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Administrator’s corner: Community Ed adapting in pandemic

Community Education provides lifelong learning experiences for all 23,431 residents of District 241 and beyond. While this past year has challenged traditional methods of Community Education programming, we have learned and adapted and have many high-quality programming options for all ages this year.

Chris Chalmers

Early learning years are the most crucial years for learning in one’s life. The foundation of all cognitive and social development is established during these years. Albert Lea Community Education offers high-quality, safe and nurturing programming and childcare for all children ages 0-5. Parenting classes are also offered. Scholarships are available.

Community Education also offers a comprehensive adult basic education program for learners age 18+. GED preparation, English language learning and more are available along with free child care. The goals of this program are individually tailored to meet the needs and wants of each individual participant. This program serves as a critical resource for education, a link to community resources and employment for the participants and their families.

The Winter 2021 Enrichment book was mailed to all District 241 residents the first week of January, and all programming can be found online https://alschools.ce.eleyo.com/. There are limited in-person options for this session following MDH guidelines, but there is an impressive amount of online and take-home kits offered. The core of Community Education will always be local people sharing passions, interests, education and hobbies with other community members but this past year has helped us re-examine the resources our community has.  In addition to local instructors, there are many online options available from instructors across the State. Enjoy cooking classes from a new instructor in Plymouth, health and wellness classes from instructors in Alexandria and St. Louis Park, and much, much more! There are also over 25 professional development-certificate programs available online.

Gather-Discover-Grow means more now than ever before. Building community is important for each person’s well-being. We look forward to you enhancing your human experience wherever you are in the journey.

Chris Chalmers is executive director of Community Education.