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Hampton/Shaler

Hampton School District hosting Lifetime Learning Academy

| Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, 9:00 p.m.
Hampton Township High School
Hampton Township High School

Lifetime Learning Academy is a new community education program offered through the Hampton Township School District, with classes set to begin next month.

The program, which will be held February through April, will feature courses in areas of arts and crafts, digital technology, gardening and home improvement, health and wellness, and academic enrichment courses, all taught by HTSD staff and local experts, according to Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, assistant superintendent with the district.

The Lifetime Learning Academy “captures the ongoing excitement about learning new things that are enjoyable and informative, and which can enrich the quality of life for our community members,” said Cunningham.

Last year, the district piloted a community education program by partnering with the local Baierl Family YMCA. This year it is being handled within the district as it will help “streamline” the process.

“We were very appreciative of their willingness to partner with us and to share their expertise in putting a program together,” said Cunningham.

The current program has a guiding committee which includes HTSD, Hampton Township Community Center staff, and the Hampton Community Library in order to offer a balanced set of courses, said Cunningham.

Residents and nonresidents can register on the school district website or mail in a form, she said.

Mary Alice Hennessey, a school board member who worked on the pilot programming last year, said she is every excited about this new academy, especially with many of the courses being taught by district staff and local experts. She said the instructors are looking forward to sharing their expertise and personal interests.

And it's a chance for residents who do not get opportunities to interact with district staff to see the wealth of knowledge here, she said.

The classes will be taught at one of the Hampton schools during the evenings, whether one night or several. And classes are at direct-cost, which covers the cost of the instructor and materials needed, except if noted otherwise, said Cunningham.

Specific examples include courses in the area of arts and crafts, including “Beginning Knitting,” “Painting,” and Pet Portraits.” Courses in digital technology include “Microsoft Excel,” “Advanced Google Searching,” and “iPad 101.”

Gardening and home improvement courses include “Gardening Tips 101;” and “Residential Renovation Design.” Academic enrichment courses will feature “Civil War,” “Introduction to Poetry Writing,” and “Film Studies.”

For those wanting to learn more covering health and wellness, they can take “CPR for Laypersons,” “Health-Smart Eating” and “iRest Inspired Meditation.”

Maggi Aebi is the instructor for iRest Inspired Mediation, who said the course helps de-stress and is a method of deep relaxation.

“There's a lot of stress to be an American. I think anxiety is at an all-time high,” said Aebi.

She focuses on teaching to anyone with everyday stress of varying causes, whether health-related or not, with a special focus on military veteran stress. Her son, SSgt Edward F. Greiner Jr., was killed in an accident outside of Ft. Bragg, N.C., where he was stationed and awaiting re-deployment to Afghanistan. So she said it's a way to honor him.

She said iRest and yoga and meditation also greatly helped her when she was suffering from a tumor and meningitis, which affected her physically.

“Yoga has helped me to come back to a place of normalcy,” she said.

A few free courses being offered are “Social Media 101” and “Digital Etiquette” which do require an RSVP so they know how many people for which to prepare.

Cunningham said they are open to local experts proposing a class. If so, they can contact Nancy Schindler at schindler@ht-sd.org or call 412-492-6319 for a course proposal form, which will then be reviewed by the guiding committee when developing the fall 2018 courses.

More information and registration can be found through the district website at www.ht-sd.org under community tab.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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