Twice as nice

Published 10:36 am Monday, June 18, 2018

WINDSOR – Kathy Copeland, EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program) Educator at Bertie County Cooperative Extension, received two awards at the 2018 EFNEP State Conference.

Copeland took home the Ngaire van Eck Professional Development Award and the “Over the Mark” Award.

Dr. Ngaire van Eck served as EFNEP Coordinator in North Carolina from 1989 until her retirement in 1997. She came to North Carolina after a teaching career abroad, in New Zealand—her native land—and Uganda, East Africa. She then spent 17 years as a state specialist with Cooperative Extension EFNEP in West Virginia.

Her focus of interest was maternal and infant health; and during her years at NC State University, she helped establish two special EFNEP projects with the WIC program. These were: nutrition education for pregnant adolescents, using the “Hey, What’s Cookin?” curriculum, and the In-Home Breastfeeding Support Program.

Following her retirement, she established an endowment fund in 1999 that she rolled over to the EFNEP Endowment that began in December 2005. This award specifically honors outstanding program educators who have a desire to enhance their programming through professional development. Funds are used in support of approved professional development opportunities.

The “Over the Mark” award recognizes EFNEP Educators who meet five percent or more above their target outreach and meet or exceed program impact goals. These educators are the masters of outreach and partnership. They adjust their work schedules to meet participants where they are and form solid partnerships with community organizations that result in EFNEP goals being met.

Through this work and in collaboration with many organizations through the Eat Smart and Move More initiative, NC EFNEP aims to reduce the rising tide of obesity by teaching youth and families practical skills resulting in changed behaviors that help them to eat smart, move more and achieve a healthy weight.

EFNEP is conducted across the state through North Carolina Cooperative Extension, NC State University, and North Carolina A&T University. For nearly 50 years, EFNEP has been helping limited resource youth and families with children learn how to eat healthier meals and snacks, stretch their food dollars and reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses.

For more information about EFNEP, contact the Bertie County Extension Center at 252-794-5317.