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Column: District aims to 'engage, enrich, inspire'

District 518

WORTHINGTON -- Engage. Enrich. Inspire. This is the new slogan and invigoration for the Worthington District 518 Community Education staff and programs. The past six months have been a very busy, yet energizing time for us at Community Education. We are working on many updates and upgrades for our webpage, activities, and how we interact with you our customers as students. When we are asked about how old our students are, our response is "we work with people ages 0-110!"

Worthington District 518 Community Education includes many different departments: Adult Basic Education, Community Connectors, Early Childhood Family Education, Enrichment Programs, Nobles County Integration Collaborative, Parent Liaisons and 21st Century Community Learning Centers. In the past few months, we have tried to re-introduce ourselves to you with information in the Community Education catalog, community informational meetings, as well as on our webpage.

Starting last summer, we discussed the possibility of having the Community Education and the Worthington Area YMCA catalogs combine. Both of our informational catalogs printed at approximately the same time, and were sent to many of the same households within District 518. We were very excited to bring this merger about with the winter catalog. Along with this merger came new looks to the catalog and how the information is being brought to you -- glossy paper cover, flip format of information that keeps both entities registration information easily understood, along with local photographs from area photographers. Our recent spring catalog was mailed on Feb. 14, and many of the classes and events have had a lot of registrations and interest.

We are engaging the community in a photography contest. We would like to showcase the work of area photographers, professional or hobby, by publishing local photos on the front cover of the quarterly catalogs. Additionally, we will be including many snapshots of our activities and events, so many of the pictures will have more of a local interest. More local photos will continue to be added to our webpage to spotlight our students having fun as they are being enriched, to inspire you to join in the fun.

The Worthington District 518 Community Education catalog is just one portion of the responsibilities that the Enrichment Programs work on throughout the year. One of the year's highlights is always the Spring Fling for Seniors, which is hosted annually in May. There are many other events that we work on throughout the year, and enjoy the engagement of a variety of interests to educate, enrich and inspire others.

We are appreciative of the many groups, organizations and service providers that we work with on many projects together. Collaboration helps us bring quality programs, activities and events throughout the year. Just some of the many groups include: Historic Dayton House, Head Start, Memorial Auditorium, The Center for Active Living, Nobles County RSVP, Nobles County Extension and Nobles County Library.

Changes will continue for many months to come. We are busy preparing for an advanced online registration system, which we expect to be more consumer friendly. Many new classes and events are being planned, and partnerships are being expanded with area organizations to bring you additional life-long opportunities.

As always, we welcome your input on our services and offerings. We want to continue to offer classes and events that will engage, enrich and inspire you!

Anne Foley is Worthington District 518 Community Education Enrichment Programs Coordinator.