Heading to 54 Below: Norbert Leo Butz, American Psycho & More

first_imgCarmen CusackAugust 9 & 11 at 9:30PM, August 14 & 16 at 7:00PMAfter an illustrious musical theater career around the world, Carmen Cusack finally made her Broadway debut earlier this year and earned a Tony nomination. Now, the stage star is ready for another first: her solo concert debut. Between songs that shaped her career will be stories from her road to Broadway. And remember: If you knew her story, you’d have a good story to tell. GET TICKETS Tony Danza”Standards & Stories”August 9 at 7:00PM, August 10 at 9:30PM, September 8-9 at 7:00PMTony Danza makes his Feinstein’s/54 Below solo show debut to revive his latest cabaret act, which he presented at the Carlyle last year. The screen favorite and Broadway alum is bringing out the soft-shoes, the ukulele and plenty of tales from his time on Taxi, Who’s the Boss and his latest Broadway stint: Honeymoon in Vegas. GET TICKETS Norbert Leo Butz”Girls, Girls, Girls”August 5-8, 10-12 at 7:00PMAfter debuting his hit solo show at 54 Below in 2013, the two-time Tony winner will return to the midtown hotspot for another round of songs exploring mythic and contemporary women. Audiences can expect to hear gender-blurring takes on classics from the likes of Frank Sinatra and Loretta Lynn, and maybe even something from a certain internationally ignored song stylist. Bring your own wig in a box. GET TICKETS Coming to Feinstein’s/54 Below American Psycho Sings Duncan SheikAugust 13 & 15 at 7:00PM & 9:30PMThe hardbodies of American Psycho may have met their maker earlier this year, but that was not an exit. A number of cast members, including Jennifer Damiano, Alice Ripley and Theo Stockman, will reunite to celebrate the work of composer Duncan Sheik. In addition to Psycho, expect numbers from Spring Awakening, Noir, and his alterna-pop singles. Attire is Chanel, Gaultier or Giorgio Armani. GET TICKETScenter_img Andy Mientus with Teen CommandmentsAugust 2 & 3 at 9:30PMThe Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner will take the stage with Brooklyn band Teen Commandments (including Spring Awakening castmate Van Hughes) to present new takes on familiar tunes and some originals, including numbers from their upcoming musical Manhattan Kids. Joining Mientus are Jennifer Damiano, Nicolette Robinson, Damon Daunno and Jo Lampert. GET TICKETS Summertime, and this nightclub is swanky. With an assortment of stars of stage and screen lined up, Feinstein’s/54 Below is the place to be to beat the heat this August. Sit back, have some sorbet/gelato and watch your favorites step up to the mic with tales and tunes. Check out a few upcoming acts that caught our eye below, from a Honeymoon gangster to a cavalcade of Psychos. View Commentslast_img read more

Ariana Grande Talks Hairspray Live!

first_imgAriana Grande Before Ariana Grande was a dangerous woman, even before she was so into you, into you, she was a total theater geek—just like us. When she visited The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on September 8, she confirmed she remains as such, and is totally fangirling out over her role as Penny Pingleton in NBC’s highly anticipated Hairspray Live! “I heard they were doing Hairspray Live!, and I had a heart attack because this has been one of my favorite musicals,” Grande said. “To be playing Kerry Butler’s role—it’s very overwhelming.” We absolutely can’t wait to see this starry cast start the beat on December 7! In the meantime, watch Grande fan out below! View Commentslast_img read more

Florence Andrews on Letting Her Hair Down in London’s School of Rock & More

first_imgFlorence Andrews in ‘School of Rock'(Photo: Tristram Kenton) Florence Andrews is lending some sterling vocals and whiplash timing to the London premiere of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical School of Rock, based on the Richard Linklater/Jack Black film and now running at the New London Theatre, the onetime home of Cats. The fast-rising performer plays the starchy—or maybe not—Rosalie Mullins, who also happens to be the principal of Horace Green Elementary School, where the new music teacher, Dewey Finn, is causing cheerful havoc with his surprisingly music-savvy students. The ebullient Andrews took time one recent evening to talk about liking the characters you play and graduating to a Lloyd Webber leading lady. How did you land this plum role?I’d been in the musical Miss Atomic Bomb at the St. James Theatre and Andrew [Lloyd Webber] was at the press night. Thank God no one told me he was there because I would have been very nervous, but I spotted him in the audience about four rows back, and it turned out that he liked the show and he liked me in it. He then got in touch with my agent and said that he would love me to come and audition for the part, so just two auditions and a couple of weeks later, I got the call. Did you know the show?I hadn’t seen it live on Broadway, but I’d seen the trailer and I love Sierra [Boggess, the part’s originator] and thought that it looks brilliant. And it was such a different kind of role to do after Candy Johnson, who was a farm girl in Cold War-era Nevada! How does the onstage Rosalie compare to the character created by Joan Cusack in the 2003 film? I think they’ve fleshed out the character a bit more—especially in the roadhouse scene and [2nd-act show-stopping solo] “Where Did the Rock Go,” where Rosalie’s vulnerability suddenly comes out. She’s got a hard shell around her all the way through, I think not least because she recognizes in [male lead character] Dewey Finn what it is that she’s lost. She has to put a wall up because he reminds her of everything she used to be, but then she lets it all out in that song. From being so uptight she suddenly feels that she has permission to let go. Does that scene have a particular power to you?What’s nice is that when Rosalie and Dewey first go to the roadhouse, originally he’s getting her there for his own devices, having to do with the student competition; he’s got a motive. But what happens quite quickly is that it becomes a real date; very quickly they’ve got a connection and it becomes the start of something for both of them. What are your thoughts about Rosalie?I’m generalizing maybe here but I see her as one of these women you find in real life who multitask and trying to be everything and that can be stressful, so they then get labeled as uptight or bossy. The thing is that she’s got so much on her plate that it’s so lovely to see her let it go: you want to like her, but it wouldn’t work if she was just a pain in the ass the whole time. So, you sympathize with her?Absolutely! I don’t in any way see her as a horrible woman and I don’t dislike her at all. I kind of feel sorry for her and want to go up to her and say, “Just try and chill out,” but I see her as really stressed and really struggling with the workload she has. She thinks the parents should leave with a smile on their faces, and she feels that pressure on her shoulders, and it doesn’t help that she is at an elite school where the pressures on the parents are also so high. Then along comes Dewey who arrives late and hungover and it’s almost as if she’s waiting for someone to unlock the real her. What is it like playing opposite two Deweys—David Fynn, who played the opening night performance, and also his alternate, Gary Trainor?I really enjoy it because it keeps things fresh eight times a week, and we’re all used to it by now. Plus, that role is such a full-on thing that I don’t know how anyone could do it otherwise. I really love the two-show days because Gary and David are such different Deweys, and I love them both equally. Gary’s got such a sensitivity and David is hilarious. They each have brilliant qualities that make them great to work with.How familiar were you with the film?I love the movie, and I just love Joan Cusack in it. It’s such a cult classic that I actually think a lot of people in the audience know the whole thing already coming in, which can create a lot of pressure. But I’ve heard people say that they prefer the stage version, which is quite a compliment since it’s a classic, wonderful film, and I grew up watching Jack Black. Were you surprised that a leading British composer like Lloyd Webber had adapted so raucously American a film?Yes, I suppose you don’t necessarily think Andrew Lloyd Webber when you think hard rock, but the thing with Andrew is that he’s both a musician and a music lover: music flows through his veins. So, while you might not put Richard Linklater and Andrew in the same creative bloc, the wonderful thing about art is that it defies boundaries in every way. When people are passionate about music and writing and storytelling, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t connect with anything or anyone. Also, there’s so much rock in so many of Andrew’s musicals that you can understand why this works.Was your goal always to do musical theater?I actually studied opera at [London drama school] Guildhall, but the whole time I was really jealous of the students in the other courses and wanted to change to acting: there everyone was pretending to be monkeys when I was learning French! Later, when I went to the Royal Academy of Music, Cats was one of my favorite musicals, and Sunset Boulevard, and I would use a lot of Andrew’s songs in my auditions. I’ve always admired his work but never thought I would be one of his leading ladies. Don’t you have acting and performing in your blood?Well, my late grandmother was a chorus girl in the West End and her husband was a composer and musical director, so I feel very embedded in the world of musical theater and always saw that as very glamorous. And my uncle [screen and stage star Anthony Andrews, of Brideshead Revisited fame] is an actor, as well, so I suppose it’s not that much of a surprise. How are you juggling the demands of a West End run with having a young daughter?It helps that I’m lucky to have a really supportive partner and also that, coming from a family of arty people, I’m in a situation where everyone can be supportive around me. I feel as if I’m constantly trying to struggle and get the balance right, but the wonderful thing is that I get to see Mabel during the day. And though I miss the bedtimes, and that is hard, I feel as if I’m being a good example when it comes to having a roof over my head and doing what I love.Have you ever thought that Mabel might someday be in School of Rock?I have, actually, though never in a pushy way, and she’s three and a half now, which is a very cute age but she’s not quite old enough to see [the show] yet. But I’m thinking she might be able to come towards the end of the year and have a look. And if she were to end up in the show, there’s no doubt that she would be [band manager] Summer. We’ll have to wait and see. View Commentslast_img read more

Eat Right, Kids

first_img* Encourage your child to take just one bite. “Nutritionally, fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits are very similar,” Harrison said.”Commercially frozen produce is processed soon after it is picked. Canned fruits andvegetables do lose some nutrients because of the heat used in processing.” * Keep the serving sizes small. A large portion can intimidate a child. Here are some tips: * Start with your own plate. Children notice whether you eat your fruits andvegetables. Be a good role model. You want your children to eat healthy foods. But wanting and getting aren’t the samething. * Children usually like fruit because it is soft, easy to chew and tastes sweet. Buy avariety of fresh in-season fruits and make them easily available to your children. * Serve new foods along with familiar foods. “Eating one bite is manageable for a child,” Harrison says. “But making her clean herplate not only sets the stage for battle, but may be forcing her to overeat.” “Anyone who has tried to make a child eat certain foods knows how frustrating it canbe,” said Judy Harrison, a food and nutrition expert with the University of GeorgiaExtension Service.center_img Snacks are crucial for growing children. Just make sure the snacks contribute nutrientsand not empty calories to their diet. * After trying something new, ask your child what he thought. If he didn’t like it, tryagain when his taste buds have grown up a little bit. * Children often enjoy raw vegetables more than cooked because the flavor is oftenmilder. If you do cook them, try a variety of methods. Avoid always frying orsauteeing vegetables. Instead, try steaming, broiling, baking or grilling. “If children develop healthier food habits early, they will have a solid foundation for alifetime of good eating,” Harrison said. “Even if a child dislikes a vegetable one time, don’t give up,” Harrison says. “As achild grows, his taste buds change. Vegetables that were too bitter once may taste finelater. And the more you serve a vegetable, the more familiar it becomes.” “Many fruits have an edible peel,” Harrison said. “But that doesn’t mean your childwill eat it. The peel adds fiber to the diet, along with vitamins and minerals. But eatinga peeled peach is better than eating no peach at all. It’s a healthier choice than eatingchips.” * Introduce them to unknown tastes by telling them what to expect. Is the taste ortexture similar to something they like? Gail Hanula, who coordinates a cancer education project for the UGA ExtensionService, agrees. But both say it’s not impossible to get children to choose fruits andvegetables over sweets and chips.last_img read more

GMO Controversy.

first_img Wayne Parrot (L)Andrew Paterson (R). (The following editorial is reprinted with permission from the Winter 2000 issue of the University of Georgia’s Research Reporter).In the age of the Internet, laser eye surgery and high-yielding crops, most people would agree with scientists that basic research and resulting technologies help society. UGA Photo: Paul Eflandcenter_img But through events in which technology has fallen short — from Three Mile Island to mad cow disease – the public has come face-to-face with science’s fallibility. No longer a passive recipient of technology, the public increasingly demands a role in deciding how new discoveries will be implemented.No single development highlights this new public attitude more than the stormy reception of genetically modified organisms, also known as genetically engineered products. The potential benefits of GMOs are enormous: not only increased crop yields, but also reductions in pesticide use, ground water contamination and mycotoxin levels.’Unsafe, Untested’?Groups that oppose genetically engineered foods allege they’re unsafe, untested and unregulated – notions that gain support from high-profile publicity campaigns and imbalances in media coverage.Just as the scientific data began to accumulate on the benefits of GMOs, companies like Gerber, Heinz, Seagram, McDonald’s and Frito Lay began to avoid GMO ingredients. Now, the saga of StarLink corn in taco shells has led GMO critics to assume their worst fears have been realized.GMOs are more highly regulated than any other food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates field-testing of GMO crops and any hazards they may pose to agriculture. The Food and Drug Administration determines whether GMO-derived products are equivalent to those currently on the market (and thus not subject to any extraordinary precautions) or are new products, which must undergo further safety testing and be labeled.New Products Being DevelopedAll genetically modified foods now on the market fall under the first category, while several products under development fall under the second. Foods derived using genes from known allergens or from organisms outside the traditional human diet also are subject to heightened scrutiny.The Environmental Protection Agency also must approve plants engineered with pesticidal properties, like StarLink corn. Erring on the side of caution, the EPA approved StarLink for animal feed only. Subsequently, it found no clear evidence that StarLink poses a human hazard, yet found no clear proof that it didn’t.The EPA wants conclusive results before clearing StarLink for human consumption and forwarding it to the FDA for further approval. The StarLink episode demonstrated that GMO contamination of non-GMO products is inevitable. And while the European Community allows 2 percent of GMOs in nonGMO products, the United States lacks such a standard.Outcry Surprised ScientistsThe outcry against GMOs surprised most scientists, considering the federal regulations imposed on the already rigorous peer-review process that has always decided the validity of science. Ironically, many scientists found themselves and their motives attacked by organizations whose goals coincide with their own: a safer, more stable and lower-cost food supply and responsible stewardship of the environment.The disagreements lie not in the goals, but the best ways to meet them.With high-profile spokesmen like Prince Charles, the anti-GMO movement created widespread hysteria across Europe. As misinformation spreads, many scientists feel they should stay out of the controversy and remain objective purveyors of unbiased information, safe within the Ivory Tower.GMO Opponents Not ShyGMO opponents haven’t been so shy. From protests to street theater, from newspaper ads to shareholder meetings, anti-GMO groups have pressed their message, using ecoterrorism and sensationalist terms such as “frankenfoods.”But today’s scientists must reach not only their peers but also the public with objective information about the benefits and consequences of their own work. They need to emulate the “activist scientist” roles of Albert Einstein (who vocally opposed militarism, Nazism, anti-Semitism and the careless use of nuclear weapons), Stephen Jay Gould (who defends the teaching of evolution) and Peter Raven and E.O. Wilson (who promote conservation).The fact that most agricultural scientists and anti-GMO groups share a common set of goals would seem to be the foundation for a partnership, if only they could agree on the best approach. Genetic improvement has expanded agricultural production dramatically to meet the needs of the world’s growing population. But agricultural research now receives a smaller portion of public research dollars than ever before.’Genetic Vulnerability’The “genetic vulnerability” of many major crop gene pools and the growing concentration of germ plasm ownership in the private sector reflect this diminished public investment. A partnership between activists and scientists might reassert these shared goals as national and even international priorities – before they are forced to the forefront by more widespread disasters such as have befallen Ethiopia in recent years.Yet, as long as anti-GMO groups totally rule out a role for genetically modified crops, there may never be a consensus.GMO technology is at a crossroads. Acceptance of GMO-derived products and crops will motivate further progress toward safer food, lower pesticide use, more sustainable agricultural practices and improved human health through more nutritious foods. Rejection of GMOs will likely exacerbate ecological problems as our current agricultural systems struggle to feed a growing world population.The future of our food supply may well depend on who is most vocal and most convincing: protesters or scientists.last_img read more

Passing the torch

first_imgBy Stephanie SchupskaUniversity ofGeorgiaDavid Knauft flipped through the brown manual he had worn thinsince Michael Dirr had given it to him when they first met. As anassociate dean, woody ornamentals were just a pastime then.Now, as the first Dirr Professor for Woody Plant Instruction andIntroduction, Knauft’s turning his plant breeding skills fromplants he has grown as a hobby into a career.”I want to carry on the passion he has for teaching,” saidKnauft, who was formerly associate dean for academic affairs atthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences. “It’s not just about plants.”The brown book was Dirr’s “Manual of Woody Landscape Plants,” theleading horticultural text and primary reference of its kind onsuch plants, which include shrubs and trees. It’s one of a vastnumber of publications Dirr wrote, and it grew out of histeaching as a horticulture professor.Dirr’s research has made an immeasurable impact on the nation’splant industry. His work has influenced a generation of students,gardeners, nurserymen and professional horticulturists.”I was hoping for an individual who cared about students,undergraduate and graduate, and David was the perfect fit,” Dirrsaid of Knauft’s appointment. “His enthusiasm for teaching isalready reflected in the organic gardening and new plant breedingcourses. The latter will open new horizons for students acrossthe plant sciences.”Knauft is enjoying the chance to further pick Dirr’s brain as hestudies such topics as sterilizing crape myrtles, working onindigo cross-compatibility and controlling invasive plantspecies. Their friendship and professional teamwork began in 1998when Knauft moved from North Carolina State University to UGA.Knauft got his Ph.D. in plant breeding from Cornell University.Before heading to N.C. State in 1993 as head of the crop sciencedepartment, he taught and conducted research in the genetics andbreeding of peanuts at the University of Florida. In November2004, he re-entered the classroom.”I worked as a researcher and teacher before my 12 years ofadministration,” he said. “I’m fortunate to still have theopportunity to return to teaching and research.”He didn’t return to his work with peanuts. Knauft “didn’t want toduplicate existing research in the college and was looking tomake a contribution to society. The ornamental field was wideopen.””I wanted someone with energy and desire to serve the nurseryindustry of Georgia,” Dirr said. “David has attended the nurserymeetings and interacted with the people who supported thisprofessorship. He is respected by the industry. He has traveledthe extra mile to meet, greet, strategize and become a part ofthe community.”With a background in plant breeding, Knauft brings something newto the woody plant program.”His best trait is the training in plant breeding,” Dirr said.”He’s a genuine plant breeder who will take our ornamentalsprogram where I never imagined possible. David and I are workingtogether on breeding strategies for the future. We have a healthymutual respect for each other that translates to wanting the bestfor the program.”Knauft agrees. “To be a good plant breeder, you need to be a goodplant person,” he said. “Having Mike and his advice and hisopinions and working with his research program as well has been ahuge advantage.”While Dirr has moved on to North Carolina, Knauft has no plans toleave Athens. He said he’s “put enough time in my yard.” He andhis wife have a son who is a junior at UGA.(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Feed garden now for spring

first_imgFor those who enjoy gardening year round, winter vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and an assortment of greens may already be in place of their summer garden. I like fall gardening because the temperatures are usually mild and disease and insects are normally less troubling. But for those who are ready for a little break from the vegetable garden, there are a few things you should do before you put your summer garden to bed.It’s interesting to see how long the summer garden, planted way back in the spring, may last. I have pulled tomatoes and okra literally throughout October in years Georgia had a late frost. Other years, an early cold spell terminated those late-harvest plans. Doing nothing not an optionWhen I first started gardening more than 25 years ago, there were times when I just gave up on the late-summer garden and let it lay idle throughout the fall and winter. I now know that is about the worst thing a gardener can do. Many diseases and insects love to overwinter in crop residue from the past harvest and will be out in full force the following spring if left unchecked. Another problem is that old, over-mature vegetables will die down on the plants and disperse seed that will ultimately germinate next spring where you don’t want them. This second generation of seed may well have cross-pollinated, producing plants that are inferior and different from what you actually planted. Always pull up expired crops at the end of the season. Not doing so will create problems. Besides, those old corn stalks will make a great fall porch decoration.Work the soilThe fall is a great time to work on conditioning your soil. If it’s been more than two years, take a soil sample to your local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office. You need to know the pH of the soil. Fall is the best time to add lime if needed as it takes several months for it to actually adjust the soil pH. I till the garden, if it isn’t too wet, to expose any insects, nematodes and soil pathogens to the cool, dry weather. This is a perfect time to add amendments such as compost or other organic matter like manures. Sometimes I spread fallen tree leaves over the garden and till them in. They break down quickly into rich organic matter. Shred the leaves first under the lawn mower or in a chipper and they will break down even faster.After I have worked the soil and added organic matter, I plant a cover crop in areas of the garden that are not planted in winter vegetables. Cover crops offer several benefits. They help prevent erosion and add organic matter to the soil when tilled in early spring. And I think it just plain looks good to have a bright green area of cover crops in your garden when everything else is brown and dormant.Plant cover, wheat or oatsIf you plant crimson clover, you will be rewarded with a show of color when it blooms in the spring. I usually plant a combination of at least two types of seed mixed together. I like a mixture of wheat or oats as a grass with a few pounds of crimson clover. The clover is a legume, or nitrogen-fixing plant, that will actually help the grass crop grow. In return, the wheat or oats act as a nurse crop to the clover, which is lower to establish and needs a little protective shade from the grass. Clover should be inoculated first with the appropriate bacteria to aid in germination. A feed store or garden center should be able to assist you with getting the proper one. An alternative might be to buy commercially produced wildlife mixes that are often planted for deer and turkey. These mixes come pre-inoculated. Remember to give cover crops some initial fertilization to get them started. About 15 pounds of 10-10-10 per 1000 sq. ft. should be sufficient.last_img read more

Cracking fruit

first_imgMany parts of Georgia have received excessive amounts of rain over the past few weeks. Although the rain is good for the state’s drought conditions, too much rain in a short period of time can cause havoc in vegetable gardens. Too much water can cause classic cases of fruit split in watermelons. This is relatively common in melons as well as tree fruits such as plums. Watering evenly is extremely important, especially in the last two weeks of growth. Excess water at this stage can cause the fruit to pop. Excessive amounts of rain can also cause fruits to lose flavor if they are close to ripening. Have you ever taken a bite of a juicy piece of melon and been disappointed by the lack of sweetness? This is in part due to the variety of the plant, but it is also affected by the amount of water that was applied to the plants during that final stage of ripening when sugars are being formed. If you are relying on Mother Nature to provide your irrigation, you have to take what you can get — and sometimes what you get is split fruit. Cracked tomatoesHigh temperatures and prolonged rainfall or wet soil can also cause radial cracking in tomatoes, as the tomatoes expand too rapidly and crack their delicate skins. Another form of cracking is called concentric cracking. This encircles the tomato and also is caused by rapid growth, but generally occurs when there are alternating periods of rapid growth followed by slower growth. This can occur with wet and dry cycles or cycles of high and low temperatures. Generally this type of cracking occurs as fruits near maturity. Even moisture throughout the growing period will help alleviate this problem. Blossom End RotFluctuation in watering patterns can also cause blossom end rot in peppers and tomatoes.This is due to a calcium deficiency that causes the bottom of the tomato or pepper fruit to develop a rotten spot. Just as calcium gives humans strong bones, it gives plants strong cell walls. Calcium is transported into a tomato through the vascular system of the plant in a process called transpiration. When this process is disrupted by either long periods of dryness or excessive watering or rain, the normal calcium transport process is derailed and developing tomatoes or peppers don’t get enough calcium. To ward off blossom end rot, have your soil tested several months before planting to insure the soil pH is right. It needs to be about 6.2 to allow the plant to absorb the nutrients in the soil. Using dolomitic lime to correct the pH and add extra calcium and magnesium to the soil.Foliar sprays that contain calcium are on the market, but these have little effect on blossom end rot as calcium is only taken up by the roots and vascular system. It is more important to try to regulate the amount of water given to the plants. If you have an irrigation system, make sure it is not applying water during rainy periods. If you don’t have an irrigation system, try to water on a regular schedule to avoid spikes in nutrient and water uptake. Vegetable gardens only need about an inch or two of water a week. Don’t kill them with kindness.last_img read more

Savings Makes Cents

first_imgUniversity of Georgia Extension agent Rachel Hubbard is instilling lifelong, positive financial habits in Lanier County students.“By the time we’re adults, many of our money habits are already in place,” said Rachel Hubbard, Family and Consumer Sciences agent for Lanier County. “It’s much harder to change those habits as adults. When we start [teaching] them as children, they start developing good habits with money and are less likely to be in debt and have financial problems.”Hubbard worked with two Extension agents and a financial management specialist at UGA to formulate a strategy to teach youth about financial literacy skills. The team came up with “Savings Makes Cents,” a lesson developed to be part of the UGA Extension curriculum titled “Your Money, Your Future.”Hubbard collaborated with the local Family Connections director and Farmers and Merchants Bank to provide savings education to young students in Lanier County.The money-saving initiative began a couple of years ago after the team noticed that the rate of savings was declining. Hubbard realized there didn’t appear to be any programs aimed at teaching youth the importance of saving. “We figured we needed to tackle that issue and start teaching them at a young age so that when they get out on their own, they can manage their finances,” she said. Savings Makes Cents teaches sixth grade students how and why to save money. Hubbard and her team provide informative lectures to the students, as well as hands-on learning. The program takes place once a year in the students’ classroom, usually after standardized testing. “We have one day where we go into every single sixth grade classroom,” Hubbard added.One goal for Savings Makes Cents is to show students that “they do have money and they need to start planning what they’re going to do with their money.” Hubbard wants to see students saving money and thinking about their future goals. She also hopes to see students opening savings accounts at the local bank. Farmers and Merchants Bank provides each student with a savings account certificate. In 2013, five students used the certificate provided by the bank to open a personal savings account. Hubbard is spreading the knowledge and message of Savings Makes Cents among other Extension agents, though some agents in Georgia are already teaching the Savings Makes Cents curriculum. She, along with a team of three other 4-H agents, are teaching the curriculum at this week’s national 4-H meeting in Minnesota. Extension agents from across the country are learning the curriculum and how to apply it in their counties. “We explain the activities and how we use them, but also give them different options for how they can do it,” Hubbard said, of the activities that go along with the lessons. “They can tailor it to their own specific needs.”Extension agents that use the curriculum are bound to see the impressive results of students’ saving habits that Hubbard has seen while teaching the program. In 2013, 97 percent of students in the program learned something new about savings, and 78 percent planned to save money for future goals. For more information or to contact the Lanier County Extension office, visit their website.(Jordan Hill is an intern with the UGA Tifton Campus.)last_img read more

Garden built for youth project seeks community involvement

first_imgThe University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Fulton County South office and South Fulton Master Gardeners are offering area residents the opportunity to rent garden beds created as part of a youth-development grant in an effort to continue to contribute to the surrounding community.Community members are invited to rent beds in the new GROWL Fulton County Demonstration and Teaching Garden for their own gardening projects. Located at the Camp Fulton-Truitt office in College Park, Georgia, there are four plot sizes available for one-year rental periods for a non-refundable fee of $35 to $55 per year depending on size and type of bed. The assignment of beds is “first-come, first-served” basis and is subject to availability.  The garden was first constructed as part of Project GROWL, which was funded by a Children, Youth, and Families At-Risk (CYFAR) grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The project’s goals were to enable youth to acquire work-based life skills to equip them for a knowledge-based and creative economy; to expose youth to an accurate, deeper understanding of the food, fiber, agricultural and natural resource systems affecting their urban communities; and to empower youth to visualize themselves as contributing members of society and to leverage their knowledge, skills and abilities to influence other individuals, groups and organizations.When Project GROWL concluded in August 2019, UGA Extension sought a new way to keep the garden going, said Fulton County Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Melissa Mattee.“We have been working to revitalize Camp Truitt, which is located along the road near the Atlanta airport. We had local people who drove past and saw the 4-H Garden Club and GROWL Club kids working in the garden,” Mattee said. “We got a number of calls from people who were interested in working in the garden themselves, thinking it was a community garden. It seemed like this was a natural way to keep the garden going, seeing that there was a need and interest in the community for a community garden. The kids love it and we wanted to keep it going and expand the reach by getting community buy-in.”South Fulton Master Gardener Shirley Shivers, who taught in Atlanta schools for 38 years before retiring in 2003, was tapped to serve as GROWL Garden coordinator. Fellow Master Gardener Robert Chappelle designed the garden, which was built to take advantage of the landscape and with water and soil sustainability in mind.“Before the grant ran out, we talked about the sustainability of the garden itself,” Shivers said. “With all of the money, time and energy that has been invested in the garden, Robert and I refused to let it go. The design concept is very good and we felt that school groups or other groups in the community could use the garden for teaching or community outreach.”While anyone can rent a garden bed, the program is seeking youth and senior citizen involvement in the garden. Currently, Shivers and Chappelle work with Fulton County 4-H agent Katherine Delp, who brings students from the Fulton Fresh 4-H Club to the garden to explore gardening, agriculture, nutrition, health, and cooking with hands-on activities and programs.“This is a teaching garden, and Master Gardeners are available to help show what they can grow in this area and be successful, whether that is an herb garden, a pollinator garden, row crops, fruit or vegetables. We have a garden classroom and we are reaching out to the community for the first time and trying to get people involved and teach them about what to grow, when to grow it and how to grow it,” Shivers said. “We do have a vision, not just for  the present, but thinking long term about the contribution this garden can have to the community and the classes and workshops we can offer.”Currently, Master Gardeners offer classes at the GROWL Garden on the second Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. and are on-site every Saturday from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. to answer questions and assist as needed.    To learn more or to reserve a garden bed, visit the Fulton County South Cooperative Extension office at 1757 Washington Road in East Point, Georgia, or call 404-762-4077. The garden is located at the Camp Fulton-Truitt office at 4300 Herschel Road, in College Park, Georgia.last_img read more