October 29, 2020
UNH Cooperative Extension is one of 10 grantees for a Rural Health and Safety Education grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). UNH Extension will lead a project focused on building resilience in rural communities with an initial focus on three regions within Grafton and Merrimack counties.
Over the next two years, Extension educators will work with local community partners to provide tools and resources to help these rural New Hampshire communities "bounce back" in the face of adversity and move forward to improve outcomes for children, families and communities. In working with these identified communities, Extension will engage at all levels of the socio-ecological model of health to engage, educate and empower individuals, families, communities and systems to thrive in the face of challenges such as new or increased barriers to health brought on by COVID-19.
Communities as a whole will gain enhanced health and well-being, as well as increased leadership and empowerment. “It is exciting to receive these funds and have the opportunity to collaborate in rural communities at such an important and pivotal time," said Melissa Lee, project co-director and youth and family resiliency field specialist for UNH Extension.
"Needs in the arena of personal, community and system health and well-being are immense, due to new and intensified adversities that act as barriers to health. We look forward to engaging in the community change cycle process, bringing together increased energy and ability to build community resilience to not only overcome but to thrive in the face of adversity,” she said.
Kendra Lewis, youth and family resiliency state specialist for UNH Extension, is principal investigator for this $392,693 grant. Sue Cagle, community and economic field specialist for UNH Extension, is the project co-director. Alyssa Lemmermann, program assistant for UNH Extension, is the grant coordinator.