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Lew-Port Community Education is back strong

Sat, Jan 11th 2020 07:00 am

Registration for spring 2020 programs now underway

By Terry Duffy

Editor-in-chief

Community Ed is alive and well at Lewiston-Porter.

Lewiston-Porter’s Community Education program is back strong and poised for an even better future. It returned last fall following an earlier lapse due to district financial issues.

This popular Lewiston-Porter program is open to district residents, as well as those in adjoining school districts, including residents from Niagara-Wheatfield, Wilson, Starpoint and even Niagara Falls. What’s more, it has seen positive reactions both from district residents as well as those from throughout the northern Niagara County area.

Anita Muzzi is the program coordinator and a PR specialist with Orleans/Niagara BOCES. She said last fall’s program had more than 120 classes offered and just under 1,000 residents registered.

“We had a great response from surrounding communities attending the program.” Muzzi said. “Many classes had to offer a second night due to the wait lists becoming so large.”

Muzzi said her initial objective last year was to create a program “that touched the interests of the diverse population that we live in to make the Lewiston-Porter campus a focal point in the community. The public supported us in record numbers, far surpassing my initial goals.”

“In so many instances, instructors offered additional classes as the wait lists grew for their sold-out offerings,” Muzzi added.

For winter/spring 2020, the Lewiston-Porter Community Education promised programs are going to be bigger, better and even more diverse in the offerings.

“We’re excited to bring winter/spring edition of L-P Community Ed to Western New York. Makes for a great New Year’s resolution. Please consider trying a course for 2020,” said Paul Casseri, Lewiston-Porter Superintendent of Schools.

“We hope the new winter/spring Community Ed program inspires you and supports your goals to be healthier and happier, to learn and grow and connect,” said Jodee Riordan, president of Lewiston-Porter Board of Education.

The spring session opens Monday, Feb. 24, and continues to Friday, May 15. The program is expected to offer 114 classes, with new offerings/classes added regularly.

“We are bringing back many of the popular classes from the first session, with the addition of close to 50 new offerings,” Muzzi said.

So what’s on the list? Well, just about everything imaginable – and to suit just about anyone’s particular taste. Here’s just a sampling of the many new course offerings on schedule for this spring: beeswax candle making; acrylic and water color painting; embroidery; animation; Ukrainian egg decorating; pencil drawing; basket weaving; babysitting training; Greek souvlaki; basic home brewing; Italian and Polish cooking; family; swing dancing; hula poi dance; gentle and chair yoga; Zumba Gold; IRA RMD planning; “The science of CBD Oil”; back pain prevention; food/nicotine addiction; travel to Italy; beekeeping; fly-tying; German 2; Italian and Polish language for beginners; moonology 1001; ham radio tech, group voice classes; and even a course on seed starting.

Trips to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New York City and the Amish country also will be available.

Muzzi said that, over the past weeks and months, she reached out, and/or has been contacted by a number of interests from the River Region and beyond with an expertise in particular fields. These people expressed a strong desire to share their talents with others. In fact, many were downright excited at the prospect of being able to share their interests and expertise with others through this program.

Consider the following from instructors who have signed on for the spring:

“I have taught several classes for continuing education programs and found that the students are very appreciative that their community offers courses in many different subjects,” said Suzanne Todaro, a stained glass instructor. “It gives them an opportunity to try a new craft, meet their neighbors and be close to home. Many of the instructors, as myself, have studios where one can continue the learning.”

Life enrichment instructor Richard D’Angelo said he hopes to spread positive thinking to others via his classes this spring.

“I have been teaching Community Education for over 30 years. My classes are designed to improve people’s lives and bring them closer to what everyone wants – happiness. I am proud to bring my classes to the Lewiston-Porter School District,” he said.

Deb Hockenberry, a painting instructor for a new Lew-Port offering, commented, “I will be teaching in the spring session and I am thrilled to have this opportunity. Art is a universal language that speaks beyond our differences and this allows me the chance to share that.”

“I am teaching a ham radio class,” instructor Bob Newfield said. “This is useful to the community because, when the normal means of communication, telephone, internet, etc., break down, we become the communicators. Ham radio has been pivotal in disasters all over the country and the world. It is also a great hobby. We can communicate with millions of fellow hams around the world.”

Candle instructor Alexandra Plante said she’s excited to offer what she calls hands-on creations.

“I will be teaching candle-making this spring and I cannot be more thrilled for the opportunity to share my love of making and creating with the local community,” she said. “In today’s world, where everything is so digital and screen-focused, it is so exciting to actually create something with your hands.”

Muzzi said an online catalog and registration information is now available on the Lew-Port website, www.lew-port.com. Click on the Community Education link. In addition, detailed printed catalogs with registration info are being mailed out to Lew-Port district residents.

Muzzi and Lewiston-Porter officials said they are excited and confident on this success of Lewiston-Porter Community Education – this spring and well into the future.

“Rest assured, we are up for the challenge this spring and have even more course selections to come,” she said. “With a program as large as ours, we now have the advantage of drawing students and instructors in from all over WNY. That is a win-win for everyone involved as it creates class opportunities that are not offered anywhere in the region.

“There’s no doubt about it, Lew-Port’s the place to be!”

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