Strengthening Families Program Helps Kids Succeed

Are you a parent or caregiver of a fifth or sixth grader? Would you like to learn some additional skills to help your child succeed? If so, then register for the free Strengthening Families program.

The Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth is a seven-week initiative designed to reduce adolescent substance abuse and other problematic behaviors in youngsters 10 – 14 years old. It has been scientifically tested and results have shown that children who have completed the program are less likely to become involved in risky behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse.

Parents and children begin each Strengthening Families session with a shared meal followed by break out sessions for adults and youth. During the last hour, families reunite to increase family bonding, positive communication skills and learn to solve problems together.

Two sessions will be held in Carbondale. The Carbondale sessions will be held from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Sundays starting on February 8 or on Mondays beginning on February 2 at the Carbondale Area Elementary School.

Youth will benefit from attending the sessions by learning to: prepare for their teen years, communicate with their parents, deal with stress and peer pressure, and avoid alcohol and drug problems.  Parents and caregivers can enhance their parenting skills by: learning to set limits and show love, making house rules, encouraging good behavior, protecting their children from substance abuse, and learning to handle stress.

The free program includes dinner for the family, prizes for attendance and free child care for younger family members.

For more information or to register for this fun, family oriented program, call Karen Thomas at Penn State Extension in Lackawanna County at 570-963-6842.


2015 PSU Vegetable Meeting

Lackawanna County residents are invited to join other local commercial vegetable growers at the Northeast Vegetable Meeting on January 22 from 9 AM – 3 PM at the Newton Ransom Fire Company on the Newton Ransom Boulevard, Clarks Summit. This program is a great opportunity for growers to hear from the specialists conducting the latest vegetable research.

The morning session will provide information on emerging and persistent insect pests, an update on tomato diseases, revisions of the Worker Protection Program, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture programs, and an update on the Food Safety Modernization Act requirements.

The afternoon will focus on cucurbit disease, managing aphids in cucurbits and sweet corn, cole crop diseases, and a sweet corn variety grower panel.

The registration fee is $25 per person if received by January 15th or $35 if received after January 15 or at the door. The registration fee includes morning refreshments, lunch, and handouts. You can register on-line at and click on the Northeast Vegetable Meeting on the right or you can call Beth at 570-988-3950.  Questions on the program should be directed to John Esslinger at 570-784-6660.

Dining with Diabetes Program Helps Type 2 Diabetics

Penn State Extension is offering “Dining with Diabetes: A Program for Adults with Diabetes and their Families,” to teach those with Type 2 diabetes how to manage the disease.

This low-cost program includes: four classes, recipes, educational materials, exercise DVD, pedometers and stretch bands. Each class, which is taught by a Registered Dietitian, offers food demonstrations and tasting, ideas for physical activity, and discussions regarding important information to help manage diabetes. Lab tests will be offered to measure hemoglobin A1C, and blood pressure.

If you are interested in learning more about Type 2 Diabetes, consider attending Penn State Extension’s “Dining with Diabetes” program. Classes will provide nutrition education, daily meal plans, interactive cooking demonstrations, food sampling and an opportunity to connect with others who are living with Type 2 Diabetes. Two four-week programs will be held, one on Fridays beginning February 6 from 10 AM – Noon with a follow-up class on May 1 at the South Side Senior Center, 425 Alder Street, Scranton; and one on Mondays beginning March 9 from 1 PM – 3 PM with a follow-up class on June 1 at the North Pocono Senior Center, 12 John J. Michaels Drive, Covington Township.

The cost of the program is $40 per person or $55 for two family members living in the same household. Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries receive FREE registration.  Financial scholarships are available.

For questions or to register, please call Penn State Extension in Lackawanna County at 570-963-6842, email or visit and click on Lackawanna County.  Space is limited!