It’s back-to-school time for grownups

New Parks and Rec, Adult-Community Ed classes to start in September

CHARLES TOWN – Young people in the Panhandle have been back in class for more than a week already, but adults who want to follow suit still have a bit more time.

The fall round of Jefferson County Parks and Rec Commission classes starts Tuesday, the same day that new courses begin with Jefferson County Schools’ Adult and Community Education program.

Parks and rec’s eight-week boot camp/pilates class starts Tuesday morning at the Jefferson County Community Center in Shenandoah Junction, with other classes – including courses in golf, the “Couch to 5K” running event prep, first aid/CPR certification and more – will begin later in September.

Fitness courses for adults include Zumba, yoga and self-defense while kids can sign up for volleyball, running, soccer, archery and other athletic pursuits.

Also on the parks and rec lineup for kids: gymnastics, dance lessons, parent-child Ms. Shelley’s Pony School classes, “Mommy and Me Karate,” tumbling, cheerleading and “Learning to Ride” for beginning bicyclists.

The commission also offers seasonal classes for kids in crafts such as paint-a-pumpkin and instruction in building wooden gingerbread houses. There are also dance classes in genres from pre-ballet for toddlers and tap for homeschoolers to hip-hop.

Licensed counselor Karen Stefano and social worker B.J. Appelgren will teach a six-week “Relaxation Techniques for Teens” starting at 6 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Community Center. That class, aimed for those 15 to 18, costs $60.

“Coupon Craze!” – a four-week class designed for anyone 16 and older – begins Oct. 6. The class, which costs $10, covers the basics of the coupon game such as “lingo, websites to get coupons from, advice on printable coupons … and most importantly, where to get the best deals.”

Parks and rec officials also are offering a number of one-day special events, including a Sept. 20 bus trip to Ocean City, Md., for the Sunfest Arts & Craft Festival; a bridal expo at Sam Michael’s Park new wedding venue Sept. 21; a “thank you” to firefighters with Smokey Bear and the chance to ride in a fire truck on Oct. 10; and a bus trip to New York City for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular on Dec. 13.

There’s also the commission’s annual Chili Cookoff and Holiday Craft Fair, which is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Community Center. There’s no admission charge to enter chili or attend.

Anyone who wants more information can call the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission at 304-728-3207 or send an email to info@jcprc.org. The fall brochure, instructions on signing up for classes and other details may be found at jcprc.org.


Adult and Community Ed

Through Adult and Community Ed, area residents can sign up for classes involving computers (everything from “Intro to the Internet” to courses in Microsoft Publisher and other office programs) and arts and crafts (stained glass, needlecraft, quilting, knitting, sewing, holiday crafts and more) to cooking (cake decorating, chocolate making, holiday cake pops) and musical instruments (guitar, harmonica).

Dance classes are another popular offering, with courses available in square dancing and country line dancing. There’s also “A Day of Dance” set for Sept. 13 and Oct. 4 with instruction in the Viennese waltz, the foxtrot, salsa, rumba, cha cha and others.

Nine-week fitness courses are another mainstay for the Adult and Community Ed program, and include step workouts at Ranson Elementary, Slimnastics at Zion Episcopal Church, Fit N Trim at the Bolivar Community Center and several others. Fitness classes happen Monday through Saturday, with starting times ranging from 9 a.m. to afternoon to as late as 6:45 p.m.

Other classes include Practical Stress Reduction and a variety of wellness courses including hypnosis, “Your Healing Breath” and “Aligning Your Values With Your Life.”

Other classes include tai chi, yoga, recreational volleyball, real estate principles, genealogy, Spanish, chair caning, photography, beginners’ sign language, astrology, “Intro to Medical Laboratory Technology” and more.

While many of the courses accommodate young people as well as adults, a few courses are designed for youth. “Back to School Style” starting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at Ranson Elementary, for instance, gives children 11 and older the chance to “bling” their binders and create locker décor, zipper charms and a “posh” pencil pocket. That 90-minute class costs $14 – $8 for the course and another $6 for supplies.

Other one-night classes for kids as young as 6 are scheduled for October and November, with students creating fall masks and a Thanksgiving centerpiece.

There are even a pair of community service classes that charge no tuition. Singers, even those with no experience, are welcome to join the a’cappella group, the Eastern Panhandle Women’s Harmony Inc., which meets from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays starting next week at the University of Charleston campus at 208 Viking Way in Martinsburg.

A second free class invites knitters and others with experience in crochet, needlework and other crafts to come together to make items to donate to charity. The class happens from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Sept. 23, Oct. 21 and Nov. 18 in the community room of Apple Tree Gardens in Ranson. Students still must register for the classes, organizers say.

Another popular Adult and Community Ed offering – retiree Clark Dixon’s “Discover West Virginia Outdoors” – lets attendees bring along a spouse or friend at no charge.

In the class, Dixon, who retired in 2003 after more than three decades with the National Parks Service, details some of the best places to enjoy the outdoors in the Mountain State.

Dixon’s latest two-hour class begins at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at Charles Town Middle School. Tuition costs $10.

He’s also offering adults the chance to see some of West Virginia’s loveliest locales first-hand with a Sept. 26-27 jaunt to Blackwater Falls, Canaan Valley Resort, Pickett’s Fort and Cathedral State Park. He’ll take a group on a weekend scenic railroad tour in October.

Details on those trips, offered through the Berkeley County Adult and Community Education program, may be found by calling 304-267-3585.

Anyone can get information on Parks and Recreation Commission offerings by calling 304-728-3207, emailing info@jcprc.org or going online to jcprc.org.


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2 Responses to It’s back-to-school time for grownups

  1. Pingback: West Virginia Uncovered | Back to School for Adults in Jefferson County

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