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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – Dawn Dockter, Childress County Extension Family and Community Health Agent and committee members received several awards for their programs during the Texas Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (TEAFCS) Awards Celebration in Amarillo on July 30.
TEAFCS educates and recognizes Extension professionals who improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. Dockter was honored with the Innovative Youth Development Programming Award for the Kid’s Crockin’ program. She also placed second nationally for Kids Crockin’ in the Innovative Youth Programming category.
“County Extension exists to help our community members better their lives, and we do that by working with local volunteers who put in numerous hours right alongside us,” Dockter said. “These programs are examples of what can happen when people come together and work to provide something good for their community.”
Kids Crockin’ is a cooking series for third to fifth graders, Dockter explained. Attendees learn to use slow cookers to prepare healthy meals for themselves and their families, building self-confidence and encouraging positive family interaction. Volunteers from various sectors of the community like school district personnel, members of charitable organizations and volunteers from 4-H and other Extension committees, all came together to help support youngsters and their families.
The Community Partnership Award was awarded to Dockter and team members Sandy Koepke, Childress County 4-H; Carol Freeman and Shelly Preston, Childress Women’s League; Janet Word and Tracee Herbstritt, Childress Elementary School; Minnie Lou Bradley and Cynthia Edwards, Bradley 3 Ranch, and Dee Derr, Faith Self, Sheabree Nix and Barbara Sue Parr, Childress Family and Community Health Committee.
Dockter and her committee members also were recognized at the national level. The National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) awarded them second place in the Southern Region for the Kids Crockin’ program.
Freeman was treasurer of the Childress Women’s League when she co-founded Kids Crockin’ with Dockter, Bradly and Word in 2017. To her, this recognition shows how the Childress community can come together to provide programs that strengthen family unity and well-being.
“This endeavor is a perfect example of entities within the community partnering to foster a program like Kids Crockin that focuses on family participation, family commitment and family healthy eating habits,” Freeman said. “It has been such an honor and privilege to work side by side with Dawn in the development and implementation of Kid’s Crockin.”
The feeling is mutual for Dockter, who also brought home the Early Childhood Child Care Training Award with agents in Knox,Navarro, Lampasas, Calhoun, Guadalupe and Parker counties. They placed first at nationals in the Southern Region with their early childhood educators’ program.
“It’s always an honor and encouragement when your work is recognized by professional organizations,” Dockter said. “But the best part is getting to share these accolades with the dedicated women who helped make these programs possible.”
Dockter, who has been with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Childress County for eight years, is now working with a team of agents to create a full curriculum for Kids Crockin,’ which is expected to be released by the end of the year.
“I’m looking forward to sharing our Kids Crockin’ program with others across the state, the nation and beyond,” Dockter said.