FORT RILEY, Kan. - Single Soldiers and military Families now have access to even more resources at Army Community Service with the implementation of the Kansas State University Extension Partnership.

According to Toni Bryant, program coordinator, the program's goal is to provide basic education and information on topics such as child development, Family resource management, Family life and nutrition and health. The program also helps other services at ACS by providing evaluations measuring behavior changes and knowledge increase in individuals.

In addition, the partnership will offer classes on how to manage finances, including balancing a checkbook, how to make investments and how to avoid predatory lenders.

Currently, the office employs four agents, who have each earned master's degrees in their specialties.

Agents are Sarah Mietzner, child development agent; Erin Bishop, Family life agent; Debra Wood, Family resource management agent; and Susan Schonewies, nutrition and health agent. In addition to being a registered dietician, Schonewies also is a horticulturist.

"They're really hitting the ground running," Bryant said.

Agents have recently completed new agent training, and Bryant said a trip to Texas, the only other state with a similar program, is planned for partnership members. Bryant said this will be an opportunity to see how an already established program is running.

The program recently moved into ACS, which, Bryant said, was the result of a survey done on post three years ago that identified where assistance was needed.

Future plans for the partnership include an open house over the summer and participating in the Month of the Military Child, as well as a wellness fair at Fort Riley Middle School.

To help get the word out about the K-State Extension partnership, Brant plans to get involved with units, Family Readiness Groups and Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers.

Eventually, the partnership will offer a Web site, flyers and brochures.

Soldiers who choose to use the program do not have to supply their name or unit in order to get information.

For more information, call 239-9991 or stop by ACS, Building 7264 on Normandy Drive.
"We're just here to help and give them any assistance we can," Bryant said.