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Thoughts to Ponder

Issue 12/16/04

Jo Britt-Rankin, M.S., Ph.D., Associate Dean, University of Missouri Extension

Well, the holidays are quickly approaching. I thought I would take a few minutes to update you on some of the things occurring in HES Extension. As we close out 2004 and begin looking to 2005, I want to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to HES Extension. Not a day goes by without me being reminded of what a great faculty and organization we have. I am very proud to be associated with all of you. You make my job much easier because I get to spend so much time sharing the programmatic successes that you achieve each day.

HES Faculty Update, Feb 8-10
I hope each of you have gone on-line to register for the HES Faculty Update. It will be Feb 8-10 in Columbia. This is our annual professional development opportunity for HES specialists. When you arrive on the 8th, you will get a personalized agenda. There will be tracks for each "title" or "specialty."

Also you were to have sent Sue Andrews your roommate's name and any dietary needs by Yesterday! If you have not done so, please do that prior to the holidays so we can send the rooming list to Stony Creek Inn. We will take care of making your room reservations. Room charges will be direct billed. If you plan to attend Carol Mertensmeyer's ISE "Creating a Community of Learning", please indicate to Sue that you will need a room for February 10.

Brookdale Foundation "Relatives As Parents" Minigrants/Statewide Meeting
Although the individuals will be notified later today, I will share with you that we proudly awarded 12 $250 minigrants to regional specialists who are working to develop or expand kinship care support groups. This is an emerging area and we appreciate all of your support. We are hearing tremendous impacts from these efforts.

Betty Reinsch, Jinny Hopp, Linda Breytspraak and myself will also be coordinating an I-TV meeting for May 2005. This will be a time for local groups who are coordinating support groups to share their experiences and to learn from their peers. We are holding two dates (May 13 and 20) and will send a message to all specialists as soon as the date is confirmed. We would also like to invite any specialist who would like to become more involved in these efforts. The I-TV sharing will be held from 9-11:30 followed by a facilitated lunch at the individual sites.

Stay tuned for more information . . .

UMKC Gerentology Resource Library
If you are needing resources on aging or gerontology, please contact Linda Breytspraak at UMKC. UMKC has a great resource library, including some items formerly housed with Anne Deaton in Clark Hall. Linda and her faculty have provided leadership and tremendous support to our Successful Aging program.

Military Families Meetings
As some of you already know, Carol Mertensmeyer and I received some USDA funding to support military families. Carol and the ParentLink staff have been providing and/or planning a series of statewide events to train regional specialists and others. You should be receiving dates for upcoming meetings tentatively scheduled for Jefferson City, St. Charles, Rolla, Poplar Bluff, and Springfield. Regional Specialists will need RD approval before attending. I know many of you have been helping to coordinate these meetings and I appreciate all you have done for this effort. Missouri has been dramatically impacted by the number of active, reserve, and guard military who have been deployed. This is just another example of the vital role Extension plays in the lives of community members.

Wishing you a very happy holiday season
Please let me close by wishing you a happy holiday season. I also want to take one last moment to say thank you for all you do. Please take time in the coming weeks to reflect upon your accomplishments this past year. We often get focused on the "to do" list and what has yet to be achieved that we forget to celebrate all the things we have been able to cross off our list. I look forward to a bright and prosperous new year.



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