Published on 03/02/06

UGA specialists urge Georgians to live well

By Stephanie Schupska
University of Georgia

When Sue Chapman considered the best gadgets to represent Living Well Week March 12-18, she decided to go with a tape measure, the small roll of plastic and metal that takes the guesswork out of so many things.

Started in 2002, Living Well Week is a time for special efforts to educate adults, youths and families on ways to better their lives inch by inch, dollar by dollar, day by day, said Chapman, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension coordinator in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

“For us, it’s a time to recognize the work of our family and consumer sciences agents and other staff throughout Georgia who deliver our content,” she said. “Basically, we offer educational programs and information using a holistic approach that improves the quality of life.”

Measurements are needed for everything, she said, in “Raising Kids,Eating Right,Spending Smart and Living Well.” That’s the theme of Living Well Week.

“We’re measuring the impact of chronic disease and nutrition for all families,” said Nancy Bridges, an FCS Extension agent in Oglethorpe and Madison counties. She’s also president of the Georgia Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

“In housing, we’re concentrating on energy conservation, home ownership, first-time home buyers, financial goals, family budgets and savings programs,” Bridges said.

“For children,” she said, “we’re emphasizing training for child care providers and foster parents to help them not only to meet their training needs, but help make an impact on quality of care.”

Bridges was introduced to Extension as a child through 4-H. But it wasn’t just the youth program that affected her life and her family. Her mother also gained valuable knowledge about food safety, preservation and nutrition from Cooperative Extension.

“I’ve seen what Extension does to educate people to become better family members and better citizens,” she said. “It helps the whole family.”

For more information on living well, contact your county UGA Extension FCS agent at 1-800-ASK-UGA1. For more on Living Well Week, visit

(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

Stephanie Schupska is the communications coordinator with the University of Georgia Honors College.