Franklin County eNewsletter
Dear Friend of OSU Extension,
I hope that our April edition of the OSU Extension, Franklin County eNewsletter finds you well and enjoying the beginning of spring… though it certainly doesn’t feel like spring weather today!
Last month OSU Extension, Franklin County was honored to witness a major announcement regarding The Ohio State University’s new early learning scholarship program. At the Leveraging Partnerships symposium held at the Reeb Avenue Community Center, Ohio State unveiled the new Teacher Preparation Pipeline Scholarship program, which will provide $3.9 million in scholarships over the next five years to current preschool and child care teachers to earn their bachelor’s degree for free. In collboration with Ohio State, the city of Columbus, Columbus State Community College and Action for Children, the program will benefit Ohio State’s Early Head Start Partnership.
Prior to the Leveraging Partnerships symposium OSU Extension, Franklin County, along with our neighbor tenants at the Reeb Center Hub of Hope, had the opportunity to showcase our work to the White House Domestic Policy Council Deputy Assistant to the President for Education Roberto Rodriguez, Mayor Andrew Ginther, U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, and several other national, state, and local leaders. And… we were visited by our own Ohio State President Michael Drake! What a unique opportunity to highlight and share the programs and services we bring to Franklin County!
Many of our local communities, including south Columbus where the Reeb Avenue Community Center is located, face what may appear on the surface to be insurmountable barriers to equal access to education, economic stability, and healthy food. However, as demonstrated during this event last month, we can and will move the needle. Our experience as partners at the Reeb Center is truly invaluable. Each time that I walk into the building, I am reminded of how proud I am of the work that OSU Extension and other impactful organizations are doing to partner with members of these communities – working together to collectively strengthen the families that call these neighborhoods home.
I wish you a wonderful April and look forward to sharing more with you again soon!
Laquore J. Meadows, Ph.D.
County Extension Director, Franklin County
Free tax preparation for income-qualifying individuals
If you haven’t already, you’ve only got a few weeks left to file your 2015 tax returns! Once again this year Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, in collaboration with several organizations, is offering free Federal and Ohio tax preparation services to low-income individuals in the Columbus area at the Fisher/OSU Tax Clinic. Now in its twelfth year of operation, the clinic is managed by student volunteers with support from the IRS, OSU Extension, United Way, Fisher College of Business and AMIS department, and the Godman Guild. To make a free appointment, call (614) 221-2255.
OSU Extension, Franklin County offers HUD-certified Homebuyer Education
Did you know that OSU Extension, Franklin County is one of only a handful of organizations in the area that offers HUD-certified and City of Columbus approved home buyer educational workshops? That means that not only do attendees receive valuable training about purchasing and maintaining a home, but income-eligible participants purchasing a home in Columbus also could receive assistance for their down payment or closing costs. Upcoming Homebuyer Education workshops will be held April 2 and 9 and May 7 and 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Schoenbaum Family Center. Click here to learn more or call Susan Colbert at (614) 247-1983 for more details.
4-H Youth Development
Lend a helping hand on April 16
We’ve made making a difference easy! Join us at the annual 4-H Walk & Serve on Saturday, April 16 for a hands-on community service fair where you can learn about local non-profits and help make much-needed items to support their work, such as dog toys for an animal shelter or fleece blankets for foster care children. Held at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, the community service fair is free and open to people of all ages.
New this year, we’ve added an optional Clover 5K Run/Walk for those who’d like to stretch their legs before serving the community! To learn more about the 4-H Walk & Serve, click here.
New! Short-term special interest program for schools and youth organizations
Are you part of a Franklin County after-school program, library, recreation center, or other youth organization and looking for ready-to-implement, fun curriculum? Try a 4-H Special Interest Club (SPIN Club)! SPIN Clubs provide youth who may not be able to participate in a traditional, more extensive 4-H experience with an opportunity to learn about a specific topic for one hour a week for eight weeks. The curriculum is designed to be used in an existing program by personnel or volunteers within that program. As part of the SPIN Club program, OSU Extension, Franklin County will provide the complete curriculum to participants who have completed a training session.
Join us on Thursday, April 7 from 9-11:30 a.m. to learn more about hosting a SPIN Club in Creative Arts for your organization. Cost of the training is $10, which includes materials. Please contact Sue Hogan at 614-866-6900 ext. 214 for more details or click here to register.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Celebrating local with Columbus foodies
Earlier this year OSU Extension, Franklin County joined local mobile food vendors, industry leaders, and foodies at the inaugural Columbus Mobile Food Conference and Expo. Engaging with the event’s 250 attendees, our team highlighted Ohio Proud products from Franklin County and promoted this year’s Ohio Local Foods Week, which will be held August 7-13. In fact, keynote speaker Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream stopped by during the Expo to commend OSU Extension, Franklin County for promoting local foods, as many of the ingredients Jeni’s utilizes are local Ohio products.
Congratulations to the recent graduating class of Master Gardener Volunteer Interns
Last month OSU Extension, Franklin County welcomed 55 new Master Gardener Volunteer Interns to the program after they successfully completed the 10-week intensive training course and final exam. On their journey to becoming full-fledged Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV), each of the interns will donate 50 volunteer hours to community gardening and education programs throughout the county over the next eight months, which would be valued at more than $59,000 in labor!
OSU Extension, Franklin County has one of the largest MGV programs in Ohio with 220 certified Master Gardener Volunteers, which includes this graduating class. To learn more about the program, click here.
April 1: Franklin County 4-H Enrollment deadline
April 2 and 9: HUD-certified Home Buyer Education
April 2 and 9: Financial Literacy Money Management workshop
April 7: Central Ohio Hops workshop
April 7: 4-H Spin Club training
April 12: CARTEENS
April 13: ChickQuest Spring training
OSU Extension, Franklin County connects with people in all stages of life, from young children to older adults. We work with families and children, farmers and business owners, community leaders and elected officials to build better lives, better businesses and better communities to make Ohio great.
How may we help you? Please contact our office.
Our mailing address is:
Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County
2105 South Hamilton Road, Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43232
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