Youth and Families

Youth and Families

The articles below are Mary Loftis's weekly columns related to youth and families. For more information on any of these topics or activities contact Nebraska Extension in Burt County at 402-374-2929 or contact your local Nebraska Extension office.

January 2, 2017

Just Say NO to NOROVIRUS!                                    

Barf Bucket Food Safety Training for Child Care Providers

You may have heard of Norovirus.  You may have experienced Norovirus. You should know you do not want to experience Norovirus twice!

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus. Those who contact this nasty bug may experience gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines). This leads to diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Some people may get severely dehydrated, especially young children, the elderly, and people with other illnesses.

Norovirus is commonly known as suffering from “food poisoning” or the “stomach flu”.  Noroviruses can cause food poisoning, as can other germs and chemicals. Norovirus illness is not related to the flu (influenza). Though they may share some symptoms, the flu is actually a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus.

It only takes a very small amount of the norovirus particles to make you sick and it can spread easily and quickly in enclosed places such as day care centers, nursing homes, schools, and cruise ships.

Norovirus can stay on objects and surfaces and still infect people for days or weeks. It can survive disinfectants, making it hard to get rid of. It is important to clean up bodily fluids safely to avoid spreading illness especially in a child care setting.

Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Department of Education CACFP Program will be offering a “Barf Bucket” Training for Child Care Providers on Wednesday, January 25, at the Burt County Extension Office, Courthouse, in Tekamah; Thursday, January 26, at the Dodge County Extension Office, 1206 West 23rd Street, Fremont; Monday, January 30, at the Colfax County Extension Office, 466 Road 10, Schuyler; and Tuesday, January 31, at the Stanton County Extension Office, 302 6th Street, Stanton. All people that work with children in groups such as churches, libraries, afterschool programs, etc. are invited to attend the training and learn how to use the barf bucket and supplies properly   

          The “Barf Bucket” Body Fluid Cleanup Kit training includes information on how to use the bucket appropriately, and how to train your staff to utilize it.  Each child care center/home will receive one bucket which contains items that, when used properly, limit the spread of infectious disease. This information is designed to train all staff on the correct use of the cleanup kit. The class is offered to centers, in-home child care and pre-schools. A center may choose to bring more than one person but only one bucket will be given per center/program.

This training is designed to teach all child care staff and people working with children in group settings on the importance of the proper way to clean up bodily fluids to avoid spreading disease. Cost is $10 per person.

For more information on how to register for this child care provider training, contact Debra Schroeder, Nebraska Extension in Cuming County, at 402/372-6006 or  Registrations are due by January 24, 2017


SOURCE:  Debra E Schroeder, Extension Educator

RELEASE DATE:  January 2, 2017

July 15, 2016

Fundraiser for Nesemeier Family

The Craig Fire Department with the help of the Craig Alder Grove Church Parish, Oakland-Craig FFA and Argo 4-H Club will be holding a benefit fundraiser for the Steve and Terry Nesemeier family of Craig. Their home and all their belongings were lost in a recent fire. Beef burgers, beans, chips, salads and desserts will be served on Sunday, July 24 at the Craig Fire Hall from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Silent auction items are being collected by Ericka Pickell at 402-377-0555. For other questions contact Cheri Johansen at: 402-870-1711 or Mary Loftis at: 402-380-0093.

May 20, 2016
Tekamah-Herman Health Fair

Nick Bohannon, Nebraska Extension office intern visited with Mrs. Panko’s kindergarten students during the Health Fair regarding how much sugar is in one bottle of Sunkist Orange pop. The amount of sugar is shown in the container on the table. Pictured with Nick are: Brody Haag, Owen Larsen, Lakyn Olson, Mason Tobin, Starla Jacobsen, Aisley Walpole, Kruz Leichleiter, Trino Tolzman, Lane Loftis and Cassidy Magill

May 13, 2016


Bring an International Living Experience to Your Family

If you can’t find the time and money to travel consider hosting a young adult from another country for a short three weeks this summer or fall to ‘travel abroad without leaving home”!! Enjoy the exposure to different cultures which hosting brings.

IFYE, formerly known as the International Four-H Youth Exchange, (pronounced “iffy”) is a rural based, international cultural exchange program designed for young adults, 19 years and older.  IFYE emphasizes the understanding of other cultures by living it on a day to day basis, rather than seeing the culture from a tourist point of view.  As a host family, include the IFYE in your daily activities.  As this is not an academic or research based program, the IFYE will be more fully engaged in all aspects of your family's lives.  Families often find they are drawn closer, and see their lives in a whole new perspective as they welcome a new son, daughter, brother, or sister in their circle.

Being an IFYE host family is fun, rewarding and educational. Just welcome the delegate into your home and treat him or her like one of the family. The delegate will want to join in everyday activities, help with chores and otherwise fit in as a brother, sister, son or daughter.  No special activities need to be planned. Host families provide the IFYE with meals and lodging, just as you would for a family member. IFYEs bring their own personal spending money.

Anita Keys, of the Nebraska IFYE Alumni Association reported Nebraska has the privilege of hosting four inbound IFYEs this summer and they are trying to find a few more families to host. Mari Roseberry is coordinating the host families for the, phone (308)538-2648. You can contact Mari directly or apply on line.

This website will answer lots of your questions: Click on "Become a Host Family" on the top line. There will be a pretty involved application process, but nothing too complicated. They just want it to be a safe and enjoyable experience for both the IFYE and the host families. If this is something you and your family want to consider they will help you through the process.

Here's the schedule for the IFYE travelers so far:

Alice Giles from England will be in Nebraska and her third family stay is available August 15- September 9. Alice is interested in livestock (beef, sheep, poultry), works at a children’s charity and is active in Young Farmers.

A male from Taiwan will be visiting June 21-July 9 and July 9-August 9. Additional information was not currently available for the male from Taiwan.

Johanna is a female from Germany and her first stay in Nebraska is available August 1 – September 9. She was raised on a grain, sugar beet and potato farm, she’s a paramedic, interested in health and nursing and loves horses!

Leiz is a male from Norway. He will be in Nebraska for his first visit November 13- December 9.

            Nebraska is hoping to continue having inbounds and to send outbounds to other countries in the future, so keep that in mind too. Or, if you know of another family that might make a good host, please let Anita Keys (308) or Mari Roseberry at (308)538-2648.

Nebraska is also excited to have three outbound IFYEs representing Nebraska and the United States in 2016. They are: Erica Peterson to Poland and Switzerland, Taylor Hannan to Luxenbourg and Switzerland, and Alyssa Dye to Estonia and Germany. They will be available to share their experiences with schools and organizations after the first of the year in 2017. Let Anita Keys know if you’d like to schedule them.

April 22, 2016

Embryology Plus!

            This has been a banner year for the embryology project!

It all started off in March when I helped Pastor Duncan Nichols and Holly Loftis incubate and candle eggs for a successful hatch for the Master’s Hand Spring Fling Event.

            Right after Easter I set eggs with my traditional elementary classes in Tekamah, Oakland-Craig and Lyons. Their chicks just hatched last week, with varied amounts of success.

Now I’m having to “up my game” to do the Embryology project with the high school Animal Science classes in Oakland-Craig with Kylie Penke and in Tekamah-Herman with Bailey Kobs. The presentation materials I use with 2nd-4th grades aren’t going to be enough to impress high school students (who probably heard my elementary presentation, years ago, but have forgotten most of it by now!)

I’m really excited to be working with these older students as I’m sure they will be especially eager to learn developmental lesson way beyond elementary level. It’s always good to have a new challenge and I’m looking forward to it.

Home Alone in Rural America

            Another program that keeps me on the go this time of year is “Home Alone in Rural America”. I am doing this program in the third grade classrooms in Tekamah and Oakland-Craig. This is another three session program helping students (and parents) realize what maturity it takes for the students to stay home alone. I tell them at the beginning of the program that third grade students are too young to stay home alone. However, I know some of them have already taken on this responsibility and many more will soon be taking this step towards independence so I want them to learn to be safe from the start.

            The first session deals with different situations where they may be staying alone and their readiness and feelings about it. These feelings range from feeling excited to bored or scared or “creeped out”. We discuss the different ways they handle these feelings.

            The second session focuses on safety and I ask a local police office to join me to visit with the students about general safety issues and especially situations they may face when they are home alone. This discussion includes different emergency scenarios and when to call 911. We also discuss severe storms and how to handle that safety threat.

            The final session is probably the most fun as we discuss nutritious snacks and then make some healthy snacks to share with their classmates.

            The Home Alone program also has the students completing a workbook at home in order to receive a reward. This homework needs to be done with their parent(s) so the family can communicate about the issues regarding staying home alone. The students like the idea of Mom and Dad having to help with their homework! Hopefully through this program, both students and parents can realize whether they are ready to spend any or no time home alone at this early point in their lives.

Babysitting Clinic

            The Babysitting Clinic in Lyons has been a major hit with 43 third-sixth grade students attending the first session last week. I really hate to limit how many can attend a program like this because it’s such an important topic, and this group has been excellent to work with.

Each of the three weeks we cover a lot of material concerning basic safety and their readiness to babysit. This week we will have a visit from Lyons Police Chief, Jim Buck and nurse, Sara Cameron who will again stress the increased responsibility needed to watch children.

Next week we will discuss toy safety, playing outside and making babysitting fun and safe for both the babysitter and the children. The clinic wraps up with a baby diapering demonstration and the presentation of the Babysitting Clinic Certificates to the students who attended all three sessions.

Hopefully through the course of this clinic each participant has taken positive steps to become the babysitter every child begs to have stay with them and every family trusts with their child!

Above: Carly Warren, Joplin Tague and Jocelyn Brazelton helped demonstrate “Johnny Oops!” one of the fun “finger plays” they learned at the Babysitting Clinic held in Lyons last week.