Richland Parish Family and Consumer Sciences Program

Danna F. Gillett  |  3/31/2011 11:01:36 PM

About the LSU AgCenter
The LSU AgCenter is dedicated to providing innovative research, information and education to improve people's lives. Working in a unique statewide network of parish extension offices, research stations and academic departments, the LSU AgCenter helps Louisiana citizens make the best use of natural resources, protect the environment, enhance agricultural enterprizes and develop human and community resources.

Family & Consumer Sciences Program Highlights
Individuals and families today deal with multiple issues in raising children, eating right and spending smart in order to live well. Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) programming focuses on these three issues in providing educational programs for the residents of Richland Parish.

Family & Child Development
Early Head Start staff are attending 120 hours of educational programming to earn the Child Development Associate Credential. Participants increase knowledge about child development, and children and families will benefit from higher quality child care. Department of Children and Family Services clients learn skills through participation in the Parents Preparing for Success Program, an 18-hour weekly series, and other programs offered for parents of children from birth through adolescence. Parents incarcerated in local detention centers participate in monthly parent education sessions. Sixty-five parents of newborns enrolled in The Little Bookshelf literacy program. Each family received a library of 12 storybooks and monthly tips on reading to babies. Three hundred Head Start and other parents receive the monthly Parent Pointers newsletter. Monthly news articles published in 2 newspapers focus on topics of interest for all family members, including senior citizens.

Nutrition and Health Program
The Community Nutrition Program addresses the nutrition education needs of 80 families and 600 youth through monthly presentations in home and school settings. Approximately 100 youth attended EFNEP Day Camps in Delhi and Rayville. Over 1200 students learned more about keeping their bodies healthy when they toured the Smart Bodies Body Walk exhibit. Nutrition fact sheets and Smart Choices newsletters are distributed to elderly residents who participate in the Food for Seniors and Commodities distribution programs. Female inmates at the Women’s Detention Center participate in monthly nutrition and health programs.


Family Resource Management (FRM)
Financial literacy programs are taught to help clients make better decisions in managing their money more wisely. Financial literacy programs are presented to clients through the PPSP and Detention Center program series. Child care providers learned to manage asthma through reduction of triggers in the day care center, be prepared for disasters and seasonal infectious diseases. Charting Your Course to Home Ownership classes are taught on a routine basis for clients who are in the process of becoming first time home buyers.


Teaching Methods
Series of classes and workshops:

  • Child Care Provider Training workshops
  • Monthly news articles - The Richland Beacon and Delhi Dispatch
  • Guest Presentations
  • Health Fairs
  • Fact Sheets
  • Parent Pointers quarterly newsletters
  • Happy Healthy Me monthly newsletters
  • Living Well quarterly newsletters
  • Smart Choices monthly newsletters
  • Interactive Exhibits - Germ Cave and Body Walk
  • Just in Time Parenting newsletters
  • FCS Web sites

Expanding our efforts:
FCS volunteers
Head Start staff
Health Unit nurses and WIC staff
Advisory Council representatives

Parish Facts
According to 2009 Kids Count, 1,800 Richland Parish children under the age of 18 live in poverty. Research indicates a relationship between risk factors like these and quality parenting behaviors. Of serious concern is that in FY 2007 in Richland Parish there were 137 investigations of child abuse and neglect reported. Of these 46 were found to be valid.

According to County Health Rankings, Richland Parish is number 52 among 64 parishes in mortality , meaning, on average, people in our parish live shorter lives than in most other parishes. We ranked 40th in morbidity, which refers to how healthy people feel while alive. 34% of the adults in Richland Parish are obese and 10% have diagnosed diabetes (CDC - 2007).

Population - 20,501
Land area (square miles) - 558.45 persons under 18 years old - 25.4%
Persons 65 years old and over - 14.4%
Median household income - $29,394
Persons below poverty - 24.2%

Programming Outcomes

Nutrition and Health

  • Participants learn the importance of establishing healthy eating and physical activity habits.
  • Individuals and families learn and practice food safety practices.
  • Participants learn and practice budgeting food dollars.
  • Individuals gain knowledge about and adopt practices to prevent chronic diseases.
  • Participants gain knowledge about and adopt healthy weight management practices.

Family and Child Development

  • Early childhood educators learn importance of and incorporate developmentally appropriate experiences for children.
  • Early childhood educators provide high quality care for children and youth.
  • Family members learn and utilize skills to improve family resiliency.
  • Parents/guardian learn and implement positive parenting practices.

Family Resource Management

  • Clientele seek financial stability and security by reducing debt and improving money management skills.
  • Individuals improve financial stability by seeking or obtaining employment.
  • Clientele adopt best practices for building, retrofitting or maintaining sustainable homes.


Danna Gillett is the FCS agent in Richland Parish and may be reached by calling 318-728-3216.

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