By Chris Maza
LONGMEADOW – Longmeadow Public Schools recently announced a new adult education program as a way to give back to the community.
Superintendent Marie Doyle touted the launch of the Life Long Learning program, which will commence with its inaugural class schedule on April 1, as a way to show appreciation to the community for its support of the new high school building. Course registration began on March 12.
“We’re very excited about the response and it is really a great way to thank the community members who don’t have children in school for their support in building the new facility,” she said. “Our goal is to open up the high school to the community and extend learning opportunities for people in Longmeadow of various ages. We’re creating courses that will have serious interest.”
The majority of classes will take place at the high school, while cooking classes will be hosted by the Greenwood Community Center, which Doyle said has a good kitchen.
Doyle explained that in performing research regarding interest in such a program, the district released a survey and received more than 100 responses from members of the community.
“Originally the concept was to gear it to our senior population, but then we decided to expand it because we thought more people could take advantage of it,” she said. “Right now, it is designed for everyone.”
Survey respondents were asked, among other things, what types of classes they would be interested in taking. The food and spirits category was the overwhelming favorite with 66 percent of people indicating an interest. The arts and language were among the other categories that received a strong response.
Among the course offerings for the first session are Spanish and French language classes, creative writing, iPad and iPhone training, finance and investment classes, yoga, knitting and quilting, and Community Theater.
Classes, an hour and a half in length, will take place Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, starting at either 3 p.m. or 7 p.m., depending on the course.
With existing community concerns regarding the budget, such as funding for a full-day kindergarten program, Doyle explained that the Life Long Learning program would come at no additional cost to the town and the district.
“The program will be self-funded. We’re going to charge a nominal fee to the participants,” she said, adding that the district would offer scholarship opportunities for those in need of financial support.
The fee for most of the five-week courses will be $35 and a reduced rate of $20 is available as needed. Community Theater will come with a $50 fee.
Residents can register for classes on the district’s website,http://sites.longmeadow.k12.ma.us/www/
, or by filling out a paper registration form available at the Adult Center.
For more information on the classes, contact Longmeadow High School Enrichment Coordinator Stacy Smith at 565-4239 firstname.lastname@example.org