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Column: Community education offering plenty to local residents

By ANNE FOLEY, District 518

WORTHINGTON — District 518 Community Education is proud to continue to implement change to grow our programs and services provided to our local area. We recently mailed our spring catalog and are very excited about what is happening in the upcoming months.

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On Friday, Feb. 28, Prairie Elementary will be the host to area select musicians in grades 4-6 from Round Lake Brewster, Fulda, Adrian and Worthington in the biannual “Celebration of Young Musicians.” They will be spending the day working with guest clinicians and directors on select music pieces, and the approximately 100 youth will then perform at 1:30 p.m. This performance is a free public concert, and anyone is welcome to attend and listen to the showcase of the activities done with the clinicians throughout the day. The festival has been hosted at Prairie Elementary and is one of five locations outside of the Twin Cities. We are very appreciative for the work and efforts by Jeanne Mammen to continue this tradition, and for the financial assistance to fund this event by the Nobles County Integration Collaborative.

We are excited about one of our events this spring: the presentation about the post-ice storm tree care and possible additional challenges that were created to our many trees and landscapes. We are fortunate to have Gary Wyatt from the University of Minnesota Extension Service and Scott Rosenberg, city of Worthington forester, spend time with us to help our efforts to continue to restore our tree lines, whether in the city or country. Gary and Scott were instrumental in the work done last spring in recovery from the storm, but the focus will also shift toward looking at the further damage done slowly to the trees and landscaping, and options that are available. The open forum will from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, in the WHS Media Center. This class is open to anyone that is interested in attending. Bring along your pictures to ask questions.

The annual Spring Fling will take on a different look this year. We have taken to heart the information from last year’s Boomer Summit and made changes to the Spring Fling to also include a portion that boomers can attend. Our theme for the year is “Earn, Share, Give” — looking at options that are available to make donations of time or money to causes that you might support. The comment expressed about this topic was, “What you are given, you should have gratitude for to make the gift.”

We will have a day of learning more about making the gift, whether with the gift of time and talents, or the gift of money. Information will be shared by local foundations ­— Worthington Area Foundation, Worthington Regional Healthcare Foundation, Love INC, Minnesota West Foundation, Shalom Hill Farms and others. The evening portion of this fun-filled educational day is a condensed version of the day portion, so everyone will have the opportunity to participate. Education, door prizes, great food, booths of more than 20 area businesses/groups and fun will be had on Thursday, May 8 — please join us.

We thank you for your positive response to our new registration system. We are happy to provide quality service, and this service provides a user-friendly, up-to-the-minute accuracy of classes available.

For the past year we have received many enthusiastic responses to having the combined catalogs from Worthington District 518 Community Education and the Worthington Area YMCA. We hope to offer as much information about community events as we can. We have many different options for all ages — come join us soon!

Anne Foley is District 518’s enrichment program coordinator.