Skip to main content
Our Illinois 4-H Story

It's a win-win situation at Vermilion County Food Smart program

The 4-H Food Smart Families program teaches youth and their families to prepare nutritious meals and be physically active. At the same time, it gives teens practical experience at teaching, something many teens see as a potential career. That's a win-win situation according to U of I Extension Youth Development Educator Jamie Boas.

This summer, nearly two dozen soon-to-be-seniors from Danville High School attended 15 hours of training to learn how to be teen teachers who mentor the second and third graders who attend the Danville Family YMCA's summer camp.

"The program teaches nutrition and healthy choices through cooking and physical activity," Boas said. The 4-H Teen Teachers have led more than 12 hours of nutrition and physical activity programming with 40 youth at the Danville YMCA.

The program is funded by a grant from ConAgra. To inspire more physical activity, families who completed three of the six suggested physical activities and good eating habits challenges received groceries to make the recipes they learned at home.


Judy Mae Bingman, University of Illinois Extension Marketing and Communications Manager

Judy uses powerful words and photography to tell the Extension story. She is a skilled communication strategist and storyteller with demonstrated success in building teams and creating strong organizational brand identities that deepen Extension’s impact among key audiences, build brand loyalty, strengthen employee talent, and expand public engagement. She is a frequent conference presenter at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Conference and helps Extension staff across the nation tell compelling stories.