September 16, 2002
Taken an evening class lately?
by Jeanette Knutson
Take away the Northshore community's world-class valley, its treed hillsides, its river, its lakes, its pristine creeks, and what do you have?
People ... "a wonderful array of people," said Jan Graves, Northshore School District's (NSD) manager of community and business partnerships, "... people with a wide variety of skills."
Graves helps coordinate NSD's Community Schools' Program, an evening adult education program that has been in existence for five years and averages 900 to 1,100 participants each semester.
"Our mission," said Graves, "is to build a community of learners by having community members share what they know."
And share they do.
Each year, parents and travelers, business owners and professionals step up to teach classes on topics about which they have a passion, an expertise.
"And most are teaching these classes for no money," said Graves.
Published cookbook authors will present cooking classes. One class will explore old mining towns throughout Washington. There will be investment classes, quilting classes, scrapbook classes, soap-making classes, massage, naturopathic and physical therapy classes. There will even be a chocolate truffle class in time for Christmas.
The 90 classes offered in the fall session - which begins mid-September and runs through mid-December - include 20 classes created especially for school district volunteers.
In addition, the Community Schools' Program will present two forums. The first one, to be held on Monday, Oct. 14, is entitled "What is Normal Behavior?"
"There are a lot of parents out there scratching their heads on a daily basis," said Graves, "wondering if their child's behavior is normal."
This forum is for them.
In co-sponsorship with Group Health - Lynnwood and the Northshore YMCA (who will provide free on-site babysitting the evening of the forum), the district will present a pediatrician, a child psychologist and a school intervention officer who will examine the parameters of so-called normal behavior. The program will be free of charge and held at Ricketts Administration Building in Bothell. To register for this Oct. 14 forum, call the following Group Health number: (206) 326-2800.
A second forum will take place Saturday morning, Oct. 15. This forum will consist of six different classes revolving around the topic of reading and language. Experts will share tips on helping children learn to read and will explain thought processes involved in reading, listening and speaking.
"New teachers, volunteers and parents will be learning together (in this forum)," said Graves.
And acclaimed Northshore children's book author Kirby Larson will contribute to the discussion, as well.
A catalog explaining these forums and all of the classes offered in the Community Schools' Program will be distributed through Northshore schools and local libraries. It should be available this week and contains registration information at the back of the booklet. To cut costs, the catalogs will not be sent to the 68,000 Northshore area homes, as was done in the past.
Most classes are one and a half hours long, running from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Classes are held Monday evenings at Leota Junior High, Tuesday evenings at Canyon Park Junior High and Thursday evenings at Skyview and Kenmore junior highs.
As was attributed to John Dewey (1859-1952), "Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself."
The district invites community members to take a class and learn something new.