1. Published

    University of Illinois Extension staff from horticulture, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Education (SNAP-Ed), and 4-H teamed up to provide training to teachers, administrators, parents, and master volunteers with the goal to help them understand how to start and maintain a school garden. The four-session series, held October 2019 through March 2020 attracted 20 people from 15 different organizations.

  2. Published

    Mari was hired to the University of Illinois Extension EFNEP team in 2016. She became the second English-Spanish bilingual team member.

    “I teach nutrition program to children, teens, and adults in the Peoria area. I teach them how to cook and exercise as well as encourage them to be healthy. My goal is to give them a better view of a healthy lifestyle they can use every day.”


    • University of Illinois Extension EFNEP, teamwork award for teen cooking schools 2019


  3. Published

    With a mission to support, connect, and provide resources to those working within the emergency food system, University of Illinois Extension Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit SNAP-Education and the Tazewell County Health Department partnered to launch Food Pantry Network-HOI in March 2019. Since then, the network of food banks, food pantries, and local organizations has come together to focus efforts and to support one another as they work to alleviate hunger and build a healthier community.

  4. Published

    An unprecedented spring and summer, filled with COVID fears and cancellations, made it clear that the upcoming school year would be far from business as usual. The University of Illinois Extension 4-H educators Judy Schmidt and Emily Schoenfelder generally work within the sphere of non-formal education. However, anticipating the pivots that would be needed, these youth development professionals offered training sessions geared towards classroom teachers in a special summer edition of the Teacher Tuesdays program.

  5. Published

    Change brings new problems and new opportunities for society. Several University of Illinois Extension educators serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties have joined a team of city leaders, agencies, and organizations to address the serious need of the lack of adequate access to fresh foods for residents in Peoria’s South Side. The “Local Foods, Local Places: Revitalizing Communities by Growing Local Food Economies” initiative is a great example of how difficult challenges can bring about positive outcomes.

  6. Published

    Science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) programming in the University of Illinois Extension Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit may have looked different this summer, but one thing was still the same –kids were engaged in STEAM activities and career exploration.  4-H staff developed three video series for youth: STEAM Activities, Storybook Engineering, and Meet a STEAM Professional.

  7. Published

    In 2019, Skye became an Illinois Extension SNAP-Ed instructor focused in Mason County.

    “I really enjoy teaching the young kids, but it doesn’t matter what age you are, nutrition is important to learn and there is always new information. I aim to educate people to help them increase their knowledge of nutrition and exercise. ”


    • Illinois College, Bachelor’s degree in biology with focus in exercise science


  8. Published

    Broadband technologies and applications are an integral part of any economic development effort in today’s economy. Having access to broadband and enhancing people’s knowledge and application of this valuable resource is vital to the social and economic well-being of the region. University of Illinois Extension has worked closely with several partners to provide training and support for broadband expansion locally as well as across the state.

  9. Published

    One of the less mentioned benefits of being an Extension Master Gardener or Master Naturalist is the time you get to spend with other volunteers learning together and from each other. While shelter-in-place and social distancing protocols are being followed, University of Illinois Extension staff created virtual book study groups for our master volunteers that began in late March with the book Nature’s Best Hope and have continued to a second book.

  10. Published

    At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year Julie Dantone, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Education instructor was presented with a unique challenge as she was kicking off the Organ Wise Guys curriculum at Dirksen Primary School in Pekin. How do you teach a child to check their pulse when the child does not have any arms?

  11. Published

    Angela Jimenez, Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program Instructor


    “I teach nutrition to youth, teens, and adults in the Peoria area. I teach my clients  to eat and cook healthy, work with a budget, and exercise. My goal is to help them be engaging, to be creative, and have fun with their health, so they have a healthy head, heart, and hands.”

  12. Published

    Local 4-Hers did not let the cancelation of the regular 4-H Shows stop them from exhibiting their 4-H projects with the same pride and skill development as they have shown in the past. Thanks to the hard work, creative thinking, and ingenuity of the University of Illinois Extension staff, 327 youth recently participated in the 4-H Virtual Shows held in Fulton, Mason, Peoria and Tazewell counties.

  13. Published

    Embryology in the Classroom has been a long standing part of University of Illinois Extension’s 4-H program and it continues to grow in classroom participation across Tazewell County. From 2010 to 2019, the number of classrooms participating in the program quadrupled from 8 to 32 classrooms. Approximately 5,000 youth were impacted.

  14. Published

    The nationwide Extension Master Gardener (EMG) program began in 1972 when the Washington State Horticulturalist recruited and trained volunteers to help him answer the high volume of calls from the public about gardening. From there the program expanded in scope and grew across the country, but answering the public’s gardening questions is still at the heart of what EMGs do.

  15. Published

    Local eateries, restaurants, cafes, pubs, and coffee shops are the social and economic lifeblood of many Illinois communities.

  16. Published

    Nate Anton, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Education Instructor


    “I teach nutrition to SNAP-Ed eligible youth and adults in the Peoria area. With the yearly increase of chronic diseases, many of which may be reduced with a healthier lifestyle, our programs are important for our community and country. Through instructing our clients in healthy eating, exercise, and budgeting, we hope to increase the likelihood that they lead a long and healthy life.”

  17. Published

    When Illinois’ stay at home order began in March, University of Illinois Extension, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell (FMPT) Unit staff shifted to working remotely and modified their current programs to continue to meet the needs of our residents, businesses, and local governments. Illinois Extension recently announced plans to continue providing programs in formats that support public health and safety priorities throughout the summer months. Staff and volunteers have approached the shift head-on and have a well-curated line-up of programs and services readily available.

  18. Published

    “I pledge my hands to larger service...” is part of a pledge that 4-H members have said for many generations.  Service to others is one of the main pillars of the 4-H program. 4-H members participate in service projects year-round through their clubs, county, and state-wide opportunities. Typically service projects include face-to-face interactions with others in their communities.

  19. Published

    Kathy Ellis

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Education Instructor


    “I teach young children in preschool, kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades about healthy eating and taking care of themselves. Some of my classes are underserved audiences such as Hispanic, hearing impaired, and special needs. I love working with all of the students and seeing them try new healthy foods.”

  20. Published

    Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, located north of Havana, may be unknown by many people, but for millions of waterfowl, migratory birds, and wildlife it is a very popular place. University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist Carla Montez is helping to educate the public about the value of Chautauqua and the wildlife that live and feed there through educational articles.