Welcome to our very first guest post on the CourseStorm website! (And we cannot express how excited we are about it!)
If you run an education program that draws from a rural population, you’re in good company. Today, we share advice from a super-successful program in Salina, Kansas. Salina sits in the middle of wheat country alongside the Smoky Hill River, and with a population of about 47,500, isn’t a big city but is certainly a regional hub of activity. As part of the Central Kansas Library System, Salina Public Library‘s CLASS program serves mostly students from Salina but also attracts people from rural parts of the region seeking adult learning and community education opportunities.
Since their founding in 2002, they’ve uncovered a scheduling methodology that prevents low enrollment, supports students, and is encouraging of their community. We invited Glory Benacka, Programs Coordinator at Salina Public Library, to write about how their thriving CLASS program creates and refines its schedule based on students’ requests, observations, and what’s happening in the community at any given time.
“Where are all the strings?” That was the question on the mind of Don Kindred while living in Corona, California in 2013.
At that time, the musical education system in Corona placed most of its focus on teaching children band, rather than orchestral instruments, meaning that students in the area were trained in brass, woodwinds, and percussion, while stringed instruments were largely ignored. Kindred, a classically trained musician and founder of the Corona Symphony Orchestra, knew that if nothing was done, a great opportunity to expose students to the magic of playing stringed instruments might be squandered. So, five years ago, he decided that change needed to start with him and the Corona Symphony Conservatory was born.
Inspiring & Extraordinary Offerings from Around the Country
Just browsing the fun, practical, completely unlikely possibilities in your local Adult & Community Education brochure makes one thing clear. Program directors in towns and cities around the country relish the opportunity to entertain new, original course ideas from talented community members. We traversed the nation, digitally speaking, to highlight some of the most interesting, inspiring and of-the-moment community education classes you can sign up for right now. Even if you can’t get to Arizona to join a Mariachi band or to Pima to prepare for the zombie apocalypse, this list will at least motivate you to take – or teach – a class in your own hometown.