May 27, 2010 at 9:40 a.m.

The Community to school connection

The Community to school connection
The Community to school connection

Chisago Lakes Community Education thinks that it is a good thing when adult citizens from the community walk into the Chisago Lakes school classrooms, step onto the gymnasium courts, and run and play on the school athletic fields. The schools in a community should be a hub of activity and learning, not just during the school day, but in the evenings, on weekends, and in the summer. Chisago Lakes Community Education's mission is to meet the lifelong learning and recreation needs of the citizens of the district by creating opportunities for people to share their talents with those in the district. A good example of this entire process is a fly fishing instructor in our community named Dan Brown. Dan walks among us in the community with a specific talent-fly fishing. When Dan approached Community Education with his interest to teach fly fishing and casting, a class was created in the catalogue, 16 citizens from the community signed up for the class and they were soon casting in the High School gym and tying flies in the agriculture room. Community Education was there to facilitate this process. The lives of those who took the fly fishing class were enriched-the participants are now doing an activity that they might never have experienced.

Community Education believes this is a fulfillment of our mission-providing the vehicle for citizens to share what they know and have experienced. After all Community Education is "us"-the community- all the people living from Taylors Falls to Comfort Lake, from Scandia Township to Amador Township. We are not a school district of 3,400 K -12 students, but rather a community of 19,800 lifelong learners!

Chisago Lakes Community Education is about more than just connecting citizens with a talent, to other citizens who want to learn; our mission also is to address the learning needs of citizens of all ages. When parents first have children, Community Education offers parenting classes to help guide our community's new parents caring for these young learners. When a child reaches age two or three, Chisago Lake Community Education is there to offer preschool classes and school readiness opportunities-acting on the belief that early learning and parent involvement is vital to success in school. When the children of the district enter the schools, Community Education is there to offer before and after school care, after school enrichment and recreation activities like pottery and archery, and all day kindergarten classes. When the last school bell rings for the year, Community Education is ready for summer enrichment opportunities like art camp, theater camp, elementary summer enrichment week, athletic camps and clinics, and much more.

For adults our school district, Community Education is the open door that provides learning opportunities and access to the school facilities. In the evening, adults can come to our schools and learn new hobbies, learn computer skills, get a workout at an open gym or walk in our high school hallways.

Chisago Lakes Community Education does not do all of this work alone; we work side by side with school principals and building secretaries to provide after school learning opportunities for all students. Building custodians are there to welcome adult participants in the evenings by opening the doors and having the facility ready for the classes and activities to take place. The classroom teachers in the buildings of the district graciously prepare their rooms for our adult classes and after school youth programs.

Community Education exists to identify the lifelong learning needs of our communities through community-wide involvement, making resources available and providing opportunities to share talents and resources, thereby improving the quality of life within our communities. This is our goal at the Chisago Lakes Community Education department of the Chisago Lakes Area Schools. We hope that your life is made better by what we offer to you in our programs. "Learning, working, and growing together!"

The Summer program for Adults and Students is available on line at www.chisagolakes.k12.mn.us/communityed.


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