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County Offices

Southern Clark County Programs

Little Books and Little Cooks

Children scooping soil from a wheelbarrow into a carton Parents and their children plant seeds at Little Books and Little Cooks’ Read, Plant, Eat event at Extension’s Lifelong Learning Center in Las Vegas. Photo by Yae Bin Kim.

Program for preschool children and their parents to boost healthy eating, literacy, parent-child interaction and school readiness


For many children, academic difficulties begin before they start school. In a national survey, teachers reported that 35 percent of kindergarten children were not ready for school. Poor academic skills in the early years place children at risk, often leading to grade retention, school failure and dropout, delinquency and running away, as well as unemployment and underemployment in adulthood. Children gain critical school readiness skills by engaging in real-life, meaningful activities. Cooking with parents is one educational activity that can help to increase children’s abilities in math, science, reading, language, motor development and social skills in a meaningful and appealing way.

Response/What’s Been Done

Extension’s Little Books and Little Cooks Program, which began in 2012, offers Nevada’s Clark, Washoe and Lincoln County preschool children and their parents the chance to cook and read stories together. Extension provides the books, recipes and cooking instructions.

In 2017, six new books and recipes were added, and the curriculum was also used in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania communities. In addition, a seven-week series was delivered 61 times statewide totaling 424 two-hour workshops, reaching families at at-risk elementary schools, libraries and Head Start sites. Participants included 477 families in Clark and Lincoln Counties, and 165 parents and 172 children in Washoe County.

Also in 2017, the program offered community activities at 58 events throughout the state to promote children’s healthy eating and physical activity. Program faculty delivered information sheets, handouts, promotional displays, posters and newsletters in English and Spanish, reaching at least 3,912 people.

Results/Impact and Partners

Since 2012, the program has reached 2,628 parents and 2,202 children through 193 program series. In 2017, 367 participants completed pre- and post- tests:

  • 327 felt more confident interacting with their child at home.
  • 360 planned to continue using what they learned in the future.
  • 341 said their children help prepare food more often.
  • 327 said their children try new and unfamiliar foods at home more often.
  • 349 said their children feel more confident about using cooking equipment during cooking.

In Clark County, of 60 parents completing a follow-up survey three months after the seven-week series:

  • 37 ate fruits and vegetables two to four times a day.
  • 58 felt confident interacting with their child during mealtime.
  • 58 felt confident interacting with their child when playing or during other routines.
  • 57 knew all the food groups.
  • 35 ate all food groups each day.
  • 59 thought their child was ready for school.
  • 37 said their children help prepare food at home several times a week.
  • 41 said their children eat fruits and vegetables two to four times a day.
  • 46 said their children are more willing to try new and unfamiliar foods at home.
  • 25 said their children eat food from other cultures several times a week.
  • 32 said their children eat all food groups each day.

Partners included:

Public Value Statement

In 2016, Lincoln County developed a farmers market coupon program, where local residents in need were given coupons to use to get free fresh food at the farmers market. A total of $5,190 worth of local food (at least 438 pounds) was distributed to 1,139 people April through June.



children and parents reached through 193 program series since 2012


of participants who completed pre- and post-tests said their children help prepare food more often


of participants who completed pre- and post-tests said their children try new and unfamiliar foods at home more often

"My kids are more interested in cooking and learning about new foods. Also the books made it easy to read as a family."

—Program participant


Clark County

  • YaeBin Kim, Parenting Education and Child Development specialist, 702-257-5521

Lincoln County

Washoe County

  • Dan Weigel, Human Development specialist, 775-784-4848

Programs Program Information

4-H Youth Development

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

All 4 Kids

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s All 4 Kids: Healthy, Happy, Active, Fit program is an interdisciplinary approach to addressing child obesity. Developed by Cooperative Extension faculty from maternal/child nutrition, exercise physiology and child development, the All 4 Kids program helps children meet the Nevada Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Standards while encouraging preschool children and families to practice healthy eating habits and be active every day.

Career Edge: Teens Taking Charge of Their Future! A Workforce Readiness Program

The Career Edge: Teens Taking Charge of Their Future! A workforce readiness program for high school students focused on skill development for workplace and job success. Career Edge helps high school students prepare to get their first "paying" job while working toward their dream job or career. Career Edge provides information and training on interview skills, résumé development, filling out applications, finding job leads and selecting appropriate clothing for the workplace. In addition, many "soft skills" needed in the workplace such as decision-making, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership are integrated throughout the program.

Commercial Landscape Horticulture

Thistles prepared for the “Noxious Weeds and Weed Law” green industry class

Desert Green, Commercial Water Conservation Training

Desert Green is in its eleventh year and is designed to educate commercial clientele in the Green Industry as well as others who have an interest in water conservation issues. A committee representing the industry implements the training. Desert Green is chaired by one industry representative and one UNCE representative. The program is presented once a year, with 36 classes taught in a two-day period. A committee of industry representative reviews evaluations from the previous year to decide future educational direction and topics. During the evaluation process, the program is reviewed, modified and revised according to the needs of the clientele. As part of the marketing of this program, two articles citing the importance of Desert Green appear in regional trade publications.

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

Exploring Your True Colors: Building an Effective Team & Team Development Course

Team Development Course

Family Storyteller Literacy Program

National award-winning Family Storyteller is a literacy program aimed at encouraging and training parents to play a vital role in the literacy development of their children. Developed by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), KNPB-TV, the Washoe County libraries and Washoe County School District, the statewide program creates an opportunity for parents and young children to interact around literacy and language activities. Family Storyteller is designed especially for families that may have limited language skills and few children’s books at home.

Food for Thoughts, School Garden

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Food for Thoughts Program offers children an alternative site for learning, promotes awareness of the desert environment, demonstrates the geographic sources of their food, and encourages healthy eating and activities.

Fun To Play

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Fun To Play program targets families where, due to the young age, inexperience or limited resources of the parents, young children are placed at-risk for developmental delays and later school difficulties. Fun To Play is a series of weekly infant/child sessions aimed at improving the parenting skills of young parents by increasing the amount of learning activities and interaction they provide their children.

Healing gardens in Las Vegas

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension healing gardens essentially become outdoor sanctuaries for people who are hospitalized as well as their families and the staff that works with them.

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS)

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is a compilation of evidence-based engagement and assessment tools that is used to audit and map community environmental features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. The MAPPS method integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global positioning system (GPS) technology, and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community. HEAL MAPPS engages people in community-based participatory research to document attributes of the rural community environment that are perceived by residents as obesity preventing or promoting and assess the local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and their families.

Healthy Eating on a Budget

The Healthy Eating on a Budget program has been integrated into the TANF Work Readiness workshop as a SNAP-Ed program. The purpose of the 8-lesson series is to provide SNAP recipients with education on healthy nutrition and physical activity practices, food resource management, food safety and food security.

Healthy Steps to Freedom

Spinach Chicken Pomegranate salad

Keeping Kids Safe: Recognizing, Reporting and Responding to Child Maltreatment

young girl sitting at desk in empty classroom

Little Books and Little Cooks

Children scooping soil from a wheelbarrow into a carton

Living With Fire

Be Ember Aware publication

Master Gardeners in Nevada

 A bumblebee pollinating a yellow flower

Nevada Naturalist

Women kneeling near animal tracks on a trail

Pick a better snack™ (formerly Chefs for Kids)

This evidence-based campaign focuses on building fruit and vegetable consumption in children through healthy snacking. Pick a better snack™ is a monthly, in-school nutrition education program for primary grade children in at-risk elementary schools in Clark and Washoe counties in Nevada. In addition to direct instruction, staff works with school wellness coordinators to build meaningful and sustainable programming to create a well environment in every school.

Statewide Programs *Statewide programs may not be available in all counties

Programs Program Information
Cattlemen’s Update
Food Safety Project
Grow Your Own, Nevada
Herds and Harvest
Integrated Riparian Management/Creeks and Communities
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada Radon Education Program
Nevada State GEAR UP
Nevada Youth Range Camp
People of the Land
Pesticide Safety Education Program
Risk Management
Stronger Economies Together
Weed Prevention and Management
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals