LSU AgCenter
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Name: Rebecca White
Title: Professor & Extension Grant Developer
Department: Organization Development & Evaluation
Organization: LSU AgCenter
Address 1: 216 Knapp Hall
Address 2: Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Phone Number: (225) 578-3921
Fax Number: (225) 578-0777



1977   B. S.   Home Economics Education, Northeast Louisiana University, Monroe, LA
1983   M. S.   Home Economics Education, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA
2001   Ph.D.   Educational Leadership and Research, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

Dissertation - Professional Culture and Efficacy Correlates of Organizational Effectiveness in Cooperative Extension Services
Areas of Specialization/Research
Dr. White is a Professor in the LSU Ag Center’s School of Human Ecology. She serves as a family and child development specialist for the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service’s Family and Consumer Sciences Program. Her current professional emphasis is developing and leading programs that improve the lives of families with young children.

Dr. White is responsible for leading several education and training programs for childcare providers in Louisiana. She is co-author of the Character Critters program - a popular early childhood character development program for educators, parents and young children. Recently, Dr. White developed the Little Bookshelf Program model that is designed to encourage parents of newborns to read everyday to thier babies as a strategy to form strong parent-child bonds and prepare young children for school sucess.
Professional Experience

32 Years with LSU Ag Center - Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service

07/01/02 – present
Associate Professor/Extension State Specialist, School of Human Ecology, LSU AgCenter

06/12/95 – 06/30/02
Extension Associate, Family and Consumer Sciences, LSU AgCenter

11/15/90 – 06/11/95
Extension Parish Chair, Lincoln Parish, LSU AgCenter

10/01/90 – 06/11/95
Extension Home Economist, Lincoln Parish, LSU AgCenter

03/19/90 – 09/30/90
Extension Associate Home Economist, Lincoln Parish, LSU AgCenter

01/01/78 – 03/18/90
Extension Assistant Home Economist, Lincoln Parish, LSU AgCenter

09/01/77 – 12/31/77
Extension Assistant Home Economist, Morehouse Parish, LSU AgCenter

Recent Professional Accomplishments

Organizational Grant Development –
Since 1995 developed grant proposals totaling over nineteen million dollars for the LSU AgCenter and received over 5 1/2 million in funds to enhance Extension programs. Since 2004, works to enhance organizational capacity at grant writing mentoring field and state faculty in gaining skill at grant writing. Proposals have addressed development of Extension programs for parenting education, childcare provider education, family literacy, after school enrichment, and and other topics.

Character Critters - 2000 - to present.  Co-author and Project Director for Character Critters - a character education program with four components: character-themed lessons with stories for educators to use with preschoolers, parent-child character-themed activities, storybooks and parenting for character presentations. Designed for trained early childhood volunteers to teach six concepts of character to children through the telling of 12 appealing stories about cute animals. Participating children receive a take-home storybook and take-home, parent-child character development activities to encourage parent involvement in character development of their young children. Educational presentations can be presented at parent meetings on instilling character traits in young children.

In 10 years over 7,000 volunteer resource kits have been placed with volunteers and used in preschool classrooms, child care centers, libraries, and churches with preschoolers. Thousands of volunteers have been trained as storytellers and several hundred thousand preschool children have been told the stories. Character Critter storybooks (190,000) have been given to parents to read to their children.  LSU staff provide program volunteers with implementation resources, training, civic presentations, and public displays to help implement the program in local communities.

Character Critters program evaluation revealed positive program impacts. The vast majority of teachers, early caregivers and parents (over 95%) reported gaining knowledge of practices to develop early understanding of character concepts in children and expressed intent to adopt recommended child development practices. Extensive teacher use of the resource with children has been documented. Children were reported by teachers and parents to have developed an awareness of positive character traits in a way that has meaning in their young lives. This popular program is also being implemented in many other states and several foreign countries.

Family Literacy 2003 - present.  Developed model for family literacy to encourage parents of newborns to form habit of reading to their babies. Several family/early childhood literacy projects have evolved in collaboration with the LSU Mid-City Pediatric Clinic of Baton Rouge and the YWCA Early Head Start Program including Born to Be a Reader, Take a Break With Your Kid and currently  The Little Bookshelf Program. Family literacy packets are provided for parents of newborns who have limited resources. Parents are given a child health book, early literacy information, a child development calendar,  a small bookshelf and a book a month for the 1st year of their baby's life (12 books total) to encourage daily family literacy activity. Additionally, Children's Trust Fund,  the Junior League of Baton Rouge, the 1st United Methodist Church, Children's Coalition of Greater Baton Rouge and private donors have provided support the program with time and resources.

Child Care Provider Training Program – 2000 - present.  This continuing education program helps fulfill state-mandated training (12 hours annually) of each child care professional. The current Child Care CDA training program focuses on helping child care professionals achieve their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.  Program evaluation conducted with child caregivers clearly demonstrates positive program impact on child caregivers. Child care providers showed statistically significant knowledge gain after all four training sessions in the Right from Birth training series. Evidence indicates that child care providers are using the information they learned, implementing and sustaining more recommended care practices beneficial to children.


Recent Awards

Judge Richard Ware Award - Children's Trust Fund, 2009

Award of Excellence - LSU Mid-City Pediatric Clinic for pediatric literacy leadership, 2006

Gamma Sigma Delta – Louisiana Chapter – Extension Award, 2004

Recent Grants and Contracts

The Little Bookshelf - La Children's Trust Fund (7/1/09 - 6/30/10).

The Little Bookshelf - Junior League of Baton Rouge (6/1/09 - 5/31/10).

Take a Break With Your Kids
. La Children’s Trust Fund .  (7/1/06 – 6/30/09).

La Child Care Recovery Entrepreneurship and Training Program (LaCRET). LA Department of Social Services with C. Gioe. (10/1/06 – 9/30/08).

La Child Care Provider Training Program. LA Department of Social Services with C. Gioe. (1/1/06 – 6/30/08)

Take a Break With Your Kids. La Children’s Trust Fund with C. Gioe. (7/1/03 – 6/30/06).

Childcare Assistance Program Public Awareness. La. Department of Social Services with C. Gioe. (7/1/06 – 6/30/07).

Moving Ahead Together (MAT)). USDA-CREES with D. Hurlbert. 1/1/06 – 9/30/06).

Child Care Quality Rating System Awareness. La. Department of Social Services with C. Gioe. (1/1/06 - 6/30/06).

Recent Contributions and Donations 

2006-10  - approximately $100,000 support funds for Character Critters Program

2007-08 $12,000 support funds for The Little Bookshelf Program

2006 - $11,000 in donations secured for The Little Bookshelf Project at LSU Mid-city Pediatric Clinic
2006 -  Free books valued at $90,000 secured for Hurricane Book Relief projects.

Recent Publications

Cathey, L., White, R., Braud, E., & Gioe, C. (April 2009). Educating children by educating their caretakers: An evaluation of knowledge gain and practice implementation. Journal of Extension.

White, R., Sasser, D., Brogen, R. & Morgan, J. (June 2009). Photos can inspire a thousand words: Photolanguage as a qualitative evaluation method. Journal of Extension.

Cathey, L., Coreil, P., Schexnayder, M., & White, R. (December 2007). True colors shining through: Cooperative Extension strengths in time of disaster Journal of Extension.

Recent Presentations, Workshops and Trainings

National Presentations (refereed)

Photolanguage. Webinar Presentation to the National Extension Evaluation Community of Interest members (December 16, 2009). Baton Rouge, LA.

Family Resilience: A Comparison of Louisiana and Irish Families. Presentation at Groves Conference with Betsy Garrison and Diane Sasser (June 1, 2008). Galway, Ireland.

White, R., Sasser, D., & Braud, E. (2007, November). Using images as catalysts for expression in evaluation: A demonstration of Photolanguage. A training presented at the American Evaluation Association Conference (November 8, 2007). Baltimore, MD.

National and State Presentations (invited)

Using After The Storm Resources with Partners. Presentation at LSU AgCenter Annual Conference with Dr. Annette LaGreca, Scott Sevin, and Charles Hebert (December 16, 2008). Baton Rouge, LA.

After the Storm Resource Collaboration. Presentation to Louisiana Association of Educators (November 25, 2008). Baton Rouge, LA.

Philosophy and Strategies for Seeking Funding from State Agencies. Presentation to HUEC Graduate Research Class (September, 23, 2008). Baton Rouge, LA.

Workshops or Trainings

Strategic Planning for our Child Care Provider Training Program. Presentation to LSU AgCenter Child Care Provider Training team members (September 25, 2009). Mansura, LA.

Crazy ‘bout those Character Critters. Workshop for Romeville Elementary School staff (September 9, 2009). Franklin, LA.

Working with Different Personalities. Training for Southwest Louisiana 4-H leaders (July 28, 2009). Ville Platte, LA.

LSU AgCenter Internal Leadership Class 4, Baton Rouge, LA. 5/09; Presented; Barriers to the Use of the Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Participant Enrollment System

Crazy ‘bout those Character Critters. Workshop for St. James Parish Head Start staff (April 27, 2009). Franklin, LA.

The 30 Million Word Catastrophe. Presentation to LSU AgCenter Internal Leadership Class II (March 9, 2009). Baton Rouge, LA.

Understanding The Little Bookshelf Program. Presentation to LSU Mid-City Pediatric Clinic medical staff (February 26, 2009). Baton Rouge, LA.

LSU AgCenter Family and Child Development Programs. Presentation to LSU Human Ecology Family Living Class (February 19, 2009). Baton Rouge, LA.

Crazy ‘bout those Character Critters. Workshop for St. Mary Parish School District Early Childhood Educators (January 24, 2009). Franklin, LA

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