SOUP TO NUTS: HOME CARE AND MAINTENANCE EDUCATION GOES VIRTUAL
J. Rodriguez,UF/IFAS Extension Orange County, J.Gomez-Gonzalez, UF/IFAS Extension Osceola County, L. Hamilton,UF/IFAS Extension Volusia County, L. Duncan, UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County, K. Allen, UF/IFAS Extension Suwannee County, J. Corbus, UF/IFAS Extension Washington and Holmes Counties, L.Osgood, UF/IFAS Extension Gadsden County.
Situation: Home care and maintenance covers topics, from recipes for cleaning products to maintaining a septic system. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommends that renters, home buyers, and homeowners receive home maintenance education to improve housing stability. Increasingly, local governments and nonprofits require home care and maintenance classes for recipients of rental, home ownership or home rehabilitation funding because families need information on how to maintain the value of the home, clean and care for their homes. While in-person classes allow for demonstrations and hands on exhibits, online home maintenance education requires more structured and graphic presentations. Methods: Seven Extension Agents delivered home maintenance education in 14 home buyer and 9 home maintenance workshops to 842 participants. Content included basic maintenance of home structures and systems, recipes for cleaning products, the 8 principles of healthy homes, energy use, integrated pest management, landscaping, and disaster preparedness. An outline was created containing key information and the team worked together to create a comprehensive, informative and visually interesting, home maintenance presentation. Sessions consist of PowerPoint presentations covering a 30-minute virtual home care and maintenance presentation. Topic area slides can be included in other programming or targeted to specific audiences. Participants receive digital/paper copies of the curriculum, PowerPoint slides, and the evaluation survey. Results: Post surveys indicate that 79% of participants (n=665) increased knowledge in home maintenance practices. Seventy-one percent plan to consider home maintenance cost and concerns when looking for a home. Conclusion: Amid a pandemic, these virtual workshops, allows for a broader audience reach, flexible student-centered learning process, accessible from any location, even mobile phones, and the opportunity to replay recordings and receive feedback.