Michigan Department of Education receives the Michigan State University Extension 2018 Key Partner Award

The Michigan Department of Education received the 2018 Key Partner Award from Michigan State University (MSU) Extension on Oct.16, 2018.

Award winners stand with director and nominators.
Diane Golzynski (middle) receives the award on behalf of MDE from MSU Extension Director Jeff Dwyer and her award nominators. (Left to right: Jeff Dwyer, Erin Powell, Mark Rankin, Diane Golzinski, Deanna East, Rebecca Henne, Dawn Earnesty)

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Education received the 2018 Key Partner Award from Michigan State University (MSU) Extension on Oct.16 at the organization’s annual conference in Lansing, Michigan. The Key Partner Award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to supporting and promoting MSU Extension programs.

“The Michigan Department of Education cannot reach our goal of becoming a top 10 education state in 10 years without strong partners like MSU Extension,” said Diane Golzynski, Michigan Department of Education’s director of Health and Nutrition Services, who received the award on the department’s behalf. “With educators embedded in communities around the state, MSU Extension is truly our eyes and ears on the ground. The partnership is most beneficial for the children of Michigan, extending our reach to those most vulnerable.”

In the past four years, the department has provided over $850,000 in support of MSU Extension nutrition programs, staff training and salaries, and has positively promoted MSU Extension as a statewide resource and partner. During the 2016-2017 programming year, the Michigan Department of Education provided minigrants to more than 80 schools to support MSU Extension community health training.

“As a result of the efforts of Michigan Department of Education and our work together, MSU Extension educators have been deployed to assist schools and child care homes in adopting and sustaining healthier environments and policies reaching more than 50,000 youth and 1,000 teachers and child care providers over the past four years,” said Dawn Earnesty, Extension health and nutrition educator and award nominator.

The department has also helped MSU Extension respond to emerging issues across the state, such as the Flint water crisis. With their funding support, Extension was able to increase staff capacity in Flint, host two Breakfast in the Market events, provide small kitchen and gardening equipment to participants in nutrition classes, and increase their programming reach and develop educational materials.

“The Michigan Department of Education has allowed us to be responsive to community needs,” said Erin Powell, MSU Extension health and nutrition educator in Genesee County. “We’ve been able to provide Flint residents with not only education, but also tools – such as kitchen utensils and hand mixers – to use that knowledge they’ve gained.”

Throughout their partnership, the Michigan Department of Education’s support has helped MSU Extension reach more than 35,000 students, 70 childcare providers and hundreds of Flint residents.

MSU Extension works with partners across the state to help people improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities and businesses.

For more information on MSU Extension in your area, visit canr.msu.edu/outreach.


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