See the impact Extension had in our community

A Message From Our County Director

Ginger Boas

We are delighted to bring the research and innovation of the University of Illinois in a practical and usable form to members of the communities in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. We work to form strong partnerships with local leaders, businesses, schools, and residents to solve challenges and problems together.

Our mission to offer education that is relevant, inclusive, and accessible continues to be our number one goal, with programs reaching all ages and backgrounds. Through education and outreach efforts, individuals have opportunities to improve their finances, live healthier lives, raise resilient families, enjoy and protect natural areas, and have more productive farms. Local youth gain relevant hands-on experience using innovative technology, essential skills to thrive in tomorrow's workplace.

We are proud to provide positive change in our community. We thank you for the support you have provided to our organization. Together we can continue to make a positive difference for those we serve while extending knowledge and changing lives.

Ginger Boas
County Director

This year's impact report features...

A bee on a blade of grass with some cone flowers in the background

Culturally relevant gardening at Booker T. Washington

By incorporating culturally relevant cooking and gardening activities into Champaign's Booker T. Washington STEM Academy's Fab Friday enrichment day, students learned about different cultural traditions and foods of the African diaspora, which can foster greater understanding and appreciation for diverse communities. This can help break down stereotypes and biases and promote a more inclusive school environment.

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Garden containers in a greenhouse

Master Gardeners get creative to extend programs to veterans

The Vermilion County Master Gardeners have offered programs at the Danville VA for more than 20 years and in 2022 programs resumed after COVID. Master Gardeners started working with outpatient veterans in the VA greenhouse and raised beds outside the greenhouse. VA therapists brought veterans to the greenhouse weekly for a horticulture lesson.

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A group of people sitting under a pavilion listening to a speaker.

Improving brain health leads family life efforts

Brain health is the most requested family life Extension program. People don't often worry about cognition and memory until they age. That is often when people start to worry whether their experiences are typical or of concern. Brain health programs discuss what could be considered normal cognitive changes regarding recall speed and accuracy, different types of memory, what contributes to cognitive decline, and what we can do across the lifespan to contribute to our brain health.

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