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More than 40 participants, representing OSU Extension county and state offices as well as campus and community partners, participated in the January 29 Summit on Extension in Ohio’s Urban Communities. Participants explored converging interests of university, college, and national urban Extension. Diverse working groups discussed the pull of the future, push of the present, and weight of the past for the four strategic Ps outlined in the National Framework for Urban Extension – positioning, programs, personnel, and partnerships. These groups moved from dialogue about a potential future to specific goals for a planned future for 2020-2025. Students DaVonti’ Haynes and Amelia Michaels shared preliminary analysis of a case study conducted with Extension’s urban-serving teams in Ohio’s most populated counties. Two outstanding professionals, Chris and Marvin Olinsky, were celebrated for their contributions to Extension in Ohio’s urban communities. This event followed the OSU Sesquicentennial Think Beyond Summit on Urban Universities + Thriving Communities. See for additional information and opportunities to join the positive forward motion.
Adventure Central is a trusted, community-based, positive youth development partnership serving at-risk children and their parents in the West Dayton community for over 19 years. This nationally recognized program has been at the forefront of positive youth development providing children and families opportunities to change their lives through building positive well-being, higher academic performance, and less involvement in risky behaviors. At Adventure Central, we are unified by our belief that encouraging new experiences, especially in nature, can build life skills and confidence which make children happier, healthier, and more productive members of their community. Adventure Central is uniquely qualified to turn these beliefs into action and results through the passion, expertise, and resources of its core partners: Five Rivers MetroParks, Ohio State University Extension, and 4-H. Using nature, our high quality and diverse staff nurtures participants in life-changing activities that strengthen values, build lasting life skills, and empower youth to explore life’s possibilities. Youth are engaged throughout the year in a variety of delivery methods to include after-school, day camp, and residential camping experiences all emphasizing sustained long term relationships. Special programmatic emphasis is also placed on supporting and developing teens through high quality work, service learning and leadership experiences. Dayton Summer and After School Collaborative Adventure Central is one of 10 programs at 17 sites in Dayton and Trotwood who are working together with funders and key institutions to improve program quality at our out-of-school time programs. Focus areas include: • Student attendance • Academic behavior and growth • Family engagement • Social emotional learning • Healthy lifestyles Using common evaluation tools, data on more than 1,100 children annually (2017-19) indicates youth and program staff are seeing positive engagement in learning and connections with program staff, two bedrocks for program quality.   Key findings indicate: • About 3 in 4 students said the program helped them get their homework done and make new friends. • More than half indicated it helped them do better and try harder in school. • More than half felt the program helped them read more often, do better in science and math and improved their writing. These after school programs provided almost 250,000 hours of programming per year.   For more on this effort, check out this link. Article courtesy of Nate Arnett, Director/Extension Educator, Adventure Central, The Ohio State University, Dayton, OH
Cities around the world face rapid urbanization, economic constraints, and environmental concerns. To address these challenges, city administrators are turning to technology, especially the Internet of Things (IoT), to digitize city operations. Unfortunately, smart city technologies pose significant challenges of their own. Smart city IoT services include smart lighting, smart parking, intelligent traffic management systems, smart waste management, video surveillance with analytics, and real-time monitoring of pollution and air quality. They can help make cities more accessible, safer, greener, and livable. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: Government Technology
The strength of American cities, and the nation as a whole, depends on generating inclusive growth for people of all races, ethnicities, and incomes. Yet even in our most economically vibrant cities, not all residents are benefiting from or contributing to that growth, resulting in stark racial and economic disparities that are even more extreme in distressed communities. In response, local leaders across the country are innovating new strategies to promote inclusive growth. Many are producing positive but isolated outcomes. To deliver on the ultimate goal of shared prosperity, they hypothesize that cities could benefit from additional resources and support, including the opportunities to learn from one another, secure unlikely allies, and advance scaled solutions within states, across states, and at higher levels of government. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: The Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation
JCEP 2020Professionals (JCEP) Board developed the Extension Leadership Conference to provide leadership training for professional association officers around the country. It has evolved into a premier conference for any Extension professional seeking leadership development, updates in national initiatives, and networking. The conference theme, A Vision For The Future, will be woven through the 32 concurrent and general sessions. The conference will be held February 12 -13, 2020, on the San Antonio Riverwalk. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: ECOP
We all know fresh fruits and vegetables are key to good health. Yet many low-income neighborhoods have limited access to fresh produce. That’s why programs such as the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the National School Lunch Program are vital to the health of communities. Knowing how many children are in an area helps federal, state, and local officials evaluate funding for nutrition programs. “It’s important that a child is adequately nourished before attempting any activity,” said Betti Wiggins, officer of nutrition services for the Houston Independent School District, the nation’s seventh largest school district. Every day, the district serves 280,000 meals to students, she said.  SNAP, previously known as Food Stamps, provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budgets of families "so they can purchase healthy food and move toward self-sufficiency,” according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which manages the program. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: United States Census Bureau 
As the number of cities building citywide afterschool systems continues to grow, a new report, “Using Data to Strengthen Afterschool Planning, Management, and Strategy” from The Wallace Foundation examines eight cities that established a management information system (MIS) to design and support the use of data in afterschool programs; including Denver, Colorado. The National League of Cities (NLC) spoke with Maxine Quintana, the Director of Out-of-School-Time Initiatives for the city and county of Denver, Colorado. Quintana supports the Denver Afterschool Alliance (DAA), the citywide intermediary working to increase access to quality afterschool programs. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: Cities Speak.
A group of 40 volunteers spent the weekend in Hamilton winterizing a community garden, cleaning its raised boxes, tending to its berry beds, and trimming its trees and shrubs. The garden is part of the Hamilton Urban Garden System (HUGS). It donates all the food it grows to the Hamilton community, in Butler County, Ohio. The area around the HUGS garden is reportedly considered a food desert. The nearest grocery store is almost a mile away, leaving many in the area without readily available, nutritious food options. The HUGS garden aims to solve that problem - and it’s making a dent. Last summer, the garden reportedly produced 1,500 lbs. of fresh fruits and vegetables for the community. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: Fox 19
Springboro’s 62-acre city center is the latest place in the area to become a new “urban village.” Beginning on February 2, the area is to be redeveloped using standards established in meetings over the last four months and intended to make it once again a central place where people will come to shop, eat, walk, and gather for special events. The urban village concept also underlies plans to redevelop the former location of the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, as well as the Dayton Mall area and other projects around the region. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: Dayton Daily News.
Summit on Extension in Ohio's Urban Communities: "Strengthen Ohio by Strengthening Cities and Urban-Rural Connections" will be held at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center in Columbus, Wednesday, January 29, 2020 Purpose: To better understand and address:
  • Real-life context of Extension work in urban communities (scale, diversity, complexity, urban-rural interface);
  • Alignment with the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) Framework and Integration with university, college, and other converging interests;
  • OSU Extension's strategies to be relevant locally, responsive statewide, recognized nationally; and
  • Strengthen Ohio by strengthening cities and urban-rural connections.
Who Should Attend? The event is open to everyone interested in how OSU Extension can better address Ohio’s urban influence and urban-rural interface. Registration: Registration is $20 (includes morning refreshment and lunch). Please register by January 20. The registration fee will be waived if a short article and photo for the OSU Extension in the City blog are submitted to Michelle by February 20. Follow this link for agenda. Follow this link to register. The Urban Engagement Team would also like to extend an invitation join them for dinner following OSU Sesquicentennial Think Beyond Summit, Urban Universities, Thriving Communities on January 28, 2020.