Extension Matters Fall/Winter 2014

Page 1

Expert Articles and Advice from the Research and Knowledge of West Virginia State University Extension Service

fall/winter 2014

READ ALOUD Our Staff Picks Their Favorite Kids’ Books

MOTHER NATURE, FATHER CHRISTMAS: Bringing the Outdoors into the Holidays

Avoid the Cold-Weather Blahs with Our Easy At-Home Exercises

Extension Service

IN THIS ISSUE The Power of the Post: Social Media and Your Small Business


The Art of Science: Supporting Science Education in Children


Gardening: It Isn’t Just for Summer Anymore


Smooth Transitions: Making the Move From High School to College


Vice President for Research & Public Service

10 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight


Ami M. Smith, Ph.D.

Mother Nature, Father Christmas: Bringing the Outdoors into the Holidays


Small Business vs. Entrepreneurship


The Winter Workout: How to Keep the Cold-Weather Blahs Out of Your Fitness Regimen


A Simple Gift


Staff Picks


Seasonal Soup Recipe


Orlando F. McMeans, Ph.D.

Assoc. Dean and Assoc. Director WVSU Extension Service

Matthew A. Browning Director of Communications; Editor WVSU Gus R. Douglass Institute

Stacy Herrick Communications Specialist; Designer WVSU Gus R. Douglass Institute

To request an edition of Extension Matters or to be added to our mailing list, please contact the editor at extension@wvstateu.edu



ex te n s io n m at te r s | fal l /w i nte r 2 01 4

wvstate u .e du /extensi o n

Welcome to this exciting new edition of Extension Matters magazine, full of expert advice from our staff and colleagues to help you improve your life, health and happiness. This issue highlights the concept of transition, which is critical to success. Our campus community has experienced transition in a variety of ways recently, from the changes that have accompanied a new vision to the recent opening of brand new campus facilities, including the stunning D. Stephen & Diane H. Walker Convocation Center and the Judge Damon J. Keith Scholars Hall, our first new residence facility to be built on campus in more than 40 years. We are also experiencing transition in other facets as we look back on our past while planning our future. This year, we’re celebrating 100 years of the Cooperative Extension System, and in 2015 we’ll celebrate 125 years of the 1890 Land-Grant University System. This issue marks the 20th for Extension Matters, and we are continuously growing and adapting to the needs of our audiences. We’re launching a blogging platform to accompany this issue. Not only can you turn to the blog for information supplementing the content you’ll read here, but it will also serve as a mobile information tool with new content being added on a regular basis. The articles in this issue speak to transition in several different ways. We discuss the biggest factors that new college students face when entering the world of higher education after graduating from high school. And, as you may have noticed, the weather outside is changing! We say goodbye to summer by helping you ease into fall and winter with fun activities that incorporate nature and physical activity into the cold-weather months, and discuss ways to extend your garden growing season beyond the traditional spring and summer timeframe. There’s even a healthy garden recipe for you to enjoy when the snow starts to fall! Are you a small business owner looking to break into new market segments? We share some ways to incorporate social media into your business plan. These and other articles are awaiting you in this special anniversary edition of Extension Matters. Happy reading!

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. President

wvst ateu .ed u /exte ns i o n

Orlando F. McMeans, Ph.D. Vice President for Research & Public Service fall/win te r 201 4 | ex tens ionmatters


The writer Truman Capote once said, “autumn seems that season of beginning.” This sentiment is ringing true at West Virginia State University in a variety of ways, from increased numbers in our student population to the opening of our first residence hall since the 1960s. That sense of new beginning is prominent within WVSU Extension Service as well. When I assumed the role of Associate Dean and Associate Director for Extension late in 2013, the organization was already undergoing a period of growth and rapid change, from welcoming new employees to seeking innovative, exciting opportunities to expand our programming portfolio. We have increased our capacity to serve our southern West Virginia audiences by placing extension staff on the ground in Logan, McDowell, Nicholas, Raleigh and Summers counties. Growing partnerships with organizations such as the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System and the Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action Inc. are broadening our efforts in community development, agriculture, tourism, and health and fitness. Over the past year, we successfully hosted the inaugural West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference, our campus became the first in the state to receive Tree Campus U.S.A. designation, we held our first Lean Startup Machine business training event and our school-based agriculture efforts have established garden sites in several counties. These are only a few of the new ways WVSU Extension Service is helping West Virginians lead happier, healthier lives. On the previous page, President Hemphill and Vice President McMeans suggest that this issue of Extension Matters — our 20th — is loosely based around the concept of transition. From changing seasons to changing lifestyles to changing program initiatives, that notion is permeating WVSU Extension Service across the board. It is an exciting time to be with our organization, whether you’re participating in one of our many educational workshops or simply reading this informative magazine. Here’s to a season of new beginnings for us all. Happy Fall!

Ami M. Smith, Ph.D. Associate Dean and Associate Director WVSU Extension Service


ex te n s io n m at te r s | fal l /w i nte r 2 01 4

wvstate u .e du /extensi o n

The Power of the Post: Social Media and Your Small Business Stacy Herrick, Communications Specialist, sherrick1@wvstateu.edu For more information about social media for small business, go to our blog at wvsuextension.com


s most people know by now, social media is not just a passing fad. It is becoming a way of life. And for small business owners, social media is beginning to play a larger role in their marketing and advertising tactics. According to the National Small Business Association, 73 percent of small businesses were using social media in 2013. This number is a major increase from the 47 percent that were using it in 2010. The increase could be due to a variety of factors, such as wider availability, better understanding of how social media works or people realizing that it is not just a trend that is going to eventually go away. However, the real takeaway from these numbers is the reality that social media is playing a larger role for small businesses and how important it is to be involved. A lot of us have our own personal Facebook pages or Twitter accounts, but what are the benefits of your small business using social media?


When marketing budgets are small, or non-existent, social media grants the user the opportunity to engage with audiences using social networks for free. All it takes to connect wvst ateu .ed u /ex te ns i o n

is the time to create a profile for your company on whatever site you want to use. From there, your business can begin connecting to other businesses and, more importantly, customers. For an added boost to your presence, ad space can be purchased through these networks; however, it is not always necessary.

about an interaction with a company. This allows a company to directly address a customer’s specific problem or request with a personalized, direct response.


Different companies approach social media in different ways. Some choose to keep everything straight-laced and strictly business, while others will interject their personality into their profile and posts, making light of situations and giving them a human quality. There is no right or wrong approach to this; it is all in how a business wants to be viewed. Taking your audience into consideration when planning your business’s online personality is key. Are they the type of people that want just the facts, or do they prefer engaging with your business like you’ve been longtime friends?

Customer Service Social media is one of the easiest ways to handle customer service. Users feel more of a personal connection using networks such as Facebook and Twitter to talk

On the other side of this, thanks to social media, people also expect a faster and more personalized experience compared to the past when all they could do was blindly send an email, write a letter or call a customer service line and receive a generic, scripted response.


According to a LinkedIn survey, learning plays a major role in why many small businesses are on social media. It gives them “access to a network of peers to ask questions or get recommendations,” letting them learn from the experts in their industry and obtain best practices. By seeing how other successful small businesses are managing their accounts, it may give them ideas in how they could be utilizing those platforms for themselves. The point of all of this is to show that no matter what industry your small business is in or which customer segment you are trying to reach, there is likely going to be an audience for it on social media — it is effective, wide-reaching and free.

References: 2013 Small Business Survey. (2013, January 1). Retrieved September 12, 2014, from www. nsba.biz/wp-content/ uploads/2013/09/ Technology-Survey-2013. pdf The 7 most interesting social media stats and what to learn from them. (2013, April 2). Retrieved September 12, 2014, from blog.bufferapp. com/social-media-statsstudies

fall/win te r 201 4 | ex ten s ion matters


The Art of Science: Supporting Science Education in Children

Micheal W. Fultz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry, mfultz@wvstateu.edu


hen my son was four years old, he drew a picture of an octopus. His teacher, ready to move to the next activity, approached him and said that it was not time to draw fish. He very politely told her that he was not drawing fish, but cephalopods. The teacher was astonished: how many fouryear-old kids know the word cephalopod, much less use it correctly in a sentence? From that point on, people have been asking me how they can engage kids in science. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2014), West Virginia has consistently demonstrated proficiencies in math and science test scores that are lower than the national average. To improve these scores, data


shows that parental support and partnering with the school system in educating children will significantly increase their comprehension and accomplishments (U.S. Department of Education, 2014). As a father of four and a science educator, I am privileged to see both sides of a child’s education. Even at the beginning of their formal education, I see my children being challenged with new material, encouraged when they do well and supported when they struggle. I am filled with pride as they excitedly answer the question “what did you learn at school today?” I take an active role in their education because, as an educator, I believe that one of the greatest influences of student success is the support

ex te n s io n m at te r s | fal l /w i nte r 2 01 4

they receive at home. According to the teachers I have worked with, the most common ways parents can offer support include emotional, intellectual and fiscal. Unfortunately, intellectual support is what many parents feel least capable of fulfilling in the sciences. Thankfully, there are many useful tools that can help students achieve their potential.

Career Information

Introducing students to careers in the science field can spark imagination and a desire to learn. Schools have career days to begin this introduction, but this is often limited mostly to careers that are already well known to students. Thankfully for parents, there are hightech ways for students to be wvstate u .e du /extensi o n

introduced to lesser-known, more specialized careers in technology, science and research. If you have a capable device, there are apps that can provide this experience free of charge. Two apps that my children enjoy are Science 360 from the National Science Foundation and Science Reader from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Both of these apps introduce the public to a wide range of cuttingedge research with potential applications to real-world problems and personal stories from some of the top researchers in the field.

Professional Organizations

Depending on the age of students, many professional science organizations have junior memberships or K-12 school equivalents with membership either free or offered for minimal charge. Schools can develop their own chapter of these organizations and can receive support from their educational divisions upon request. Part of this support includes aligning local content experts to act as mentors and introduce endless opportunities of professional development and creative programs. Nationally and internationally recognized associations that fulfill this need include the American Chemical Society and AAAS. Many schools and universities have additional science education support for young students. Running during the academic year and summer, wvst ateu .ed u /ex te ns i o n

these programs help motivated students excel and/or provide supplementary help for those who are in need. The Boy and Girl Scouts are also groups with science components.

Promoting Curiosity

It is said that children are “naturally scientists” (National Science Foundation, 2014). They love to ask the question “Why?” In my house, it can range from “Why is the sky blue?” to “Why does water dissolve stuff?” With four children, my wife and I are constantly bombarded with “Why? Why? Why?” Of course, this seems to be a fairly common theme with other parents. Instead of seeing these questions as a distraction, take a moment and explain the “whys.” If you do not feel that you can give a satisfactory answer, take the time to look up the answer with your child. Prove to them that learning is a lifelong and admirable mission. If this still does not provide a satisfactory answer, and, trust me, sometimes it doesn’t, take your child to a science teacher, a K–12 science event at a university or a science museum. Encouragement can also be found in discussions of current events. Try to keep your child engaged in age-appropriate public discourse about science. With the recent explosion in technology, we have seen many age-old problems addressed, but new ones constantly arise. Modern science continues to provide new materials, medicines and opportunities. These advancements create

new research topics and ethical concerns that must be addressed by future generations of scientists. Exposing budding scientists to current events and debates will encourage them to develop their own ideas and help them to solidify a proper code of ethics and honesty. This is vital in a world of research where character is a major factor in the success of the individual.

Read, Write, Communicate

All of these ideas will significantly enhance the science literacy of the next generation and make them ready for the technological jobs of tomorrow. However, in the competitive job market, just knowing the subject is not enough. I can tell you that as an educator one of the biggest problems we face is the student’s ability to communicate. In the professional setting, people have to write grants for funding, communicate their results in publications, explain diagnoses and write out procedures for References others to follow. As strange as National Center of this may sound, to help your Education Statistics. students succeed in the sciences, (2014). State Education Data profiles. Retrieved get them to read and write. August 30, 2014, from Read books to, and with, them. nces.ed.gov/programs/ stateprofiles/sresult. Have them read to you. Write asp?mode=full&display creatively. Write to communicate cat=7&s1=54. with family and friends. Write National Science (2014). reports on books they enjoy. Just Foundation. Babies are born scientists. Retrieved make sure they read and write September 4, 2014, about the passions they have. from nsf.gov/news/ news_summ.jsp?cntn_ Reading brings in a world of id=125575&org=NSF& information, and writing helps to from. think about, organize and make U. S. Department of Education. (2014). sense of it. Remember, having Archived Information. scientific knowledge means Retrieved August 30, 2014, from www2.ed.gov/ nothing if we can’t critique, pubs/FamInvolve/index. express and share it with others. html.

fall/win te r 201 4 | ex ten s ion matters



It Isn’t Just for Summer Anymore How to extend your growing season Brad Cochran, CARD Extension Agent, bcochran2@wvstateu.edu



ave you ever dreamed of a big, juicy tomato in May or June? Or maybe a fresh salad with lettuce, spinach, carrots and radish during Thanksgiving or Christmas? Perhaps you sell produce at a local farmers market and would like to have products to sell earlier and later into the market season? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then taking advantage of growing season extension practices may be right for you. Generally speaking, season extension can be defined as anything that allows a crop to be grown beyond its normal outdoor growing season (Roos & Jones, 2014). Some common examples of season extension are greenhouses and high tunnels, but are there other options? You bet!

allow for season extension.

The biggest problems and obstacles with greenhouses and high tunnels are the cost of construction (though the Natural Resources Conservation Service does have a cost-share program to assist in purchasing high tunnels) and the hefty footprint they leave on your property. For small-scale growers in particular, the cost of these structures may be too much to even consider season extension as an option. However, there are a couple different options that are available to you at a much lower cost and with a very small footprint. These options are low tunnels and cold frames that

Cold frames are structures that have a hinged lid on top to allow you, as the grower, to keep it sealed shut or be open for increased airflow. They can be made from a variety of materials ranging from PVC, wood or metal frames and covered with greenhouse grade plastic, twin-wall polycarbonate greenhouse material, or they can be constructed using recycled home windows or other recycled materials. Cold frame kits can also be purchased from many online retailers and typically range in price from $80–$250. Homemade cold frames can also be built for less than $20 using recycled

ex te n s io n m at te r s | fal l /w i nte r 2 01 4

Low tunnels are essentially a miniature version of high tunnels that can be attached directly to raised beds or placed in the ground for traditional growing. The low tunnels are covered with greenhouse-grade plastic that heats up the sunlight and keeps the soil and plants warmer than they would be if left exposed to the elements. The frame of the low tunnel can be constructed from a number of materials, but the most common are metal conduit, bent and shaped to fit the site where it will be placed, or PVC pipe bent to fit the location of use. The metal conduit will be much sturdier against the elements but more expensive than PVC.

wvstate u .e du /extensi o n

Low tunnels, like these on the WVSU campus, can nearly double the length of the traditional growing season.

materials. They can be standalone structures placed directly on the ground or mounted to raised beds. Designs and growing information for cold frames can be found at: www.hws.edu/fli/pdf/cold_frame.pdf (Weiss, 2012). So why is season extension so important? Because it allows for additional weeks of growing fresh, local produce available for family consumption or for sale in local markets or restaurants. Additionally, if you are going through with the expense of constructing raised beds, it is better to utilize the growing space for as long in the year as possible to make the investment worthwhile. Low tunnels and cold frames are great at extending your cool season harvest of lettuces and greens (collards, mustard, turnip, etc.), radishes, carrots and other vegetables well into the holiday season. Low tunnels and cold frames are also great ways to get a head start on the growing season in the spring. They enable you to directly plant cool season crops earlier in the year and also create a place to “harden off” plants started from seeds, like tomatoes, peppers and others. Cold frames in particular are great devices to have in place for the hardening-off process, in which you bring seeds started indoors under grow lights outdoors to get wvst ateu .ed u /ex te ns i o n

the plants adjusted to cooler temperatures. Cold frames are places where plants are almost weaned away from high temperatures indoors, but can still be protected from the elements that can come with a late frost up until mid-May. Extending the growing season, especially here in West Virginia, is very important when it comes to having a supply of fresh produce for sale or for personal consumption at home. Unfortunately, we have a winter season which does not allow for traditional cropping methods to be effective during the typical year. Luckily, there are some ways to mitigate the issue of cold winters and extend our growing season from the typical May–October to late February/early March and into November/ December depending on that particular winter season. Being able to extend the season by just this References D. & Jones, little bit can increase the growing season from five Roos, D. (2014). Season Extension: Introduction or six months to 10 months. Keep those plants protected in low tunnels or cold frames, get your seedlings hardened off earlier, and extend your growing season and your overall production starting now. Low tunnels and cold frames are easy to construct and relatively inexpensive for all of the wonderful things they can do for your garden production. Happy growing!

and Basic Principles. Retrieved from North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Season Extension: Introduction and Basic Principles. Weiss, D. (2012). Retrieved from The Cold Frame Handbook: www.hws.edu/fli/pdf/ cold_frame.pdf.

fall/win te r 201 4 | ex ten s ion matters


Smooth Transitions:

Making the Move From High School to College Kaysha Moreno, HOUSE Program Coordinator, morenokt@wvstateu.edu


he transition from high school to college is a turning point in the lives of young people — one that requires considerable thought and preparation. For many of us, it’s our first experience as an adult, responsible for our own success and wellbeing. Unfortunately, many high school graduates are not as prepared for life after high school as they could be, often citing deficiencies in mathematics, English, reading comprehension and writing (Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc., 2005). In fact, almost 30 percent of students do not graduate high school with a regular diploma (Swanson, 2004). So how can the recent high school grad enter into college with as few complications as possible?

A Different World Although this can differ from


individual to individual based on their ability to adjust to new environments, transitioning from high school to college can be a very trying experience. Some people come to college and take it for granted, because high school was such a breeze for them. During the early stages of college, students’ interaction with peers can have a significant influence on the first year of intellectual growth. Social support networks are important factors in helping students cope with the transition to college. Freshmen especially face a lot of major changes, whether coming from a small, private prep school or a huge, public high school, college courses will definitely differ from high school classes. The size of college classes will vary greatly. Intro-level courses often seat hundreds of students. Yes, it will be

ex te n s io nm n m at te r s | fal l /w i nte r 2 01 4

intimidating, but bigger classes, especially lectures, are all about listening and taking notes, so there will be minimal time to talk to neighbors. If by the end of the semester students feel unsuited to large classes, talk to an advisor about finding smaller courses, such as seminars or discussions, that better cater to personal needs. Unfortunately, intro-level courses are almost always large in capacity.

The Big Issues Beyond size differences, classroom demands in high school are much different than college. In high school, the required classwork is generally less demanding. Assignments are much easier to complete and are shorter in length compared to college work. Teachers set the deadlines closer since it doesn’t require a lot of time to complete

wvstate u .e du /extensi o n

assignments. In college, work is not as easy and requires a lot more time to complete, thus longer deadlines are provided. There are three specific things students can focus on and prepare for to potentially ease the transition:

1. Time management:

Starting in kindergarten, school days are primarily structured based on fixed increments of time for the same subjects each day. Students experience this type of structure for 12 years, and then they must make a drastic change to a schedule that is more flexible and unpredictable. Differences in class schedules, homework, part-time jobs and social activities requires a level of time management to which many college students simply are not accustomed.

2. Academic Workload: The greatest demand will be reading and preparing for class. This is a challenge

wvst ateu .ed u /ex te ns i o n

because students report the lack of demand to complete any substantial reading for classes in high school. They often study for a test 15 minutes before class and still perform well. The difference in college is that students will usually have homework every day. Even if none is oďŹƒcially assigned, there is required reading that must be done. A good model to follow is that for every one hour of class, students should spend three hours outside of class studying and preparing.

3. Personal responsibility: Students must understand that they are responsible for what happens in their lives. During earlier stages in life, it is easy to place blame on teachers, parents or siblings in order to justify our own faults. The truth of the matter is both failures and successes should be accredited to the person individually. In college, no

one will be there to make sure a student makes it to an 8 a.m. class. Professors may not remind the class to complete and turn in research papers by the deadline. Instead, they provide a syllabus to follow for that type of information.

So, What Should I Do? In conclusion, students should not only take control of their own education but also get to know their professors. Professors are their single greatest resource. Be assertive, create a support system and seek help when needed. Students must learn to take control of their time, plan ahead to satisfy academic obligations and make room for everything else in their lives. Addressing these issues may allow students the time to prepare and develop the skills to help ease their transition into college. Think beyond the present — set goals not only for the semester or the year, but for the entire college career.

References Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc. (2005). Rising to the challenge: Are high school graduates prepared for college and work? Prepared for Achieve, Inc., Washington, DC. Swanson, C. (2004). Who graduates? Who doesn’t? A statistical portrait of public high school graduation, class of 2001. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

fall/win te r 201 4 | ex ten s ion matters


10 Reasons You AREN’T

Losing Weight Jenelle Robinson, Ph.D., CHES, Assistant Professor and Health Sciences Program Director, WVSU Health, Human Performance and Leisure Studies, jrobinson12@wvstateu.edu


References: Epel, E.S., McEwen, B., Seeman, T., Matthews, K., Castellazzo, G., Brownell, K.D., Bell, & J., Ickovics, J.R. (2000). Stress and body shape: stress-induced cortisol secretion is consistently greater among women with central fat. Psychosom Med. 2000 Sep-Oct; 62(5):623-32. Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight. (n.d.) Retrieved September 3, 2014, from www.cdc.gov/ healthyweight/healthy_ eating/index.html. Kyle, T., & Kuehl, B. (n.d.) Prescription Medications and What You Need to Know. Retrieved September 3, 2014, from www.obesityaction.org/ wp-content/uploads/ prescription_medications. pdf. Weight Management: Increase Physical Activity. (n.d.). Retrieved September 3, 2014, from www.choosemyplate. gov/weightmanagement-calories/ weight-management/ better-choices/increasephysical-activity.html.


any of us have tried several diet plans and succeeded. The truth is, most all diets work at helping a person to lose weight. Most dietary regimens for weight loss are based on lowering your total daily caloric intake (many times anywhere from 1200–1500 calories). However, there are some individuals who restrict their caloric intake but don’t see weight loss. These are areas that must be adjusted in order for us to continue losing weight. 1. Your body has to get used to your new regimen.

Many times, our bodies just have to adjust when we throw something different at it. When we change up the amount of calories we consume, introduce different foods or begin a new exercise program, it may just take a little time to adjust, but it shouldn’t take weeks. 2. You are not physically active enough.

You may have decided to start exercising in your efforts to lose weight, but if an individual has not significantly changed their eating habits, they are only exercising enough to maintain their current weight. Couple the exercises with a change in your eating habits to see results. If

you have already changed your eating habits, you may need to lengthen your exercise regimen just a bit. Exercise at least 30 minutes to an hour, five days a week. 3. You are still eating too many calories.

Many people decrease their caloric intake in efforts to lose weight but only enough to maintain their current weight. A general rule of thumb is to consume 1200-1500 calories per day. But this will definitely depend on your gender and current weight. 4. You are eating too few calories.

What a paradox. Either you are eating too many or too few calories. While eating too many calories is not good for weight loss, eating too few calories is not ideal either. The actual act of eating enables your body to burn more calories. People who only eat one or two times a day and aren’t losing weight are likely suffering from a slowed metabolism because their bodies are used to fewer meals. For weight loss, it would be advantageous to eat at least five to six times a day. Ideally, a person should consume three regular meals (300-400 calories)

ex te n s io n m at te r s | fal l /w i nte r 2 01 4

with small 100-calorie (or less) snacks in between. 5. Hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism slows down the rate at which your body burns energy (calories). Many make great strides to eat fewer calories, eat healthier foods and exercise but see no success because they have this issue with the thyroid. There is not a whole lot that can be done besides medication and possibly surgical procedures. Check with your doctor for your options. 6. Your hormones are out of whack!

Your hormones can play a significant role in your ability to lose weight. Some ways to balance your hormone levels are to limit stress and get some sleep. Regular exercise may also help with regulating your hormones. If all else fails, your doctor may be able to prescribe medication or some type of regimen to help with this. 7. Your medication is interfering with weight loss.

Speaking of medications, taking certain medications can cause you not to lose weight. Check the labels and the pages that come with your medication wvstate u .e du /extensi o n

to see if weight gain or water retention is listed. This may be the culprit. 8. You aren’t going to the bathroom enough.

You can eat all of the healthiest foods in the world, limit your calories and exercise like an athlete in training, but if you are only using the bathroom once a week, your weight loss will probably be limited. Simply put, weight loss could come through having good, consistent bowel movements. Also, drink more water (8–10 cups/day), which could help with “moving things along.”

10. You are cheating on your “diet” more than you know.

There are those days when you get cravings…several cravings throughout the day. What you don’t realize is that giving in to these cravings is adding more calories than you know. If you only “go on a diet” and don’t make lifestyle changes of healthy eating, you will have cravings frequently and will probably cheat more than you know. People who do extreme dieting may often eat few

calories but may splurge and have high-calorie or high-fat snacks. This adds up to more calories eaten and less weight lost. If you make a lifestyle change of just eating healthy and eating less calories, you don’t have to splurge, you can just set a standard of incorporating the things that you like to eat (that may be higher in sugar and fat) on a regular basis (i.e., allowing yourself one piece of cake only on Saturdays).

9. Your body has gotten used to what you have been doing.

Many people have lost a tremendous amount of weight, only to reach a point where they stop losing weight despite sticking to a strict diet and exercise plan. The problem is that they likely have plateaued — the body has gotten used to what they’re doing. Just think, the more weight a person loses, the less food that person will need. So you can’t keep eating the same amount of food you ate 20 pounds ago and expect to continue to lose weight. The answer to this is simple: eat less OR exercise more OR eat less and exercise more OR change up your exercise routine to a higher intensity. How many of these are impacting your weight loss? Join our conversation at the new Extension Matters blog: wvsuextension.com. wvst ateu .ed u /ex te ns i o n

fall/win te r 201 4 | ex ten s ion matters


Mother Nature, Father Christmas: Bringing the Outdoors Into the Holidays Jenny Totten, CARD Extension Agent, jtotten@wvstateu.edu


he warmer months are ideal outdoor time for lots of reasons. With baseball, swimming pools and gardening as our typical summer backdrop, it seems hard to think of doing anything outside once the cooler weather of fall and winter creeps into the neighborhood. As the nights turn chilly and the days grow shorter, here are some suggestions to enjoy nature with your kids!

Plant Some Bulbs Spring flowering bulbs are a great reminder that warmer weather is arriving soon toward the end of a long winter. Head to your local (or online) store to order and plant tulips and daffodils in the early fall. The ideal time for bulb planting is when nighttime temperatures begin to dip into the upper 40s and 50s. Have your young ones help you dig the holes, place the bulbs and cover gently with soil to tuck them in for a long winter’s nap. For the more engineering- and geographyminded youth, have them create a map of your property showing where the bulbs are planted. When the flowers emerge in the spring, you can compare the map to the actual planting and see how close the drawing is to reality.


Nature Scavenger Hunts You don’t have to be an expert at tree identification to enjoy the beauty of fall colors. Beginning in late September, across the mountains and northern panhandle and stretching to late October down south, reds, yellows and oranges begin to take over the landscape (West Virginia State Parks, 2014). Now is the perfect time to lace up those trusty hiking boots and head outdoors on a nature scavenger hunt! Before you head outside, make a list of objects to find. These could include everything from a maple leaf (for the experts) to a stick in the shape of a “Y” (for the more creative souls among us). Use your imagination to give the children in your life some outdoor recreation and exercise where they don’t even realize they’re burning calories. Even better than bringing objects back to a home base, hand them a digital camera to take snapshots of their list. (If your kids have a mobile phone with a camera, have them bring it along if you don’t have digital cameras.)

Pinecone Birdfeeders Birds have a hard time finding food during the colder months when the ground is covered with snow. Here’s how to make a birdfeeder to hang on your trees

ex te n s io n m at te r s | fal l /w i nte r 2 01 4

so you can watch the birds from inside with a toasty mug of hot chocolate. Materials needed: large pinecones, twine or yarn, scissors, peanut butter or vegetable shortening, spreading utensil (i.e. butter knife), birdseed, oats.


(OutdoorParent, 2009): 1) For each birdfeeder you plan to make, cut and tie one piece of string around one pinecone. Leave enough length to hang or tie it to a tree branch. 2) Using the spreading utensil, spread the peanut butter or shortening onto the pinecone. 3) Roll the pinecone in birdseed and/or oats. 4) Repeat for each pinecone and then head outside and hang up your creations for the birds to have their winter feast! You can also choose to decorate an outside tree with pinecone feeders, strings of popcorn or other delightful snacks for your bird friends to enjoy during the holidays. wvstate u .e du /extensi o n

Holiday Wreaths A terrific and creative family holiday activity is to make wreaths! Before you sit down to make your wreaths, gather several different kinds of evergreen branches from area trees. You want boughs that are no more than 1-2 feet long and easy to prune with hand pruners. White pines in particular make very stunning wreaths, as does a mixture of several different kinds of trees. For a southern twist on a traditional wreath, trim some magnolia branches. Materials needed: tree branches, small hand pruners, wreath form(s), floral wire, decorations (ribbons, glitter, holiday ornaments); visit your local craft store for wreath forms and wire.

Directions: 1) Gather a small handful of evergreen branches and trim until the ends are even. 2) Place this bunch on the wreath form as a single bunch and wrap it several times with floral wire. 3) Continue around the wreath in this manner, taking care to place full bunches on the wreath close together. 4) Once your wreath is completely covered, clip the floral wire and tuck in the last loose end. 5) Using small pieces of floral wire, add ornaments or other decorations to your wreath, or use ribbon to add a bow or other stylish accessory. wvst ateu .ed u /ex te ns i o n

6) Hang your wreath on an exterior door to prevent heat stress, and spray with a water bottle once or twice a week to keep the evergreen looking fresh.

Snow Painting

The first snow day of the year can be a celebration if you’re able to stay home and put off school or work for a little while. If you wake up one morning with a thick blanket of white outside, bundle up and head out for some snow painting fun. Materials needed: spray bottles, food coloring, cold water.

Directions: 1) Place 30 drops of food coloring in each spray bottle and add cold water. Mix thoroughly. 2) Once outside, hand the bottles to the kids and let them create a masterpiece in the backyard, using the snow as their canvas. 3) Your young artists may want to build snow forts or a sculpture and then color their creations with the food coloring. This is perfectly acceptable, just do not allow the building of tunnels or structures where snow may cave in on a child when sprayed with the food coloring mixture. Enjoy these ideas this year as fall and winter approach, and your children will love you for getting them outside while everybody else is cooped up indoors.

References OutdoorParent. (2009). Pinecone bird feeder. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from www. theoutdoorparent. com/?p=645. West Virginia State Parks. (2014). Fall color peaks. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from www.wvstateparks. com/fallmap.html.

fall/win te r 201 4 | ex ten s ion matters


Sarah Halstead, CARD Extension Specialist, shalstead@wvstateu.edu


ant a job you absolutely love? One that makes a difference in the world, pays well and offers a lifestyle that incorporates your interests and abilities? Chances are, you’ll have to make that job yourself. I’m talking about you becoming a small business owner...or maybe an entrepreneur. I work with a lot of startup businesses. Every day I talk with people who share their ideas for making money or making their community a better place. Some business ideas are designed to replace a lost income, but some aim to change the way we all do things, often using technology as an enabler. Lately, as I listen to people share their passion, schemes and plans for future businesses, I put them into one of two categories: small business owner or entrepreneur. There is a difference.

References Marks, G. (2012). The difference between an entrepreneur and a small business owner. Forbes. Retrieved October 3, 2014, from www.forbes.com/sites/ quickerbettertech/2012/ 06/06/the-differencebetween-anentrepreneur-and-asmall-business-owner/.


Small business owner Gene Marks offers a terrific explanation of the difference between the small business owner and the entrepreneur. In a 2012 Forbes article, Marks says, “Entrepreneurs are risk takers...dreamers...never satisfied with the status quo. They thrive on chaos, they have their fingers in different jars. That’s why you

hear of them failing several times before they hit the mark.” I love the tagline of Lean Startup Machine, an intensive business development workshop: Fail fast, succeed faster. In fact, among all the services we could provide for a startup, the most important is teaching how to test business assumptions in fast, cheap and authentic ways, so money, time and other valuable resources are not wasted. This is a basic principle of the Lean Startup methodology, made famous by Steve Blank and Eric Ries. For entrepreneurs and small business owners, the faster you learn what doesn’t work, the closer you’ll be to discovering what does. So why make the distinction between entrepreneurs and small business owners, and why should you care? How we help each can be very different. In some circles, the terms are treated as if they are synonymous. Marks suggests the next time you drive around town, take a look around at the dozens of shops in your area — gas stations, bakeries, restaurants, boutiques. Then think about the plumbers, electricians, landscapers, accountants, lawyers and others you pay throughout the year. They are not entrepreneurs. They are small

ex te n s io n m at te r s | fal l /w i nte r 2 01 4


Self-motivated, passion ate, goaland community-oriente d problem solver with excellent ab ility to research, plan, stretch a budget and provide excellent custo mer service.


From $0 – $91,000+; po sition could include bonuses, profit sharing, car, retirement plan.


Abbreviated List:

• Demonstrate basic to advanced knowledge of compute r applications such as M icrosoft Word and Excel

• Demonstrate proficie ncy with email management • Demonstrate willing ness to research, create and ma nage multiple social media channels to engage and grow cu stomer base • Demonstrate superio r subject matter expertise • Demonstrate ability to test business assumptions and incorporate customer fee dback in business planning

wvstate u .e du /extensi o n

business owners. They aren’t out to change the world. They solve problems in their community. They just want to make a living and take care of their families. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Entrepreneurs, however, are prone to be “geeks.” They are often more technical. They have huge ideas, they are excited about products and customers that don’t yet exist. Marks says they tend to “love inventions, science, new technologies and new ways to change the world.” They don’t do what they do for a paycheck. In fact, they often don’t draw a paycheck for years, as they repeatedly test and fail over many years. In my work with startups, knowing the difference

between an entrepreneur and a small business owner helps us collaboratively shape and manage expectations as we provide business planning and development services to a growing and diverse number of individuals. The tools and resources offered to small businesses and entrepreneurs move both toward their goals, but often our entrepreneurs must test assumptions about products and customers that don’t yet exist. They require a different set of resources. Got an idea for a business? My recommendation is first, determine what you are or what you want to be: a small business owner or an entrepreneur. This determination will help shape your strategy. Next, make it a point to ask other

business people questions that can help you determine whether or not this is the right path for you. Ask around the small business development and support ecosystem to try to map available planning and development resources. Finally, understand that no one can do the work for you. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to get up to speed on the computer applications, equipment, social media, Web design, business planning, marketing best practices and subject matter expertise required to run a business today. Lean Startup Machine principles and workshops are now part of the WVSU Economic Development Center’s offerings. Visit wvsuedc.org for details.

The Doctors Are In...Business! Drs. Walter Neto (left) and Brett Jarrell could become the next big thing in the beauty product business. This fall, with the help of Extension staff members at the WVSU Economic Development Center (EDC), the Huntington-based physicians will launch Biovita, a line of high-end cellular skin care products. It’s a success story that began, admittedly, by happenstance.

While completing his intern year of general residency conducting burn and wound healing research, Neto developed a serum to help in the skin graft healing process that proved to have antiaging benefits. Teaming with Jarrell, an emergency room physician, the pair began pondering the feasibility of starting their own business. They tested the product with a select group of users in late 2013, and the response was overwhelming.

As the product continued to be honed and additional items created, the urge to become entrepreneurs increased, with one glitch: medical school curriculum doesn’t cover launching and sustaining a small business. “Having a good product and successfully marketing it as a business are two very different things,” admits Neto. The doctors needed help, and that’s where WVSU Extension Service stepped in. To learn more about how WVSU helped this business venture, visit our blog at wvsuextension.com.

“Our users reported that their skin felt younger, silky, more hydrated,” says Jarrell. “Their friends were noticing a difference and were asking what products they were using to get those effects.” wvst ateu .ed u /ex te ns i o n

fall/win te r 201 4 | ex ten s ion matters


The Winter Workout:

How to Keep the Cold-Weather Blahs Out of Your Fitness Regimen Derrien Williams, Resilient Youth and Families Extension Agent, williadj@wvstateu.edu


e all know the benefits of physical activity, right? People who are physically active tend to live longer and have lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and some cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). In addition, physical activity can also help with weight control and improve academic achievement in students (CDC, 2014). We hear statistics such as these all the time. So why do less than half of all adults meet the CDC’s 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines and less than three in 10 high school students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day (CDC, 2014)? According to Forbes magazine, the most common excuse for people not engaging in physical activity is lack of time. Membership fees to gyms, whether you have children or not, and neighborhood safety can also play a role in people not exercising. Throw in the fact that the weather is changing from warm, sunny days to cooler, gloomy days, and the shortened amount of daylight, and the motivation for people to exercise understandably lowers. In fact, a recent Gallup poll stated that Americans do typically exercise more in the spring and summer and less in the fall and winter (Mendes, 2011). But, don’t let these factors deter you. The good news is that you can get a full-body workout right at home without equipment. Stairs, chairs, step stools and objects around the home can be used to work all the major muscle groups (Newell, 2011). Besides the aforementioned benefits of physical activity, working out at home can involve your family and is free of charge. The CDC recommends aerobic exercise at a moderate pace for at least 150 minutes a week and strength training on at least two days of the week. Kimberly Caines at Livestrong suggests using water bottles or just body weight for resistance. She adds, “Try


ex te n s io n m at te r s | fal l /w i nte r 2 01 4

targeting your major muscle groups to stimulate muscle all throughout your body.” Lori Newell at Livestrong adds that the exercises listed below are some of the most effective when conducting a workout at home.

Stair Climb If you have stairs at home, use

them for a cardiovascular workout. The American Council on Exercise states that climbing stairs at a brisk pace for just 13 minutes a day can improve cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol levels. Break it up by running up for one set, then walking then taking two stairs at a time.

Squats Squats

target the buttocks and thighs. For a basic squat, stand with the legs about hip-width apart. Bend the knees and reach the buttocks back as if about to sit in a chair. Press into the heels and come back up. Go slowly and use control. For more of a challenge, hold onto soup cans, laundry detergent bottles or other weighted objects. For variety, place one foot on a stool and squat, keeping equal weight in both legs. Try placing the right ankle on the left knee for a one-legged squat. Do eight to 12 repetitions and switch legs.

Chair dips The chair dip is another general

upper-body exercise. Sit at the edge of a chair and place your hands on the edge of the chair. Walk the legs out and slide the buttocks off the seat. The farther out the feet are, the harder the exercise. Bend your elbows and lower your buttocks as far as possible. Push back up to seat height, without wvstate u .e du /extensi o n

lifting the hips. Do eight to 12 repetitions.


Push-ups work the major muscle groups in the upper body. They can be done against a wall with your hands on a chair or on the floor with your knees up or down. According to the President’s Council on Fitness, push-ups are a good way to determine if upper body strength is good or poor.

When doing push-ups, keep your body in a straight line and do not drop the hips, which can occur if your arms are weak. If this happens, make the movement smaller and use good form. Make the movement bigger as your upper body gets stronger. Healthy adults should be able to do between 20 to 50 push-ups in a minute, depending on age and gender.

Lunges Lunges strengthen and tone the buttocks

and legs. Stand in a lunge position with the front knee aligned over the ankle. Keep the back heel up off the floor and the toes of both feet facing forward. Drop the back knee straight down, but do not lunge forward. It is important to keep the knee aligned over the ankle. Do wvst ateu .ed u /ex te ns i o n

eight to 12 repetitions and switch legs. Hold a weighted object to make the lunges harder. As part of family time, you can include your children (if they are able to perform) and husband/wife in these exercises. You can also make it interesting by including obstacle courses. Andrea Cespedes suggests in her article “List of Fun Exercises for Kids” to “set up an indoor or outdoor obstacle course. Indoors, line up a jump rope, a hula-hoop, a pillow, a ball and several cans or bottles. Have your child jump rope for 10 counts, swing the hoop for 30 seconds, jump over the pillow 10 times, dribble the ball for 30 seconds and weave through the cans. Ask them to repeat References it five to 10 times, then invite them to create their Caines, K. (2014, March 5). A List of own course.” If you prefer an outdoor environment for exercising, cold weather causes muscles to lose more heat and contract, resulting in tightness around the body. Therefore, joints get tighter, muscles lose their range of motion, and nerves can more easily be pinched (CNN, 2014). Make sure that you warm up a little longer to prevent damage. According to CNN (2014), a basic rule of thumb is to warm up for 10 minutes when the temperature is between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. For each 10-degree temperature drop below 35, extend your warm-up by five minutes. Some bodyweight exercises — like push-ups, dips, squats, lunges and bicycle crunches — are ideal for getting your blood flowing. Don’t let the fall and winter blues reduce your desire to be physically active this season, especially if you’re prone to indulge in high-calorie holiday treats. These simple and fun indoor and aroundthe-house exercises well keep you fit during the cold months while you’re waiting patiently for the spring thaw.

Go to our new blog at wvsuextension.com for videos of how to perform these exercises using the proper technique.

Workout Sessions To Do At Home. Retrieved 18 September, 2014, from Livestrong: www. livestrong.com Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014, May 23). Facts about Physical Activity. Retrieved September 18, 2014, from www.cdc. gov/physicalactivity/data/ facts.html Cespedes, A. (2013, August 19). List of Fun Exercises For Kids. Retrieved September 18, 2014, from Livestrong: www.livestrong.com Dusen, A. V. (2008, February 27). Ten Reasons You’re a Couch Potato. Retrieved September 18, 2014, from Forbes: www. forbes.com Greviskes, A. (2014, February 7). Do your muscles hurt more when it’s cold outside? Retrieved September 18, 2014, from CNN Health: www.cnn.com Mendes, E. (2011, December 8). U.S. Health Habits Continue Sharp Winter Decline. Retrieved 18 September, 2014, from www.gallup. com/poll Newell, L. (2011, March 9). Best Home Workouts Without Equipment. Retrieved September 18, 2014, from Livestrong: www.livestrong.com

fall/win te r 201 4 | ex ten s ion matters


A Simple Gift

Lynn Lewis Kessler, Communications and Development, Read Aloud West Virginia, lynnkesslerrawv@gmail.com


here is a free and simple gift everyone can give a child that will increase his or her chances of leading a successful life. Research consistently supports that reading aloud to a child is one of the most valuable gifts you can give. This gift builds vocabulary and increases standardized test scores; it improves empathy and socialization. The United States Department of Education has called it the “single most important” tool for gaining the skills that are necessary for learning to read, and the ability to read is the foundation of all knowledge. Conversely, children who are not given this gift often lack the skills required to succeed


academically. They are more likely to drop out of high school and engage in risky behavior, such as drug and alcohol abuse. They even have an increased likelihood of incarceration. A child’s education does not begin on the first day of school. In fact, it begins at birth. The words a child hears serve to fill his or her word toolbox. Children whose toolboxes are filled from an early age will have a distinct advantage when they begin their formal education. Family members and other important individuals in a child’s early years are among the most influential teachers he or she will ever have, and they all have access to this highly acclaimed learning tool—because words

ex te n s io n m at te r s | fal l /w i nte r 2 01 4

and library books are free. As Adriana Weislander, the author of a Stanford University research study on early language development, says, “Toddlers learn language in the context of meaningful interactions with those around them.” But language development is not the only benefit of these interactions. When a parent or loved one sits down with a child to read, the word toolbox is indeed being filled; however, the child also feels loved and important. He or she forms a connection between those feelings and the act of reading. Valuable family memories are built and a bond is formed between parent, child and book. wvstate u .e du /extensi o n

This positive association triggers the key factor required to learn any new skill: motivation. When a child enters school and begins to learn to read, motivation is the intangible element that often separates those who simply learn to decode from those who comprehend what they are reading. A child who reads only when required to do so is like a golfer who takes lessons but never plays the game: his skills do not develop and improve. Research in support of reading aloud is so overwhelming that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released a policy statement that recommends all pediatric medical providers advise parents of the benefits at their regular well-child visits. As the AAP says, “All families need to hear the important message that reading aloud to their children is crucial, especially in an era in which competing entertainment imperatives, such as screen time (television, cinema, video games and computers) may limit family interactions and live language exposures of even very young children.” The AAP recognizes the influence that physicians have on parents and families, and they are taking action to maximize their impact. Parents and caregivers also must embrace the important role they play in their children’s lives. With a gift so simple and inexpensive— words—we can offer our children a better start and increase their odds of leading successful and productive lives. wvst ateu .ed u /ex te ns i o n

Tips for Reading Aloud with Children Get comfortable. We’re all familiar with comfort food. Imagine the benefit for a child who finds comfort in reading! Let your child sit on your lap. Snuggle up in a soft blanket. The positive emotional response will come to be associated with books and reading. Know your audience. What topics does your child find interesting? Is he or she obsessed with bugs? Read about bugs! Watch for restlessness as a possible indicator of lack of interest in the topic, not necessarily in reading in general; ask if he or she would like to read something else. Be engaged! If you seem distracted or disinterested, your child’s attention will undoubtedly wane as well. Be flexible. Your child might squirm, aggressively turn pages or even interrupt. This is normal. Remember that this is not formal instruction. Reading aloud together should be fun and easygoing. If tension arises, it is okay to put the books down and try again later. Let them lead the way. Children love to feel in control. Allowing your child to choose the books you read and even where you sit will help him or her feel empowered and invested. Mix it up. Try poetry or a book set to a familiar musical tune, like “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Even reluctant readers often find rhythm and rhyme irresistible. Have fun! Choose stories you want to read and topics of interest to you. You might be surprised what you can learn from a children’s book. And your level of interest will be obvious to your child. Don’t give up. No two children are alike. Attention spans, personalities and interests vary, even among siblings. With the help of a concerned and loving adult, every child can begin to enjoy reading! About Read Aloud West Virginia Read Aloud works to keep reading material in the hands and on the minds of West Virginia’s children. The organization places trained readers in schools to provide live commercials for reading, distributes books, educates families and the community about their role in cultivating literacy, and provides enrichment materials to schools and teachers. Learn more or get involved at readaloudwestvirginia.org or find them at facebook.com/ ReadAloud.

References: American Academy of Pediatrics. (2014). Literacy Promotion: An Essential Component of Primary Care Pediatric Practice. Pediatrics. Retrieved on July 3, 2014, from pediatrics. aappublications.org. Anderson, Richard C. and others. (1985). Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading. U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved on September 19, 2014, from eric. ed.gov/?id=ED253865. Carey, Bjorn. (2013). Language gap between rich and poor children begins in infancy, Stanford psychologists find. Stanford Report. Retrieved on September 8, 2014, from news. stanford.edu/news/2013/ september/toddlerlanguage-gap-091213. Carey, Bjorn. (2013). Talking directly to toddlers strengthens their language skills, Stanford research shows. Stanford Report. Retrieved on September 8, 2014, from news. stanford.edu/news/2013/ october/fernald-vocabdevelopment-101513. Chaiet, Julianne. (2013). Novel Finding: Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy. Scientific American. Retrieved on September 17, 2014, from scientificamerican. com/article/novel-findingreading-literary-fictionimproves-empathy.

fall/win te r 201 4 | ex ten s ion matters



eading aloud with your child is one of the best gifts you can give them, and our staff members are true examples of the benefits this simple practice can provide — to both parents and children! Below are some of our staff members’ favorite books to read with their children, and some of our favorites from when we were kids ourselves. Dr. Ami Smith,

Associate Dean and Associate Director

Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman The Best Mouse Cookie by Laura Numeroff Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw

We read three to four books to Flynn, 2, each night at bedtime, and throughout the day he will pull a book or two off the shelf and request a reading. My dad read quite a bit to my sister and me and always did all of the voices, so I tend to do the same.

Assistant Program Director

That’s Not My Teddy by Fiona Watt Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume I’m a Big Brother! by Ronne Randall and Kristina Stephenson

I started reading to my kids while they were in the womb, and they’ve been avid readers and listeners ever since. My eight-year-old son and I take turns reading pages to break up the monotony when we’re reading his books. My five-year-old daughter is in kindergarten and is reading above her grade level.

Mark Fuller,

Melissa Stewart,

A Treasury of Aesop’s Fables

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Graphic Designer

Minnie Mouse: Blooming Bows by Nancy Parent Are You Ready for Bed? by Jane Johnson

We have different sight words on Post-it® notes throughout the house to help Journey, 3, learn to spell. During her bedtime story, we have her read the sight words that appear on the notes, which helps her stay engaged and also keeps reading fun.

Matt Browning,

Director of Communications

Some of my earliest memories involve my dad reading to me the Little Golden Books version of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and I’ve been a bit of an Oz addict ever since.


Kelli Batch,

ex te n s io n m at te r s | fal l /w i nte r 2 01 4

Assistant Program Director

The Bugliest Bug by Carol Diggory Shields The Lorax by Dr. Suess

I work hard to make sure that every time we read together, I make the story come to life by developing character voices and reading the story the way the author intended. Ellie, 7, becomes enthralled and, because of her response, I know she is comprehending the story. She loves to read now on her own. Brad Cochran, Extension Agent

The Giving Tree has been my favorite book from the day it was first read to me, and I grew up learning to love nature and the bounty it can provide us. Perhaps this book really shaped my destiny of becoming a forester! wvstate u .e du /extensi o n

Seasonal Rosemary Butternut Squash Soup

Ami M. Smith, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Associate Director, WVSU Extension Service, smitham@wvstateu.edu

This soup is the winterized version of my favorite summer squash soup. It’s quick and easy to throw together and you can substitute the butternut for any winter squash you prefer. Makes five 2-cup servings

1 Tbsp butter or olive oil 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped 2 1/2 lbs butternut squash, diced into 2-inch pieces 2 large carrots, diced 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock In a large stock pot, over medium heat, sautĂŠ garlic in the butter until it just starts to turn light brown. Add rosemary and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add squash, carrots and veggie stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered until squash is easily pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree soup until smooth. (Be very careful when pureeing hot soup.) Season with a little salt and pepper and hot sauce (optional) and enjoy. This soup will be a little on the thick side. If you desire less thickness just add another cup or so of veggie stock to create your desired consistency.

Extension Service 106 Ferrell Hall P O Box 1000 Institute, WV 25112-1000

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PA I D Institute, WV 25112 Permit No. 1

Address Service Requested


the blog

Expert advice from West Virginia State University Extension Service is now online!

We have a new way to help you live better.