Classes will begin in February for the Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District's Continuing/Community Adult Education Program. The program has grown since its inception last year, with 90 course offerings this session, compared to 47 during the fall.
"I think there are several reasons for this," said Director of Community Education Resources Anita Muzzi. "First of all, I executed a 'blitz' recruitment campaign for instructors who could offer unique experiences for adults in the community, but also took full advantage of people who came to us with ideas and suggestions for what they wanted to do, and we sought out those instructors. Then, I believe the Niagara-Wheatfield community embraced this program because it gives adults the opportunity to explore experiences and areas of interest with a small investment of time and money. You can bounce around, try this 'thing' you've always wondered about, that 'thing' you have a particular interest in, and the other 'thing' that just sounds like fun. In the end giving individuals a wonderful opportunity for on-going personal growth. Not to mention a fun night out!"
Muzzi developed the program, with classes located mostly on the Niagara-Wheatfield High School/Edward Town Middle School campus on Saunders Settlement Road in Sanborn, and several N-W elementary school gymnasiums. She has continuing education experience as an instructor for the last 13 years in various districts and colleges and launched the program at Niagara-Wheatfield in the fall of 2010.
"Without the commitment of Superintendent Carl Militello and the N-W Board of Education, this program would not have come to pass. It was clear from the beginning that together we all wanted to set the stage for adult education for years to come," she said.
"We are committed to opening the doors of this district 24/7 to all members of the community to enhance lifelong learning, " said Militello.
Fifty-nine new classes are starting next month, in the areas of health and wellness, learning and leisure, arts and crafts, financial life tips and in the kitchen. A few examples include a second part to the popular tactical self-defense course; tai chi; living with compassion; freedom and joy; introduction to the Japanese healing art of Reiki; understanding and helping neck and back pain; and zumba fitness in the health and wellness area.
In learning and leisure, new courses include homework strategies for parents, getting started with Facebook, and a very popular lecture series on hauntings and UFOs and alien abductions. German and French language classes are added to conversational Italian.
Arts and crafts new classes include beaded bracelets, basic knitting, origami, quilling and several floral design classes offered by Robert Bracikowski, horticulture therapist and greenhouse coordinator for Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara. Bracikowski has worked for stars like Cher and Rosie O'Donnell and as part of the Christmas decorating efforts at the White House and Disney World. In addition, said Muzzi, Bracikowski will offer a first-ever class for developmentally disabled adults.
Investing for women is a new course, for those looking to improve their financial skills, as well as college funding basics.
An array of culinary classes include everything from eating healthy to celebrating St. Joseph's Day with artichokes, Polish Easter food and even a class for baking tasty treats for cats and dogs.
"These are just a few of the many, many new classes offered. So much time and emphasis was taken to make the classes far from the 'same-old-same-old.' There truly is something for everyone; because of this dynamic, we expect to fill classes quickly." said Muzzi.
Classes start in February, with some beginning in March and April. Classes are scheduled on Mondays through Fridays. Those interested can call 215-3010 for questions and registration information. The current class lineup can be viewed online at www.NWCSD.k12.NY.US/adulted.