April 2021
Strengthening our Community with EFNEP & SNAP-Ed: Healthy Choices = Positive Outcomes at the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW)
Written by: Cara Gorman, EFNEP Program Assistant
I have been teaching nutrition classes to pregnant inmates for about four years. I felt a bit anxious during the first series of lessons. I had never been inside a prison and was unsure of what to expect. However, the prison educator in charge of the group helped me through the entry/exit process and stayed by my side to ensure I felt comfortable and safe. It also helped to know that there were security guards everywhere. Soon, I felt very comfortable coming to teach and able to build trust with my participants.
I began offering nutrition education at the Medical Center on Harmon Avenue educating pregnant and new moms participating in the GRADS (Graduation, Reality, and Dual-Role Skills) Program about the importance of making healthy food and physical activity choices. It has been a positive experience for me and the inmates. They appreciate and look forward to me coming each week to learn healthy tips and to participate in the hands-on cooking demonstrations. Sampling of the recipes was a favorite part of each session. 
In December of 2019, the pregnant inmates from the Harmon Avenue location moved to the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW) located in Marysville to participate in the GRADS Program. After getting approval to cross county lines, I started planning with the prison educator to make the transition to the new location. This required a trip to the ORW campus and a tour of the facilities. Which included the new nursey building called Hope House that opened in September of 2019. 
The Hope House has a full kitchen, laundry room, private living space, a program and meeting room, and a medical office for pediatricians to meet regularly with mom and baby. To be eligible to live in this facility, moms-to-be must be approved for the Achieving Baby Care Success (ABC’s) Program. To qualify, they must be nonviolent offenders whose crimes do not involve children, sentenced no longer than three years, follow prison rules, and should be expecting no earlier than 30 days of incarceration. The ABC’s Program allows incarcerated pregnant inmates to maintain custody of their infants after they are born.  
Covid-19 put a hold on my plan to start in-person programming in April of 2020. After several meetings and compromises, I was able to start a Live Zoom virtual class in January 2021 for three groups. In the beginning, we had to deal with minor computer and internet issues and eliminate the cooking demonstrations and hands-on activities. Overall, the pregnant and new mothers looked forward to each week. They enjoyed the physical activity part of the lessons and continued using the walking video in-between lessons. Included on the exit survey were comments about continuing physical activity goals and trying to drink more water every day.
I look forward to teaching another Live Zoom virtual group soon. I like that I do not need to travel to Marysville and to deal with the security process at the facility, but I do miss the in-person participation. I am looking forward to the day that I can use the kitchen in the Hope House for cooking demonstrations. By having them be an active participant and learn by doing, can have a positive impact on these pregnant and new mom inmates at the Ohio Reformatory for Women. I am happy to be a part of their journey to change and make positive choices for themselves and their children once they are released. 
Photo Credits to: Fred Squillante/ Columbus Dispatch A new children’s nursery building called Hope House opened in the fall of 2019 at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville. 
Homeownership: Start Your Journey with Us
Part of the American dream often includes becoming a homeowner. We're here to make the journey to homeownership possible. Our Money Management and Home Buyer Education classes are the perfect place to start. Amber Broadus (pictured on the right) is a graduate of our HUD approved Home Buyer Education, Financial Literacy, and Individual Development Account programs. She is in the process of having a home built by Habitat for Humanity for her and her children.
Coffee Time: Exploring a Favorite Beverage
Join Jenny Lobb, Registered Dietitian and Extension Educator, at noon on Tuesday, April 20 at 12PM for a free webinar all about coffee. During this webinar you will explore the origins and traditions of coffee drinking as well as science-based health benefits associated with coffee consumption. Register at go.osu.edu/coffeetime. 
Families First Webinar Series
OSU Extension, Franklin County and Central State University Extension invite Franklin County families with youth ages 10-14 to join them for a free webinar series focused on family. The program is based on studies that show children grow up best when parents/caregivers communicate, provide emotional support and practice consistent discipline. Participants learn to make these concepts the foundation of their family life. You can earn Walmart gift cards for participation. 

Please click here for the complete series details and registration information.
Upcoming Events
April 6: CARTEENS Class
April 8: April Update in the Community Garden Virtual Class
April 9: Overcoming Pandemic Paralysis Webinar Series
April 10: Money Management Virtual Workshop
April 10: Home Buyer Education Virtual Workshop
April 10: LiFEsports Track Clinic: Beatty Recreation Center First Session and Second Session
April 10: LiFEsports Track Clinic: Adams Recreation Center First Session and Second Session
April 13: Taking Control of Student Loan Debt Virtual Workshop
April 13: Start Here: Investing 101 Virtual Workshop
April 15: Intersectionality of Change Session 3: Developing Narrative for Change Webinar
April 16: Overcoming Pandemic Paralysis Webinar Series
April 17: Money Management Virtual Workshop
April 18: Families First Webinar Series
April 20: Coffee Time: Exploring a Favorite Beverage Webinar
April 23: Overcoming Pandemic Paralysis Webinar Series
April 25: Families First Webinar Series

Be sure to check out franklin.osu.edu/events for the most up-to-date list of event.