Spring 1985 // Volume 23 // Number 1 // Ideas at Work // 1IAW3

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Public Policy Education with a New Twist


Ardis Young
FCL Coordinator
Washington State University-Pullman

"After we sponsored a series of leadership workshops, I felt I could do anything!" "Our FCL team functioned like a well-oiled machine when we decided to have a pre-election county commissioners' candidate debate. It was great!" "FCL training made me take a closer look at my community-and the support it needed to give families. Now I'm helping to get some needed services started. "

These comments were written by volunteers participating in the three-year-old Family-Community-Leadership (FCL) program in Washington. They're typical of the enthusiasm and involvement that characterizes the program.

FCL is a regional program involving six western states: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. The W. K. Kellogg Foundation provided a "seed" grant to Extension Homemakers to begin the project, with Cooperative Extension in each of the states matching the grant and providing administrative support.

The three goals shared by all states in the region are:

  1. Educational improvement-to broaden participants' understanding of complex public issues and methods useful in their resolution.
  2. Increased participation in public affairs-to increase the effective participation of family members in resolving public issues that affect the quality of family life.
  3. Organizational development-to strengthen educational support systems for leaders and groups involved in resolving public issues.

Each state has designed a program and materials unique to its needs and culture. Volunteers team with Extension faculty to train and consult in their communities. Washington trainers and FCL staff have developed and field tested eight teaching packets-each a ready-made, three-hour workshop:

  • Analyzing Issues
  • Leadership and Groups
  • Communication: Listening and Lobbying
  • A Guide to Public Testimony
  • When People Don't Agree
  • Teaching Others
  • Using Power Tools
  • Plug In for Successful Meetings

Packets contain planning guides, learning activities, a sample agenda, background papers, and transparency originals for illustrated talks, "handout" masters, evaluation forms, a publicity poster, and a sample news release for a three-hour workshop.

A description of each packet-its teaching objectives and the accompanying slidetape and video programs-is available on request.

Each packet may be purchased for $6.00 by sending a check or purchase order payable to Washington State University to: Ardis Young, FCL Coordinator, 301 G Ag. Science Building, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6230.