Family and Consumer SciencesWhere to Get Started in Your Community

College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources

LIFE - Individual Growth and Development

Where Professionals and Communities Can Begin Learning and Developing Marriage Education Programs


1. Learn from One Another

Gather for a brown-bag discussion, organize a weekend resource exchange, conduct round-robin presentations of.

  • books, tapes, curricula, etc. with which each person is familiar. Focus on the goals, target audience, content, delivery methods, and (if available) outcome evaluations for each resource and how they can be mixed and matched.
  • typical issues of couples (money, sex, parenting, etc.), incidence of divorce, violence, premarital pregnancy, social attitudes toward supporting marriage.

2. Learn from Your Community

  • Invite couples of one or more life stages to share their experiences and needs;
  • Listen to couples providing information and support to others through informal channels or enrichment workshops;
  • Conduct formal focus groups to assess couple needs;
  • Sponsor a community forum with a panel of expert speakers and concerned citizens from all sectors of the community and work toward expanding support for couples across the community.

3. Learn from Research and Professional Resources

  • Identify topics of mutual interest and invite knowledgeable persons to review the state of the art (or have each member volunteer to research and present what he or she can find).

Topics might include: personal (physical/mental health; family history/status; coping and problem-solving skills; financial readiness); couple (problem solving, conflict resolution, and communication skills; knowledge of issues such as sexuality, finances, recreation, roles); social network (parent/family support, peer support, community resources)

  • Form a discussion group to review a book on marital issues. For ideas on good books, click.


For resources on building coalitions in communities check.

4. Work Together on Programming
  • Act as guest presenters in each other's sponsored events to maximize sharing of expertise and co-teaching;
  • Co-sponsor an educational event among several agencies or organizations, using presenters from each; Work with bridal-and family-related businesses to promote and sponsor;
  • Set up a resource exchange to maximize use of individual libraries.

5. Work Together on Community Awareness and Action

  • Share a newspaper column or radio program on building marital strengths; Take turns speaking to civic groups about marital issues and benefits of marriage education;
  • Establish rituals to recognize couples building marital strengths (as many as possible, not just one per year);
  • Help business leaders to understand the impact of strong marriages on productivity, volunteerism, consumer patterns, and

       -ex: joint contributions to resource and programming efforts; grants

        -Possible Actions: collaborative grant projects related to building strong relationships,
        preventing violence via schools and other community groups;

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