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Community Education serves all of 181

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It’s often been said — but certainly bears repeating — that Brainerd Community Education serves the entire Brainerd Public Schools community from babies to senior citizens. During the 2010-2011 school year alone, Community Education served more than 10,800 students and adults. 10,800! Broken down that means more than 1,600 children and adults took part in early childhood programming, 5,500 youth in preschool through grade 12 attended programs and classes, and more than 3,700 adults ages 19 to 55+ attended adult enrichment, Adult Basic Education, or Insight courses. Amazing!

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At our core, the mission of Brainerd Community Education is to provide enrichment and lifelong learning opportunities for youth and adults in our community. By utilizing the expertise of community instructors and partnering with local organizations, we strive to provide high-quality yet affordable offerings that appeal to everyone in our community.

The much anticipated Guide to Summer Adventures has been mailed and should be arriving in your mailbox soon! We are excited about some of the new Brainerd Community Education summer offerings as well as returning classes and camps that are always popular.

If you have a child interested in science, Alicia Green (who has an advanced degree in biochemistry) is returning to teach two science camps — one in chemistry and the other in circuits, electronics, and robotics. Youth art lovers will want to sign up for an art camp taught by Lois Fisher, a Flipside Summer Art Camp by the Crossing Arts Alliance, and Art at the Arb where nature and art combine to create a fun experience.

This summer we are fortunate to offer an Explore Music! week long experience by musicians and educators from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Students in first grade through fifth grade will discover classical music; create music, art, and movement; and experience the musical storytelling of Peter and the Wolf. Families and students are invited to participate in the free Lakes Area Music Festival concert on Sunday, Aug. 5 at the Tornstrom Auditorium to demonstrate what they learned during the week

If you have a goal of being active this summer, check out our youth and adult golf programs taught by the golf professionals at Madden’s, Cragun’s Legacy, and Grand View’s The Pines. We have several youth sports camps (for example, basketball, football, diving, track, gymnastics, and tennis) and swimming for all skill levels. You could explore kayaking with certified instructor Jeff Kidder or join our popular instructor Tamilu Smith in a core rhythm workout.

Driver’s education classes are very popular during the summer. Our instructors are certified through the Minnesota Department of Education and our program package includes classroom curriculum, simulator instruction, and behind the wheel driver training.

If you can’t wait until summer to jump into one of our programs, we are pleased that Mike Lynch, meteorologist at WCCO radio, is coming up to the Brainerd area on April 19 to host a Starwatch Party that will begin with an indoor orientation and then move outside. Two of the biggest mobile telescopes in Minnesota will be available so participants can get a close-up view of planets, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies in our spring skies.

If you have a special skill or talent that you are willing to share, please call us at 454-6924. If you don’t receive a summer guide but would like one please call us at the same number or go online to www.isd181.org and click on “Community Education” at the top. Community Education is about partnering with the community to meet identified needs and interests so that in working together we enrich people’s lives!

Judy Jenson, Community Education Director, Brainerd School District 181.

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