teaching them how to consume healthy foods on a limited budget and encouraging daily physical activity for the whole family.

  • Nutrition Education on the Move Bus is a mobile bus that travels into communities to provide nutrition classes. The bus is equipped with a fully functional mini kitchen for tastings and food & hand washing demonstrations. Participant seating and a presentation area makes the unit ideal for class instruction and exhibits at schools, health fairs, and other community events.

Urban SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education) makes food easy, tasty, and affordable! Using evidence-based teaching methods, limited-resource families & individuals are encouraged to select nutritious food, be physically active, maximize food budgets with smart shopping tips, utilize healthy cooking techniques, and keep food safe during purchase, preparation and storage.

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Lawn & Garden

Home Grounds Urban Gardens and Sustainable Landscapes establishes landscaping management practices and urban garden opportunities using the following resources:

  • Food Facts provides researched-based information on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), modern agricultural practices, food development, and testing to help communities make wise food choices based on facts.
  • Learn to Grow increases the intake of local fresh fruits and vegetables to improve nutrition and health, raises awareness about GMOs and educates communities about economical gardening in urban spaces (1-2 hour class).
  • Master Gardeners trains volunteers interested in committing their time to intensive horticulture-related training and to then serve as an Extension volunteer in their community
  • STEM in the Gardens offers train-the-trainer workshops to help teachers and volunteer educators educate youth about STEM-related agricultural practices, the benefits of eating fresh produce, environmental conservation and beneficial organisms, including pollinators such as bees.
  • Urban Green introduces sustainable landscaping management practices, including green space development by revitalizing downtown areas and improving the utilization of urban spaces for community aesthetics and health. It also features the Back-2-Basics and Garden Walks series.
  • Water Wheels (Outdoor Water Conservation Laboratory) is a 36-foot mobile lab used to educate audiences about water conservation. The lab comes complete with a rainwater collection system and 15 gaming computers.

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Personal Financial Management

FLIP (Financial Literacy in Progress) helps to improve economic well-being by teaching participants how to utilize the planned buying process, establish a budget, manage credit, save and invest money wisely, and involve all family members in financial decisions. This program also teaches participants how to use debt elimination software.

PREP (Promoting Readiness for Employment Possibilities) promotes job readiness by focusing on five major competencies: enhancing soft skills, completing job applications, resume building, interviewing skills, and how to properly dress for interviews. This program can be completed in six sessions.

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Urban Agriculture

Urban Ag offers education and trainings for both commercial producers and urban residents. Programs work to revitalize brownfields for community food production or small business utilization, promote water and natural resource conservation and inspire community development in urban food deserts.

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Urban 4-H Youth Development

HYPE (Helping Youth Promote Empathy) is a four-session program that brings individuals together within schools and communities to decrease harassment, victimization and bullying. Participants learn how to identify bullying behaviors, develop intervention strategies to combat bullying, and recognize the impact bullying and violence have on mental health. 

STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics) program helps to improve reading and introduces youth to content, skills, and practices for future success in STEM disciplines and careers. STREAM can be completed in four one-hour lessons.

4-H Health Rocks!® is a national healthy-living program for youth ages 8-14 designed to reduce the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances by pre-teens and teens. This program is comprised of ten lessons (one hour each) that can be delivered over two to ten days to meet the scheduling needs of teachers.

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