Administrator’s Corner: Plenty of learning awaits with Community Education

Published 4:22 pm Friday, November 23, 2018

Administrator’s Corner by Chris Chalmers

Chris Chalmers


Winter is here, and one of the busiest times of the year for Community Education is about to begin. All District No. 241 residents will receive a winter/spring Community Education book in the mail the second week of December, including lifelong learning options for all. Online registration will be ready the first week of December.

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What will you find in this book? It all depends on what you are seeking.

Families of early learners 0-5 years old will find many activities and fun experiences for children and parents. Adults looking to enhance educational skills, get a GED or improve English language skills will find a vibrant and active Adult Learning Center to meet their needs. These two programs are located primarily at Brookside Education Center and serve over 200 people daily, in addition to many one-time offerings and extra events.

Also at Brookside Education Center is one of our experiential learning stations for general enrichment — it is called the rock gym. The rock gym is open from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday for rock climbers of all abilities. The rock wall can be set up so it is a simple obstacle, or it can be set up to be as challenging as you would ever want. Another element of our experiential programming is the boathouse at Brookside landing. Open June through October, we offer kayaking, canoing, SUPing, biking and more, all summer and fall. During the winter months, check out snowshoes at the Community Education enrichment office at Marion Ross Performing Arts Center on North Broadway.

Enrichment programming for all ages takes place throughout the community and beyond. Many of these opportunities are experiential lifelong learning (and fun) at its finest.

Community Education has three general program sessions: fall, winter/spring and spring/summer. Each session, a Community Education book with current offerings is delivered to all District No. 241 residences. Some instructors have offered classes for years through Community Education, but there are always new offerings and experiences.

If in this next issue you can’t find something of interest to you, please contact us and let us know what you are interested in seeing offered. Many of our instructors are your neighbors and residents of Freeborn County. Their passion for the subject is often the primary reason they share their interests with others. Maybe you have a hobby/interest you would like to share?

Throughout all of our Community Education programming a common element exists: we promote community. Research is beginning to realize the importance of engaging with others and how this can lead to healthier and better-lived lives.

We encourage you this new year to do something for yourself and join like-minded citizens and enhance your well-being.

Gather, discover, grow with Community Education this new year.

Chris Chalmers is the executive director of Albert Lea Community Education.