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Community Ed offers wide range of classes this fall

As autumn leaves begin to fall, Park Rapids Community Education is firing up.

The largest catalog of programs to be produced in recent years offers classes ranging from beekeeping to cheese making, with the community health awareness campaign paying dividends.

Sports and wellness classes - from aerobics, Pilates and yoga to basketball and volleyball - are by far the most popular, according to Community Education director Jill Dickinson.

Added to the traditional this fall is cardio kick boxing, led by personal trainer and Timberwolves cheerleading coach Sarah Frieden. But it's not for the faint hearted, with an intensity level of 7 to 9 on a 10-point scale.

Zumba, based on Latin dance moves, and belly dancing for beginners are also on the docket.

Linda Uscola, retired Park Rapids Area High School German teacher, now leads the English as a Second Language class. Volunteers are being sought to work one on one with students seeking to improve English skills. In exchange, tutors will gain a second language.

And no other "institution" but Community Ed would have students registering for beekeeping and buggy wheel rug making, both at the request of "students."

Cheese-making proved the single hottest class last year, with eight classes being offered, Sari Mabbet leading the moooovement. She returns in October to demonstrate making fresh mozzarella, ricotta and other cheese.

Digital camera instruction by Cal Rice was also well attended, with Rice returning in November for an encore.

Childcare provider training will be offered Saturday, Nov. 20 at Century School. The full day event, also for parents and guardians, offers a car seat safety class, CPR and First Aid classes as well as information on SIDS and shaken baby syndrome.

The classes meet licensing requirements for childcare providers; certificates will be awarded.

Parents and kids will benefit from the early childhood classes to be offered this year.

New this year are "baby showers," where parents of infants birth to 6 months can meet other new parents and enjoy activities with infants at no charge.

A new class for young preschoolers, age 2.5 to 3.5 years, enriches parents and kids, with activities and learning for both.

After school academics - Scrabble Club and Young Writers Workshop - and art classes - creating crafts for Halloween and Christmas - will engage the intellect and imaginations of elementary students.

Also new is a Learn to Skate program for kids ages 4 and up, hosted by the hockey and figure skating associations. Beginning Oct. 30, instructors will teach kids how to skate at the Ted O. Johnson Arena.

Before school activities, "Play: 30" will be offered from 7:30 to 8 a.m. for kids in grades K-8 in the Century Elementary gym.

After School Adventures, for grades K-4, will feature homework help and structured, supervised play, with many teachers, retired teachers and paraprofessionals volunteering their time. This is offered after school until 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

8th Hour after school programming is offered at no charge for students in grades 5-8 Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays in the middle school.

Registration may now be completed online, with the exception of some preschool classes.

Head to www.parkrapids to check out what's in store.

And if you don't see the class you're looking for, chances are the resourceful staff will round up an expert.