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EDUCATOR SPOTLIGHT: Jan Maples
Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Science/4-H Youth Development
County Assignment: Okfuskee County
Jan is joyfully serving in Okfuskee County which is rich in natural resources including an 1100 acre Okemah Lake, the Deep Fork of the Canadian River, the North Canadian River, large pecan production operations, and its diverse and resilient people. The county seat of Okemah is home of the Woody Guthrie Folk Music Festival.
Jan is enjoying her 30th year as an Extension Educator. She has served clientele in Major, Dewey and Okfuskee counties.
Jan is a Certified Family Life Educator through the National Council on Family Relations. She is most recognized for her work in educating and empowering families in the county to help them build better relationships. One of Jan’s most personally satisfying and well-received county programs was the “Glad Dad’s project. This project involved a variety of educational outreach efforts to help increase and enhance father involvement in their children’s lives. Jan was also instrumental in implementing a “Parent University” in a local school. She continually provides a variety of parenting programs to county citizens and has provided “Co-Parenting through Divorce” programs to clientele.
When serving as chairman of the county community partnership board, Jan provided leadership in organizing Child Abuse Prevention Month Activities, “Welcome Home Soldiers and Families” event, and other parent education projects. She also provides training for child care providers in her county and in surrounding areas.
Jan, along with the county Oklahoma Home and Community Education organization members, conducted a “Long Distance Grandparenting” project which boosted these intergenerational relationships.
Upon reflection, Jan acknowledges that she chose to be an Extension Educator (Home Economist) because of the wonderful, strong, and resilient role models she had the advantage of knowing and interacting with growing up in her mother’s “home demonstration club”. She observed their knowledge being gained and utilized, their support for each other and their community, and their leadership they displayed. Jan admits that she wanted to assist in continuing this beneficial tradition.
Jan is fervent about her vocation (career) as an Extension Educator because she truly believes that all persons need to be equipped with the necessary life skills to become empowered in solving problems and enhancing lives.