How We Talk About Extension’s Impact in the Community
Over the last several months the Extension office has been discussing how to tell our story.
The questions we are looking to answer include:
- Who is our customer?
- What services does the community expect from us?
- Are our programs meeting the needs of the community?
- Are we still relevant after serving the community for more than 100 years?
- How do we communicate our effectiveness in the community?
These are some tough questions! The process for finding out the answers are a continuum — we need to keep asking ourselves these questions on a daily, quarterly and yearly basis.
BOCC Quarterly Updates
While we work through these questions and find the answers one result has been the new Extension Quarterly Updates we created to brief the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) of our programming success.
Spring 2018: Extension Puts Money Back Into Citizens’ Pockets
This report focuses on the Family and Consumer Sciences/Home and Family programs.
Free tax preparation for eligible citizens
One highlight from of this past spring was the free tax preparation program through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site which is held annually at the Sunset Drive Office Building. Our office began its partnership with El Centro and NextStepKC in 2011. The 2018 tax preparation season saw a growth in the residents served. The overall refunds, credit and savings was $1,425,171 which was an increase of 27% over last year.
The other highlight of this update was on the Medicare Open Enrollment Counseling offered through our office.
Summer 2018: Extension Provides Services Residents and Partners Value
This update spotlights Horticulture. Through programs such as improving water quality in Johnson County and Extension’s free gardening hotline we are able to meet the communities horticulture needs.
Free soil tests for county residents
Extension’s partnership with Johnson County Stormwater Management allows Johnson County residents to receive a free annual soil test. The first step to a productive garden or lawn care is having a strong understanding of your soil.
The Extension Master Gardener (EMG) program provides an educational volunteer opportunity to over 400 county residents. This cadre of university-trained citizens has many projects throughout the county but one of their main educational outreach activities is through the free gardening hotline located at in the Extension office.
As we work to communicate our value and relevance in the ever-changing world we believe Extension is a powerful resource to reach the community members and engage citizens in quality research-based, unbiased educational programs. Please check out the two quarterly updates to read the full stories of our impact in the community.