By Tim Leeds
Judy Handstede said there are more than 600 people currently enrolled in the fall Community Education classes.
Fall classes started on Sept. 25, and there are still some classes open for registration. Handstede, the Havre Public Schools Community Education Program director, said a new feature this year is registering online at the public schools' web site. She said this feature is courtesy of Assistant Superintendent Dennis Parman, who designed and built the registration site.
Handstede said there are some new classes that are very well attended this year, including the genealogy class, the Dutch oven cooking class and the welding class.
The program's classes range from single night sessions to some that are twice a week for 10 weeks. More than 50 classes are being offered this fall, ranging from stargazing to computers, crafts and physical fitness.
There are some special interest classes being held next week. "QPR Suicide Prevention Class: Ask a Question, Save a Life" is a two-hour presentation held at the high school library on Thursday, Oct. 12. The class, presented by Kay Nessland and Wanda Meland, is intended to raise awareness about suicide prevention and how to intervene in a positive manner to save a life.
"Building Blocks to Learning Impacting an Infant's Development" is being presented by Marit Ita and Kathy Leeds on Monday, Oct. 16 in the high school library from 7 to 9 p.m. The class presents the latest research on brain and personality development and needs in the first three years of an infant's life.
Mike Bonilla has been teaching computer classes in the program for two years now, and he said he would probably keep doing it as long as he is able.
"I like being able to help out people who don't know as much about computers," he said. "We get a lot of retired people; it's nice to see them out learning new things."
Handstede said they are always looking for new instructors in the program. She said anyone interested in starting a class in a field that interests them should contact her.
The purpose of the program is to provide opportunities for adults to pursue lifelong learning. Started in 1967, the program averages 500 people per session, surpassed this year by the fall enrollment. There are an average of 50 classes taught in each of the three sessions, fall, winter and spring, again surpassed by this fall's offerings.
Handstede the program is also involved in a variety of other community activities. She said there are many community and service organizations tied into community education.