Health and Human Sciences

It's as simple as

Food, Family, Money, & Health

The Health and Human Sciences (HHS) Educator delivers educational programs in Vigo County that are evidence and research based, to all community members.  HHS Purdue Extension focuses on issues related to families and parenting through programs like our "Strengthening Families Program". HHS Extension delivers health and wellness and food and nutrition programs to help with chronic diseases, like "Dining with Diabetes" and "Be Heart Smart". Through HHS you can also learn about food safety and home food preservation. Where Does Your Money Go helps those who struggle financially get back to basics by learning budgeting.


Contact Us

Purdue Extension Vigo County
275 Ohio St.
Terre Haute, IN 47807
(812) 462-3371

Examples of Programming

The Strengthening Families Program: For Parent and Youth 10-14 is an evidence-based program that can help prevent teen substance abuse and other behavior problems, strengthen parent/youth communication skills, increase academic success in youth, help teach youth skills for dealing with stress and peer pressure, prevent violence, and aggressive behavior at home and at school. Ranked as the #1 prevention program out of 6,000 analyzed by the World Health Organization, the Strengthening Families Program consists of 7, 2-hr. long classes comprising of youth, parent, and family sessions.

Session topics included:

  • Love & Limits
  • Dreams & Goals
  • House Rules
  • Appreciating Parents
  • Encouraging Positive Behavior
  • Dealing with Stress
  • Following Rules & Using Consequences
  • Peer Pressure

For more information, visit


Each year, about 659,000 people in the United States die from heart disease, that’s 1 of every 4 deaths (CDC)! Purdue Extension’s Be Heart Smart Program helps individuals learn information to prevent and reduce their risk of developing heart disease. Over the course of four lessons, participants will learn about the risk factors associated with heart disease, important numbers to know, heart-healthy eating, and how to make sustainable heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

Be Heart Smart cost $15 to attend. For more information, visit:

According to Gallup, only 1 in 3 Americans use a budget and 30% have a long-term financial plan involving savings and investments for the future. Where Does Your Money Go? Program is designed to help consumers better understand how to spend their money. Taught over two, one-hour sessions, participants learn about financial management practices such as needs vs wants, writing goals, tracking expenses, identifying spending leaks, and how to develop a spending-savings plan. Furthermore, program activities help participants increase their knowledge of money management practices that promote financial stability and adoption of new habits that can lead to financial control.

For more information, visit:

According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020, 34.2 million Americans have diabetes and another 88 million have prediabetes (CDC). Furthermore, people who have diabetes are 2.3 more likely to have greater healthcare cost than people who don’t have diabetes.

The Dining with Diabetes Program is a designed to assist and support individuals who have diabetes as well as their families to help reduce the burden of diabetes by increasing knowledge of healthy foods, tips to prepare quick, healthy, and tasty foods, demonstrating proper cooking techniques, promoting physical activity, building confidence, and providing opportunities for participants to learn from one another.


The cost to attend Dining with Diabetes is $40 per individual or $65 per couple. To learn more about Dining with Diabetes, visit:

September 2022 Newsletter

Click here to download a copy of this newsletter.


Important Dates to Remember

 September 5              Extension Office closed for Labor Day

September 19             Council Meeting

 October 3                   International Day

October 10                  Past Presidents Meeting

October 22                  Make a Difference Day

 November 7               Extension Craft Day

November 8                Extension Office Closed for Election Day

November 11              Extension Office Closed for Veterans Day

November 24-25        Extension Office Closed for Thanksgiving


              The Fall District meeting was held Monday Aug. 15, 2022, at the Greene County Fairgrounds. The theme was “Homemakers Matinee”. There were ten from Vigo County that attended. Sarah Gossett, Mary Lou Voll, Sue Merritt, Jacqui Stanley, Georgia Hunt, Jeannette Streeter, Carol Hawn, Ruth Ridener and I attended. Plus our educator Gail Wright was there. There were several flavors of popcorn to sample. Caramel corn may be my favorite. Club presidents were asked to share a memory about themselves and a movie theater. Do you have a good one? It was very nicely decorated with plenty of good food. Think about attending the Spring District at Clay County on March 23, 2023.


              Met Mon. Aug 8, 2022, at MCL Cafeteria. The theme was, “Back to School.” Several theme games were played. Ruth Ridener taught us about Roman Numerals and how to use them. Can you figure out this number? MMXXII. Gifts and cards were given to Jeannette Streeter to help her celebrate her 87th birthday. All past presidents are invited and welcome to attend.  Our next meeting will be on Mon. Oct. 10, 2022. Time and place TBA later.


Sept. 19, 2022, is council meeting day at Vigo County Fairgrounds at the Banquet Center.  Pre-council meets at 9:00 AM for the council officers and 10 AM for the rest of council. Roll call will be “Do you want a table at Extension Craft Day?” A meeting for Ext. Craft Day will follow the meeting.

Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, Burnett and Hearts at Home clubs will be in charge of International Day. Registration will be at 9:30 AM and the program will start at 10 AM. It will be held in the Community Center/Floriculture Building at Vigo County Fairgrounds. Romania will be the  country with Gary and Diane Moore being the speakers. They are former Missionaries to Romania. It will be a carry in meal. The main dish will be cabbage rolls. If you know of a Romanian dish to make please do so and bring it. If not, any dish of your liking will do.  The committee asks that small clubs bring 2 dishes and large clubs bring 4.   You are invited to wear the colors of the Romanian flag which is red, yellow, and blue. Please RSVP to your club secretary no later than 9-15-22. They will notify Jamie Dickerson by phone 812-241-4008, no later than 9-16-22 with the number of RSVP’S.


Start thinking what you can do to make IEHA Week (Oct.10-17, 2022) special and what you can do on Oct. 22, 2022, for “Make a Difference Day”. Placing a hand made pocket heart could make a difference in someone's life (hint hint). 

 Several ladies signed up to help with tomatoes from the Giving Garden on Mon. Aug. 22, 2022 at 1PM. Those who helped were Jacqui Stanley and Sandy Kelly from Burnett Club, Wendy Cuiksa, and Allison Finzel from the Purdue Extension office and Allison’s mom, Lynn Thomas.  Julia Reed, Barbara Mericle, Rita Parker and I from Prairie Creek Club. We started at 1PM and finished about 5PM. It was a lot of work but we had a good time visiting while we worked. A big thank you to you all. 425 pounds of tomatoes were preserved that day.  Hopefully next year we can round up some more help.        


Left to Right:  Jacqui Stanley, Sandy Kelly, Wendy Cuiksa, Julia Reed, Janet Kleptz, Lynn Thomas, Rita Parker and Barbara Mericle.  (Taking the picture is Allison Finzel)


Please remember to work on the pocket hearts. You can work on them individually or as a club. Don’t forget that I have extra felt, patterns, thread, bags and the little card that goes into the bag. Please let me know how many have been done already. After you make your hearts be sure to take pictures of them. A display of the pictures will be at the Home & Family Conference in June 2023.


Donating coloring books (for adults and children) and crayons is our County Project. These help entertain children as they wait in the hospital waiting rooms. Gallon size Ziplock bags are very much appreciated. You can give them to your club president or Ruth Ridener.


             Don’t forget you can collect pop tabs and give them to your club president. She will give them to our District Rep. Sarah Gossett.


Thank you to all who are always ready, willing and able to lend a helping hand. It makes everything run so much smoother.


Our state president, Michelle Roberts, announced that the Home and Family Conference will be June 5-7, 2023. It will be at Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Noblesville, IN, same place as this year. Cost will be $169 plus taxes per night. Start thinking about attending. It is a fun time.

Janet Kleptz

Vigo County Extension Homemaker President


Celebrate Your Brain in September

September is a great month to celebrate your brain as a part of World Alzheimer’s Month. World Alzheimer’s Day is  September 21, 2022 and many  organizations and communities take the time during this month to educate and  empower those caring for and living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

This year’s theme continues on the 2021 campaign to “Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s” and  focuses on both treatment and support. Many of us know someone living with this disease and would like to learn more. On September 8 at 11 a.m., I will be at the YMCA in Vigo County to present “Train Your Brain—Nutrition, Neurobics, & Notable Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy”. This program provides an overview of Dementia and Alzheimer’s, discusses symptoms, and provides some ways to prevent. If you would like more information and to register, please call 812-462-3371 or email me at


10 of the most common warning signs: 

  1. Memory loss
  2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks
  3. Problems with language
  4. Disorientation to time and place
  5. Poor or decreased judgement
  6. Problems keeping track of things
  7. Misplacing things
  8. Changes in mood and behavior
  9. Challenges understanding visual and spatial information
  10. Withdrawal from work or social activities 

*If these signs are new, they may be a sign of dementia.



Gail Wright

Extension Educator

Health and Human Sciences