Extension offers online education and resources for Nevada communities

Programs go virtual this month to keep communities informed and engaged amid COVID-19 outbreak

Susan McClain standing behind a table covered with fresh ingredients and cutting boards

Extension Nutrition Specialist Susan McClain gives a cooking demonstration to Richard J. Rundle Elementary School students in Las Vegas. Photo by Richard J. Rundle Elementary School.

Extension offers online education and resources for Nevada communities

Programs go virtual this month to keep communities informed and engaged amid COVID-19 outbreak

Extension Nutrition Specialist Susan McClain gives a cooking demonstration to Richard J. Rundle Elementary School students in Las Vegas. Photo by Richard J. Rundle Elementary School.

Susan McClain standing behind a table covered with fresh ingredients and cutting boards

Extension Nutrition Specialist Susan McClain gives a cooking demonstration to Richard J. Rundle Elementary School students in Las Vegas. Photo by Richard J. Rundle Elementary School.

Even with the stay-at-home order in place, businesses, families and youth can engage in a number of educational activities online to enhance their daily lives and help themselves, and others, through these challenging days. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, University of Nevada, Reno Extension faculty, staff and volunteers have been hard at work to bring educational workshops, programs and resources useful during this time, into Nevadans’ homes. 

“Children and parents alike need constructive, engaging activities to do at home,” said Ivory W. Lyles, director of Extension. “And, it’s a great time for people to learn things like gardening, food preservation and healthy cooking, to keep themselves active and focused on something positive, things that can enhance their family’s health and well-being long after we all get through this.”

Lyles said that many businesses also need assistance during this time, and they need help finding the resources that are available to them. Therefore, Extension is working with its many partners to also serve local businesses to help minimize the impacts from the virus to Nevada’s businesses and economy.

Here is list of some specific offerings this month, but Lyles said there is much more information on Extension’s programs on the Extension website.

For businesses

Business Development Program

Early Childhood Professional Development Program

Early childhood staff, directors, administrators and coaches are encouraged to register and attend the “The Growing Brain” series on Zoom. The free workshops, approved by The Nevada Registry to count toward required annual training hours, will be noon-1 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 21-30. To receive the Zoom link, email Program Officer Cathryn Peshlakai. Visit the program website for a complete list of  "The Growing Brain" classes.

For families, homeowners and homemakers

Grow Your Own, Nevada!

This is an ideal time to get tips on how to grow your own food and start working on your home garden. Free workshops are being held 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 2-3:30 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays, April 7-May 1 on Zoom. The workshops will provide gardeners and those interested in growing healthy foods with a back-to-the-basics guide to producing bountiful harvests in Nevada. Visit the registration page for a complete list of Grow Your Own, Nevada! classes.

Home Food Preservation Program

Spending more time at home provides an excellent opportunity to can or preserve foods. For more information on how to preserve foods and keep them safe during the process, email Home Food Preservation Program Leader Elizabeth Mapula, or visit the Home Food Preservation Program Page or the program’s Facebook page.

Chef Suzy's Cooking Demonstrations & Recipes

Nutrition Specialist Susan McClain is hosting cooking demonstrations for school-aged children 4 p.m., Mondays and Fridays. Each 30- to 45-minute demonstration presents three recipes that are easy, simple, healthy, affordable and accessible. Both the live streams and recorded demonstrations can be viewed on the Facebook page for Extension in Clark County.

Living With Fire

Now is a good time to prepare for wildfire at home and reduce the wildfire risk. The Living With Fire Program will be posting brief video tips on actions residents can take to protect their homes as part of a series, “15 Minutes for Wildfire Preparedness,” on Extension’s YouTube channel. The first tip, “Assess Your Home,” is live now.

For youth and parents

Partners in Parenting

Take this opportunity to engage with your children in classes offered free on Zoom where parents and their children have fun and learn together about topics interesting and beneficial for everyone. Classes cover a wide range of topics, including cooking, reading, math, social skills and STEM. To register for a free class and receive the Zoom link, email Program Officer Heidi Petermeier. Classes include:

  • Fun With Literacy – 10:30 a.m., April 8
  • First Steps to Writing – 10:30 a.m., April 10
  • Food Expiration Dates – 10 a.m., April 14
  • Not Just MATH – 10:30 a.m., April 15
  • Building a Rain Shelter (A STEM Class) – 1 p.m., April 16
  • Screen Time Smarts – 10:30 a.m., April 17
  • Making Mealtime Fun – 10 a.m., April 21
  • Is Handwriting Still Important? – 10:30 a.m., April 22
  • Understanding Social Skills – 10:30 a.m., April 29

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals

From April 1-30, the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals Program is offering $9 coupons as part of a flash sale for online training and certification. The Youth for the Quality Care of Animals Program provides curriculum that teaches youth to humanely raise quality swine, beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, dairy goats, rabbits, and poultry. This curriculum is used in Nevada 4-H Youth Development Program’s livestock projects, as well as by FFA, The Grange and other youth agriculture programs. Many youth livestock shows throughout the nation require certification through the program to participate, including the Nevada Junior Livestock Show. Coupons must be purchased using the flash-sale order form and must be paid for by check following the steps in the form. Flash-sale order forms can be downloaded from 4-H Online, or they may be obtained by emailing Lindsay Chichester, Extension educator and Nevada Youth for the Quality Care of Animals contact.

Clark County 4-H Youth Development

Children and their families are invited to participate in the Science Time and Story Time Facebook Live series on the Clark County 4-H Facebook page.

  • Science Time streams at 11 a.m., Wednesdays, and 3 p.m., Fridays, and shares five- to 10-minute STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) experiments. A list of materials needed will be posted a day or two before each session.
  • Story Time streams at 6 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays, and shares story segments for elementary school-aged youth. Youth are asked throughout to think about context and literary pieces, and to intentionally reflect.

There will also be an online 4-H Youth Livestock Sales and Marketing workshop at 10 a.m., April 10. Members can register online at the workshop’s registration page.

Elko County 4-H Youth Development

Elko 4-H members were asked to help make face masks for the Elko County Emergency Operations Center and Carson City’s Carson-Tahoe Hospital. More details can be found on the Elko County 4-H Facebook page.

Washoe County 4-H Youth Development

Updates on county and regional events, activity ideas for home and virtual clinics can be found on the Washoe County 4-H Facebook page.

White Pine County 4-H

Several community 4-H clubs will be meeting on Zoom. Current 4-H members and individuals interested in joining should contact Community Based Instructor Alexandra Santaella or 775-293-6597 for the Zoom links and for more information.

  • Cloverbuds – 5:15 p.m., April 9
  • Virtual Crochet Club – 4 p.m., April 10, 17 and 24. Participants do not need to sign up for 4-H, and White Pine 4-H can provide supplies if needed.
  • Moriah Club– 3 p.m., April 16
  • Face Mask Making Service Project: Elko County 4-H members are joining with other 4-Hers in the state to create face masks for use during the COVID-19 outbreak. Interested families in White Pine may contact Santaella to participate. Instructions for making face masks can be found online.
  • Blue Ribbon 4-H Club Service Project: The Blue Ribbon 4-H Club is raising money to support the family of Nevada Highway Patrol Sgt. Ben Jenkins, who was killed on a motorist assist call. Individuals interested in donating can find more information on the White Pine County 4-H group Facebook page. The group has raised over $1,000.
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