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Community Ed: more than 40 years of adult education

 

January 6, 2017

Community Ed

Since 1973, Community Education has given adults learning and recreation opportunities that run the gamut from learning to play cribbage or poach a salmon, to dancing to Top 40 music or snowshoeing in the Bear Paw Mountains,.

Community Ed Coordinator Tiffany Olsen said the program, which runs parallel to the school year, offers something for everyone. The 30 classes are split into six categories: special interests, arts, crafts and music, computers, life and health, fitness, and great outdoors.

Sponsored by the Havre Public Schools district, the program's mission statement says the primary purpose of the offered classes is for the enrichment and enjoyment of adults in the community and surrounding communities to continue education.

Before she was the coordinator, Olsen had taken several community ed courses herself.

"I took pinochle last time, 'cause I've never played pinochle. My mom wanted to learn how to play, so that was really fun," she said. "I did a lot of the fitness ones before, too."

The fitness courses, she said, in addition to the health benefits, are great for anyone looking to engage with others.

"The fitness classes have very much a social aspect to them and they become a community. ... They do things outside the class," she said.

One of the most popular workouts, Olsen said, is Oula, a "high-energy, easy to learn, calorie burning, crazy-fun dance workout to Top 40 hits," the summary statement says.

"Oula is dance mania for the soul," the summary adds.

The Oula course has 22 classes and starts Jan. 24.

The genealogy course is one of the more interesting courses, Olsen said.

"There's some very neat ones to me that have been offered for a while that still would be great to take, like genealogy," she said.

The synopsis for the course says that accredited genealogist Sylvia Murray "covers local areas to crossing the Atlantic, adoption, dead-end research and Internet usage for discovering who you are."

The four-class course is $20, and takes place on the Mondays between Jan. 23 to Feb. 13.

One of the latest changes to the community ed program is that people can register for classes up to a week prior to the first class.

Registration options include going to http://www.blueponyk12.com; registering via email at communityed@blueponyk12.com; calling 395-8550, ext. 6716; mailing the registration to P.O Box 7791, Havre, MT 59501; or visiting the Community Education office at 425 6th St.

"Pre-registration is required for all classes. Payment is due with registration," the program says.

The one-day snowshoeing class, although introduced last year, is considered new this year because it has a better chance of happening.

"Looks like we might have winter this year," she said.

Community Ed

Feb. 4, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., instructor Pam Wilson is scheduled to take a group exploring the Bear Paw Nature Trail on snowshoes. The group will meet two days prior to that in the Havre High School library, to discuss safety, proper dress and routes.

As for practicle learning, Olsen said the three-class Quickbooks course is especially valuable for business owners.

"Some topics that this hands-on class will cover include entering sales information, receiving payments and making deposits, entering and paying bills and how to set up and complete a payroll cycle," the synopsis for the class says. "Ample time will also be given for questions."

If anyone has an idea for a course, something they'd like to teach, Olsen said, Community Education is always looking for instructors with new ideas. Instructors are paid.

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