|EDUCATOR SPOTLIGHT: Melanie Taylor|
Melanie Taylor, McIntosh County Extension, Extension Educator, FCS/4-H/CED
I have been with OCES almost 15 years (will have my 15th anniversary in October 2015)
Program highlights include: being a member of the Health & Hunger Issue Team and the Risky Behavior Issue Team. I teach Growing Strong Bodies & Minds, Character Critters, Ag in the Classroom, Co-Parenting for Resilience, and OrganwiseGuys. I have a 50/50 assignment so I also work on numerous 4-H programs, camps, and day camps. For years I served on the old Food, Nutrition, and Health Impact team and was known throughout the county as the “Nutrition Lady”. I have been able to reach hundreds of students with nutrition/health based programs like Healthy Oklahoma, Walk across Oklahoma, Growing Strong Bodies & Minds, and OrganwiseGuys. McIntosh County Extension staff along with community volunteers are currently working through a Health & Hunger grant to build and sustain a community garden to help with the issue of food insecurity in the county.
I chose an Extension career because I wanted to do something where I felt I was helping people. I have the freedom to choose exactly which programs I provide based on my county needs, but all my programs provide information that will make their lives a little better.
There are two issues I’m most passionate about…Co-Parenting for Resilience and issues of hunger. I come from divorced parents and have been divorced myself. I want ALL divorcing parents to know that they CAN help their children adjust to their new way of life. Divorce is not a death sentence by any means, it’s just a different life than what they’ve been used to. It also breaks my heart to think of anyone going to bed hungry. I love the CNEP program and their mission to fight hunger. My county currently has a grant to build a community garden to help those who suffer with food insecurity. I can’t wait until harvest day when we can take food to those needing it most.