Health and Human Sciences

In HHS, the Howard County community is our classroom – where we bring university information to the local level.

Through our programs, we help people strengthen families, spend smart, eat right, and live well.  See the list of available programs we can bring to you or your organization.  Please contact us if you are interested!

Howard County Extension Homemakers

Howard County Extension Homemakers are part of the Indiana Extension Homemakers Association and dedicated to empowering and enriching the lives of individuals, families and communities. 

While other organizations may be primarily social or service clubs, our main goal in Extension Homemakers is education. We strive to broaden our member's horizons by providing in-depth information in an informal setting. We also provide volunteer support in our community and work to encourage leadership qualities in our members.

Extension Homemaker Creed

We believe in the present and its opportunities, in the future and its promises, in
everything that makes life large and lovely, in the divine joy of living and helping others, 
and so we endeavor to pass on to others that which has benefited us, striving to go 
onward and upward, reaching the pinnacle of economic perfection, in improving, enlarging
and endearing the greatest institution in the world, THE HOME.

Contact Us

Allison Hillis

Howard County Extension Director

Health and Human Sciences Extension Educator

Purdue Extension Howard County

120 E. Mulberry St., Suite 105

Kokomo, IN 46901

 

Office: 765-456-2313

Direct: 765-456-2322

Email: amhillis@purdue.edu

Programs we offer to you!

ELEVATE - Taking Your Relationship to the Next Level

ELEVATE is a couple’s education program that blends practical skills with an understanding of the physiology of human interaction (the heart-brain-behavior connection) to enhance individuals’ and couples’ healthy relationship knowledge and skills.

ELEVATE can benefit all couples regardless of the cultural background, sexual orientation or relationship status, i.e., dating cohabiting, engaged, or married.  While ELEVATE was developed as a couples program, individuals in a committed relationship can attend without their partner.

The central core content and the framework for ELEVATE are based on the national Extension Relationship and Marriage Education Model, or NERMEM.  The NERMEM model is based on research predictors of marital quality.

The ELEVATE curriculum includes eight lessons: an introduction and seven lessons that review the core principles and skills outlined in NERMEM:

     Empowering yourself;            

     Laying the foundation for a lasting relationship;

     Enlighten each other about your relationship;

     Value and respect the positive aspects of your partner and your relationship;

     Attach to your partner by cultivating and maintaining friendship;

     Taming differences in healthy and safe ways; and

     Engage social support and sources of meaning. 

Two distinct characteristics of the ELEVATE curriculum are: (1) the practical strategies and tools taught, and (2) the inclusion of mindfulness practice activities that can help couples regulate their heart-brain response to stressful triggers.  ELEVATE your relationship to the next level!

ELEVATE: Taking Your Relationship to the Next Level Logo

 
HERO'S Story Time 

HERO’S is an acronym that stands for Helping Every child Reach Optimum Success. This reading program is dedicated to empowering children with social-emotional skills to help cultivate healthy relationships that will enable them to succeed in school and life. Eight storybooks for preschool-age children have been specifically chosen to cultivate healthy relationships based on eight of the 40 Developmental Assets from Search Institute. The more assets a child develops, the more empowered they are to face adversity and challenges. The goal is to provide children with safe, secure, nurturing relationships and environments. HERO’S helps young children grasp assets such as empathy self-regulation, self-esteem, conflict resolution, and interpersonal skills. Cultivating these assets enable children to make wise decisions, choose positive paths, and grow up to be caring and responsible. Research tells us that Developmental Assets are one of the most effective protective factors in preventing high-risk behaviors including violence and substance abuse as well as victimization.

The program shares information about the Developmental Assets and creating safe, nurturing relationships and environments. The training is developed for early childhood providers and those that are major stakeholders in the lives of young children. Participants also gain practice in using the storybooks and support materials.

A guide for each book assists early childhood staff in asking children questions during the story reading and provides extended learning activities to emphasize the assets during the day. Corresponding family newsletter with each book foster further practice and development of the assets at home. The guides and newsletters are available for free download from the Purdue Education Store as publications HHS-847.

 
i am moving, i am learning 

I Am Moving, I Am Learning is a fun, active training for caregivers of young children (birth to 5 years) to encourage children’s movement and healthy food choices each day.

This training is available for child care providers, parents, or other caregivers of young children to encourage the  use of movement activities to support children’s healthy development. Children can engage in fun physical activities, both indoors and outdoors, as they learn about being active and eating healthy, nutritious food. 

 VolunteersIN

 
Safe Sitter 

This course is designed to prepare students in grades 6-8 to be safe when they are home alone, watching younger siblings, or babysitting. Students learn how to practice important safety skills, handle emergencies, care for children, and treat illnesses and injuries. Some classes even teach CPR. In addition, students learn important business skills such as how to screen jobs, set a wage, and work with employers.

Safe Sitter Logo

Dining With Diabetes
Diabetes adversely impacts the lives of over 10 percent of adults in Indiana dealing with this chronic condition. People with diabetes may experience financial struggles due to higher healthcare costs and are at increased risk for developing long-term health problems. Dining with Diabetes is a cooking school that offers a practical approach to eating well for those with type 2 diabetes and their caregivers. The program consists of four sessions and a reunion. Program topics include:
  • planning meals and snacks with delicious and healthy recipes
  • cooking demonstrations and food sampling
  • motivation and support — connect with others who are living with diabetes
  • ideas for being more active
  • an understanding of how diabetes affects your overall health
 
Food Budgeting and meal planning

Food Budgeting and Meal Planning is a one-hour program about how to get the most nutritious food for your dollar. The following topics will be covered:

  • Create a Grocery Game Plan
  • Eating Better on a Budget
  • Food Storage Chart
  • Food Safety Tips
  • Leftover Makeovers/Refrigerator Reboots
  • Make Your Own Casserole Leftovers
 
servsafe

Beginning in 2005, the Indiana Food Code required one individual per food service establishment to have food handler certification when inspected by the local Board of Health. 

The Purdue Extension Educators provide the training and proctor the exam for food service employees to have food handler certification. Using the National Restaurant Association’s Serv Safe ® curriculum and partnering with the Indiana Restaurant Association hundreds of food service employees are certified or re-certified in food handler certification annually in Indiana. 

Serv Safe ® training and certification sets the standard in food safety with the most up-to-date and relevant information. It brings together the current best practices to meet the industry’s changing needs. Participants in the training’s stay engaged, retain the information better, and understand how to apply it. 

For more information, please visit www.purdue.edu/servsafe

The certification is valid for five (5) years and then must be renewed by successfully completing the certification exam.

Be Heart Smart

Your heart beats nearly 100,000 times a day. That’s 100,000 good reasons to take care of it.

Purdue Extension’s Be Heart Smart program is combating heart disease—the #1 cause of death for men and women in Indiana. Designed to help adults prevent heart disease, this four-session program offers simple, practical changes to achieve a heart-healthy lifestyle. This program provides information about:

  • managing blood pressure and cholesterol;
  • increasing daily physical activity;
  • improving dietary choices;
  • managing stress;
  • talking to a healthcare provider, and more.

After attending the program, participants will be able to identify their controllable risk factors for heart disease and how to reduce their personal risk. Connect with your local Extension Educator to learn more about Be Heart Smart and opportunities to attend this program.

Purdue Extension Be Heart Smart Logo with a heart

 
A matter of balance 

Many older adults experience concerns about falling and restrict their activities. A Matter of Balance is a fall prevention program that encourages cognitive restructuring. It is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. A Matter of Balance is an evidence-based program that typically meets once a week for 8 weeks. The program emphasizes practical strategies to manage falls.

Participants will learn to:
• View falls as controllable
• Set goals for increasing activity
• Make changes to reduce fall risks at home
• Exercise to increase strength and balance

Who should attend?
• Anyone concerned about falls
• Anyone interested in improving balance, flexibility and strength
• Anyone who has fallen in the past
• Anyone who has restricted activities because of falling concerns

A Matter of Balance - Managing Concerns About Falls

Captain Cash

Captain Cash is an interactive educational program designed to teach basic financial management skills to your students. Along with learning basic financial concepts, students learn and practice important life skills to foster self-sufficiency such as communication, decision-making, problem-solving, managing resources, planning, and organizing.

 Captain Cash Logo

Captain Cash is an interactive educations program designed to teach basic financial management skills to your students. This dynamic curriculum was designed to address the following issues:   

  • Money behaviors observed and learned in childhood impact adult behaviors.
  • Money management messages that children process in the home, the community, on television, and via other media shape their values, attitudes and future money habits.
  • Individuals and families are not able to respond to economic disruptions because they have not learned critical money management concepts and skills.

To address these issues, Captain Cash includes four classroom enrichment sessions of approximately 45 minutes each that focus on earning, saving, spending, and borrowing money. Each session introduces vocabulary words and one or more basic economic concepts. Each session also includes a game or activity and a take-home handout. All lessons meet Indiana Academic Standards for math and social studies.

Along with learning basic financial concepts, students learn and practice important life skills to foster self-sufficiency such as communication, decision-making, problem-solving, managing resources, planning, and organizing.

 
Where does your money go? 

Do you know where your money goes? Most of us don’t. Where Does Your Money Go is a program designed to help you better understand how you spend your money. 

Where Does Your Money Go? (WDYMG) is a program designed to help consumers better understand how they spend their money. Program activities include determining your spending priorities and habits as well as creating a spending-savings plan.

Safe Sitter Training

This course is designed to prepare students in grades 6-8 to be safe when they are home alone, watching younger siblings, or babysitting. Students learn how to practice important safety skills, handle emergencies, care for children, and treat illnesses and injuries. Some classes even teach CPR. In addition, students learn important business skills such as how to screen jobs, set a wage, and work with employers.

Safe Sitter Training Registration