Category Archives: Community Education

Community Education offers personal enrichment classes for all ages.

Art Rocks! at College For Kids

College for Kids has invited super-cool instructors to work with your kids this summer, like “Art Rocks!” instructor Kamila Glowacki. Kamila is pursuing her MA in Art Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she earned her BFA in Art Education and Painting in 2013. Her drawings, paintings, prints, and sculptures have been featured at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago and local venues such as the Indi Go Artist Co-Op, the Art Theater, Common Ground Food Co-Op, and the Women’s Resource Center. And she loves getting kids excited about art! Kamila describes a bit about her work and the class below.

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Above: Jay Ryan poster for Polyvinyl Records’ 4-track single series. Featured image: Poster by Jay Ryan.

Over these next few days, I will be preparing screenprinted T-shirts, enamel pins, and other merchandise for an upcoming tour of the East Coast that my band is about to embark on. As an artist and musician, it has always been a fun challenge for me to design something that represents my music and put it on a shirt or CD. It’s an exciting feeling to see someone wearing something I drew!

Through this creative process, I have learned many practical skills that can be applied to artmaking as well as design. I’m excited to explore these skills with students who will soon take the “Art Rocks!” class at Parkland’s College for Kids summer enrichment camp.

In this class, we’ll design and screenprint T-shirts, create buttons, and zines, and design large-scale posters as part of the “Art Rocks!” class. As students participate, they will develop their own art skills as well as the freedom to create objects that can be duplicated and shared. Whatever T-shirt, storybook, or poster they might imagine will become an attainable item they are capable of creating themselves.

While many K-12 students have a chance to paint, draw, and sculpt, the opportunity to learn about specific artmaking methods and careers within the music industry is not likely to be found in school curricula. Throughout “Art Rocks!” we will look at the work of contemporary artists such as Jay Ryan who have made careers around concert poster or album artwork design. These encounters with contemporary artists will introduce students to the possible careers in the arts as well as encourage their interest in art and music.

I am looking forward to sharing these skills with students this summer, and I can’t wait to see what fantastic designs they create!

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College for Kids registration is open now! Check out our classes by visiting www.parkland.edu/btceRegister. Classes will be held Monday–Thursday, June 19–29 and July 10–20. Class times are 12:45–2:45 p.m. and 3–5 p.m. Tuition for each class is $159 and includes all supplies. You can register online or in person at 1315 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign. CFK inspires students to develop a lifetime love of learning and exploration.

Questions? Call 217/353-2055.

[Terry Thies is program manager for youth education with Parkland College Business Training and Community Education.]

 

Join the College for Kids Fun!

Make College for Kids a part of your family summer plans!
Looking for that really awesome, one-of-a-kind summer camp experience for your kids? Do you want your child’s summer to be filled with fun activities, new and enriching experiences, and opportunities to make new friends? Look no further – we’ve just described Parkland’s very own College for Kids!

College for Kids (CFK) is a summer enrichment camp for students, ages 8-13 years. For over the last 35 years, CFK has offered two-week classes ranging from engineering to art, TV broadcasting to cooking, and everything in between. Classes are hands-on and interactive and put the fun in learning!

We’ve got a lot of new classes this summer that offer tons of fun for your children. They will be learning and challenged at the same time! You child will be able to:

• design an app
• create short animations
• learn Photoshop or design objects
• explore world cultures and art as they learn various forms of
Zumba dancing
• learn to fly a drone with Parkland’s own Jennie Fridgen
• learn to make prints, jewelry, and a 5-course dinner!

Classes meet across the Parkland College campus, and CFK students use the same facilities as Parkland students. Parkland’s new Fine and Applied Arts building provides state-of-the-art facilities for classes such as Paint Like the Masters, Pocket Sketching, and Art Rocks, a printmaking class that combines students’ love of art and rock music. Students will be exposed to many of Parkland’s amazing resources, including science and computer labs, the hospitality kitchen, and even the library!

College for Kids inspires students to develop a lifetime love of learning and exploration. Check out the rest of CFK’s classes by visiting www.parkland.edu/btceRegister.

Registration is open now! CFK will be held Monday through Thursday, June 19 through June 29, and July 10 through 20. Classes are held from 12:45–2:45 p.m. and 3–5 p.m. Tuition for each class is $159, and includes all supplies. Registrations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early. You can register online or in person at 1315 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign.

Questions? Call 217/353-2055.

[Terry Thies is program manager for youth education with Parkland College Business Training and Community Education.]

Drones for Business: Big Option in Small Package

If you use drones (or have thought of using them) for your business, you may not be aware of recently established federal regulations, known as Part 107, that could benefit you. These FAA UAS rules allow businesses to operate drones for commercial purposes.

What does Part 107 mean for you and your drone?

  • Drone operators must be certified under the new UAS Operator certification.
  • Drone operators no longer need to file a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM)
  • All aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs.
  • Flight is allowed under 400 feet above ground level. If flying within 400 feet of a structure, flight can be up to 400 feet above the height of that structure.
  • Flight must take place within visual line of sight of the operator.
  • Approval is required from specific airports to fly within their airspace boundary.
  • Flight must only take place during daytime and twilight hours: flight is allowed 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset.
  • Single-person operations are now allowed; a visual observer is no longer needed.
  • Drones must be registered with the FAA, a process that can be done online in about five minutes
  • Drones can carry an external load and transport property for compensation, allowing for package delivery.

To help residents comply with the new standards, Parkland College Business Training and Community Education is pleased to bring the UAS Certification Exam Prep to our area September 15–16.

Discover what commercial drone/UAS operators will need to know in order to pass the certification test.  Learn pertinent information regarding regulations, airspace, weather, and more with Mandy Briggs, Certified Flight Instructor at the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.

The UAS Certification Exam, available directly after the second day of class, is being handled by the Parkland College Assessment Center.  Testing will occur on a first come, first served basis at the center.  The certification exam is $150.  Click here for all testing and registration information.

[Jessie McClusky-Gilbert is a program manager with Parkland Business Training and Community Education.]

 

Joining Forces: Business Training, Community Education

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Have you heard? Effective July 1, Parkland College Business Training and Parkland College Community Education will join forces, with the united goal of providing opportunities to transform lives through personal and professional development.

Parkland College Business Training and Community Education is positioned to be a “one-stop” for the community’s various demographics, interests, and needs. Through an array of high-quality, customer-driven programs, the department will provide professional growth, career-enhancing training, workshops, social and travel outings, and personal enrichment opportunities.

Services include workshops for individuals who want to upgrade their job skills or train for a new career; corporate and customized training and consulting for area employers; special programs for the underemployed and unemployed, including the Highway Construction Careers Training Program; the Traffic Safety Program; and enrichment classes for all ages, such as College for Kids, computer skills, health and wellness, home and garden, recreation and leisure, and travel classes.

By joining forces, the new department is positioning itself to be self-sustaining, expanding its team and services, and following best practices for the continuing education industry.  The department’s solid core values allow for collaboration, professionalism, diversity, progress, and excellence in all aspects of day-to-day operations and in the opportunities provided to the community.

If you want to learn specific skills to be more productive in your job, we offer workshops just for you!

Popular business training programs of Interest:

For a full list of workshops for your personal and professional interest, check out www.parkland.edu/businesstraining or call 217/351-2235.

Get Ready for Summer Fun with College for Kids!

It’s time to make family plans for summer fun!

Would you like your child’s summer to be filled with fun activities, new and enriching experiences, and opportunities to make new friends,? Look no further; we’ve just described Parkland’s very own College for Kids!

Does your child want to learn digital photography? Does she want to discover the ins and outs of electricity and building circuits?  Or, does he want to design e-textiles or learn to imbed circuits in his very own work of art? We’ve got a class for that. College for Kids participants can design mosaic tiles, write their own movie script, discover the physics behind how a Frisbee flies, learn how to operate a teleprompter, and even be a part of the Pitch at Parkland, our first a cappella experience designed for kids! We offer these fantastic experiences and many more.

College for Kids (CFK) is a summer program for students entering grades 3 through 8. For the last 35 years, CFK has offered two-week classes ranging from engineering to art, radio broadcasting to astronomy, and everything in between. Classes are hands-on and interactive, and they put the fun in learning!

This summer’s sessions are June 20-30 and July 11-21. Classes meet 12:15-2:15 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Sure, we’ll still feature summer favorites like Kids in the Kitchen, Mad for Math, Engineering Medieval Mayhem, and Video Games from Scratch. But look for new classes, too, like the Buzz about Bugs, Behind the Lines–The CFK Improv Troupe, Pocket Sketching, and Making Jewelry with Metals. Students will have an opportunity to design their own strategy game, explore the relationship between writing and our senses in Writing Detectives, and use brand new iPad’s in our digital photography and movie-making classes.

CFK classes meet across the Parkland College campus, and students use the same facilities as Parkland students. Parkland’s new Fine and Applied Arts building provides state-of-the-art facilities for 3D Paper Sculptures, Painting Like the Masters, and Color Your World, an experimental painting class using unique techniques. Students will be exposed to so many of Parkland’s amazing resources, including science and computer labs, the hospitality kitchen, and even the library!

College for Kids inspires students to develop a lifetime love of learning and questioning. Check out the rest of CFK’s classes here and mark your calendar for the first day of registration—April 4!

Registration for this summer’s program opens at 12 am on Monday, April 4. Session 1 meets Monday through Thursday, June 20 through June 30, and Session 2 meets Monday through Thursday, July 11 through 21. Classes are held from 12:15–2:15 p.m. and 2:30–4:30 p.m.

Tuition for each class is $159, and includes all supplies. Registrations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early. You may register online or in person at 1315 N. Mattis Avenue, Champaign. Questions?  Call 217/353-2055.

Mapping the Future: Careers in Transition

It is never easy trying to plan for the unknown. This is especially true in the uncertain times our community and state are currently facing. Will there be funding? Will I have a job? If I change jobs, how long until that position is affected?

Positioning yourself for the next chapter in life can be overwhelming; where do you even start? A road map for success would be helpful, especially during times of unwanted career transitions (i.e. downsizing, layoffs, closings, etc).

Your Future Ahead Road Sign

Looking for a job—a really good job you actually want—will take time and a lot of effort. Changing careers is challenging because rarely will you meet ALL the must-have requirements, but there are things you can do and anticipate in your search that will help you shine.

We welcome you to learn from Rick Galbreath, SPHR, who is a nationally published author, public speaker, trainer, consultant and founder of Performance Growth Partners Inc. with over 25 years of experience. Rick will be at Parkland College Business Training from 8am to noon March 29, 30 and 31, presenting on “Mapping the Future: Career Transition Workshops.”

The Job Search: What I Want Next
Tue Mar 29     8am-noon

The Resume: Showcasing Your Talents
Wed Mar 30     8am-noon

The Interview: Landing the Job
Thu Mar 31     8am-noon

For more information, contact Business Training at 217/351-2235 or businesstraining@parkland.edu.
[Jessie McClusky-Gilbert, CPP, is program manager for Parkland College Business Training.]

Nursing Conference: Continuing the Legacy of Sister Julia

[This post was written by Richard Francis, Regional Director for Clinical Education at Presence Covenant Medical Center.]

What if I told you Parkland’s Nursing program had Catholic roots? 

Sister Julia 2
Sister Moriarty (News-Gazette photo.)

Sister Julia Moriarty started Parkland’s nursing program in a joint venture between Parkland College and Presence Covenant Medical Center (then known as Mercy Hospital). Sister Julia was a remarkable and accomplished woman, who was first and foremost a servant to others. A member of the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary, Sister Julia first came to Champaign-Urbana in 1942 to finish her nursing training and serve at the local Catholic hospital. She stayed for close to 50 years.

In the late 1960s, Parkland approached Sister Julia about starting a nursing program at the college. Although at the time, Mercy had its own hospital-based nursing program, Sister Julia saw the college program as a way to positively impact not just one hospital, but the community as a whole and nursing as a profession. Sister Julia spent five years living in the convent with the other sisters at the hospital while working with Parkland to establish their nursing program. Colleagues who taught with Sister Julia typically remark that she was well beyond everyone else in her thinking and vision for what nursing should be, and how nursing can positively impact the whole community. She was loved and respected by colleagues, co-workers, and patients. Her kind and warm spirit touched all who knew her.

In the spirit and example of Sister Julia, Parkland College and Presence Covenant are co-sponsoring a nursing conference with a local scope and flavor, The Spirit of Nursing Conference: Emerging Topics in Nursing.  Topics at this conference and future conferences will be kept global to appeal to all types of nurses, not just specific disciplines. Topics at the May 20 conference will include: The Changing Landscape of Healthcare, End of Life Decisions, Generations in the Workplace, and Life Skills for the Nurse.

The conference will begin with a light breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Presentations begin at 9 a.m. and the conference will end at 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided.  Continuing education units (CEUs) available through the conference: 4.

The conference fee is $49, with proceeds supporting the Sister Julia Scholarship Fund at Parkland College.  Advanced registration is required due to limited seating.

To register, or for more information, please click here or call 217/351-2235.

 

Words that Work

Today’s guest writer is Mary Shores, president and CEO of Midstate Collection Solutions, Inc. based in Champaign and creator of the “Words that Work” principle of customer service.

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If you think your customer-service scenarios are bad, let me tell you about mine: I own and operate a collection agency! Any situation involving stressed-out people and their money can be a nightmare, but once you add in the stereotypes and the fact that collections is one of the most reviled industries in the world, you’ve got a recipe for disastrous outcomes. Let’s face it, people hate us more than they hate going to the dentist!

What I have found, however, is that a collection agency is the perfect testing ground for refining customer-service skills. “Words that Work” is a customer-service philosophy I developed in the lab of my own company and have used with success. So, if I can make these customers happy and obtain positive results in my industry, think of what Words that Work can do for you! (After all, do you want a soldier who has only experienced boot camp or one who has been battle-tested?)

Consider this: A happy customer is a walking billboard for your company. Take Harley Davidson as an example. They call their customers “disciples” for a reason. Harley Davidson customers wear their logo, put it on their other vehicles, even tattoo it on their bodies. Heck, I know people who do this who don’t even own a Harley! I want to help you get on the path to creating your own disciples.

Words that Work:

  • Improves customer service outcomes.
  • Effectively diffuses angry or upset customers.
  • Builds trust and rapport.
  • Empowers your staff.
  • Creates consistency.

My philosophy features a three-step manifesto:

  1. Stop Staying Negative Words
    Negative words like “no”, “can’t”, and “unfortunately” reinforce a negative outcome for customers and incite them to do battle with your company. I will teach you what words to stop saying and why they can impact a customer so strongly.
  1. Start Using Words that Work
    Using language that supports the solution rather than the problem is the way to greatly improve the outcomes for your customers and your company. I will teach you what words to use, how to respond in different situations, and how to build consistent results.
  1. Always Say What You Can Do, Not What You Can’t Do
    Build trust and confidence while you create effective solutions for your customers.

Starting in January 2016 at Parkland College Business Training, I will teach you how to never say no and how to create solutions and have them in place to readily resolve customer-service issues. To hold your seat for my session, register here now!

***Words that Work has transformed my business and has changed my life and the lives of my employees and workshop attendees. When I saw the need for this kind of teaching and its applications, not only in business but in personal life, I wanted to reach as many people as possible. I started writing the book Words that Work this year, and it will be published through Hay House Publishing in 2017. If you’d like to follow my progress and receive my monthly newsletter packed with coaching exercises, sign up at www.MaryShores.com.***

 

Memphis can seem miraculous!

[This spring, experience the home of the blues and the
birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll on a fun, three-day excursion in the magnificent river city of Memphis, Tennessee. Parkland Community Education Program Manager John Eby, no stranger to the sights and sounds of Memphis, provides a taste of what’s to come.]

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Memphis, Tennessee, is a hard-working southern city that requires several hours of travel through relatively monotonous countryside to reach. When you approach it in the daytime, you wonder if there’s anything special about it, because it looks like many other metro areas: a little desolate, a little desperate, with a beltway around its stone, glass, and steel structures. And then, there’s the very wide and very muddy Mississippi splashing up against its western side.

But! As the sun goes down, and the neon comes on, a miraculous thing happens! Memphis transforms into one of the most fun, most delicious, and most welcoming cities in America. If you’ve been there, you know that Beale Street is lined with Blues venues, BBQ restaurants, and small-time vendors with shelves full of kitschy souvenirs, rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, and of course … everything Elvis.

If you’ve never been to Memphis, know that you arrive early, you stay late, you eat meat that’s sloppy with sauce and desserts that are rich and satisfying. Then you’re expected to hop from house to house to hear the Blues played by up-and-comers and old-timers alike. You can eat more, imbibe more, and enjoy the true heart and soul of the city until the early morning hours. (Specific recommendations from a two-time visitor: Blues City Café and King’s Palace.)

At St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, real miracles happen, and Parkland College has a unique and long-lasting connection to the medical facility’s campus. In 2011, students, staff, faculty, and affiliates—36 altogether—spent spring break completing the design and installing the landscaping for a garden outside the hospital’s main entrance and adjacent to the Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion. Read a pretrip profile here. Since its completion and dedication as “The Hope Garden”, this space has served patients and their families as a place for meditation, reflection, and play. It’s a special connection to a miraculous place for the Parkland community.

Join us on a great three-day trip, April 6–8, 2016, and experience these highlights of Memphis and more! Our itinerary includes visits to Graceland (we can’t forget Elvis), the Mississippi River Museum, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Center for Southern Folklore, and the Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion at St. Jude, with free time to enjoy the fantastic meals and music served up on Beale Street.

Reserve your spot today; your deposit is due Dec. 18, with the balance due Feb. 26. For more information about the trip and to complete a registration/deposit form, please contact Parkland College Community Education at 217/353-2055 or communityed@parkland.edu.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Bringing Energy and Passion to the Workplace

Gallup reports that 70% of U.S. workers are not engaged at work, costing an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion annually from loss of productivity, safety, and quality.[1]

Surely, most people would prefer to be engaged in their work, so it seems in the best interest of both employees and employers to do something about this staggering number.

So how do we get more engaged? Famed business leader and Harvard Business School Professor Bill George said “missions motivate, dollars don’t.” Real engagement comes when your interests and values are aligned with your employer’s vision and mission, so that the work becomes personally meaningful. It might involve making a difference in the world, helping other people, connecting with others, or creating something new. People whose jobs align with their values and interests are the ones who say, “I can’t believe they pay me to do this job.”

For employees, getting this type of synergy requires an ongoing process of inner contemplation about your interests and values, and creative brainstorming about how they can be better met at work. You may need to have difficult conversations about how to refocus or redefine your work, or even pursue a new job. Or it might just require a simple shift in mindset to notice and focus on what’s right about your job rather than on what’s wrong.

For employers, this synergy requires creating work environments in which each person’s contribution is understood and appreciated. It involves getting to know your employees personally, providing opportunities for them to understand their interests and values, and then working creatively to align them with your mission and vision. And when problems happen, it means trying to understand where the misalignment is happening and creatively redirecting rather than blaming.

When people see opportunities to contribute to an exciting vision that aligns with their personal values and interests, magic happens. As Goethe says, “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help that would never otherwise have occurred… Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

Want to learn how to bring energy and passion to YOUR work? Check out our new workshop, here.

[1] State of the American Workplace, Gallup, Inc., 2013.

[Jessie McClusky-Gilbert, CPP, is Program Manager for Parkland College Business Training.]

5 Reasons You Should Love Carter Family Music

The original Carter Family – A.P. and Sara Carter, and her cousin (and his sister-in-law) Maybelle Carter have been called “the first family of country music.” They recorded hundreds of songs in the 1920s–40s and Maybelle’s innovative style of guitar playing was enormously influential.

If you haven’t heard of them, you’ve almost certainly heard of Johnny Cash, who married Maybelle’s daughter June. Here are some other fun facts about the Carter Family and their music:

  1. Posters promoting Carter Family concerts featured the charming tagline, “the program is morally good.”
  2. Their concerts may indeed have been morally good, but there were plenty of juicy goings-on behind the scenes!
  3. The Carter Family back story includes the almost unbelievable tale of one Dr. Brinkley, purveyor of goat glands to a large and willing audience. No kidding!
  4. Maybelle Carter’s pioneering style, now known as the Carter scratch, changed acoustic guitar playing forever.
  5. Carter family descendants still run the Carter Family Fold in the location of the original homestead, featuring concerts and festivals year-round.

If you have any interest in early country or “hillbilly” music, we’d love to share the music of the Carter Family with you in an upcoming class offered by Parkland College Community Education. We will play and sing lots of their songs, and also talk about their history, why they were so popular, and why their music still endures today.

Mondays, September 14-October 5, 7 to 8:30pm, $45. Sign up by calling Community Education at 217/353-2055.

Feature image: Carter Family, the, Photograph, from Britannica Online for Kids, accessed August 28, 2015, http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/art-107922.

No Panic Necessary for Lack in Computer Skills

You’re a fairly computer savvy thirty-something. The phone rings. It’s your mother, and it’s the same panic again:

“IthoughtIsavedtheletterI’dwrittenbutnowit’sgoneandIcan’tfinditanywhere.WhatdidIdowrong?
Can you help? Please?!”

Can you help her? Yes, you can. You can recommend classes that will make her feel more confident and competent and that will allow her to enjoy working with the computer. Panic controlled.

Parkland College Community Education offers computer courses for skill building at three levels. Jane Bateman, our experienced and patient instructor, leads participants step by step toward an easier connection with the technology and its advantages.

  • Beginner, Beginner Computers starts with the basics. Learn efficient use of the mouse and important terminology.
  • Beginner Computers is for those who have a nodding acquaintance with a computer. Learn skills to increase your comfort level.
  • Intermediate Computers goes beyond computer basics. Learn how to navigate using various computer programs and the benefits of all they can do.
  • Computer File Management shows there are very efficient ways to format and organize computer files. Learn the best practices, and start getting information and documents in order for quick and easy access.
  • You’ve Got Mail: An Introduction to Using Email and the Internet gets you comfortable with the ins and outs of managing email and shows you how to search for information on the Internet and download pictures (intermediate-level computing skills required).

Former students have gained useful information from these classes, and our instructor always gets good grades. In fact, many of our older students rave about Jane’s warm and helpful manner:

“Great instructor.”
“Helpful and willing to work with all levels of ability.”
“…personable and helpful.”
“Keep Jane!”

Perhaps neither age nor experience is the issue; maybe work and life haven’t required a computer or only minimal work with one. Maybe an employer had a system that was new in 1992 and now, with plenty of time on your hands, you would like to upgrade to 2015-2016 and beyond. These classes will boost your skills, too.

Begin at the appropriate level. Figure out what else you need to know, and we can most likely find a way to teach you.

And… after these five classes, you can call your mother, just to chat.

 

[John Eby is program manager for Parkland Community Education.]

Why YOU Should Enroll in Group Fitness

Are you just starting an exercise routine?  Maybe you’ve been working out for years.  Group fitness classes offer more than a room full of sweaty classmates and an overly enthusiastic instructor:

  1. Another human being will miss you if you aren’t there, unlike your TV or maybe even your faithful canine companion.  Even if you aren’t at the top of your motivational game, you’ll feed off the energy of others and the time will pass before you know it.
  2. Proper form. While I appreciate Jillian Michaels, she has never once reached through the screen and corrected my form.  In a group class, your instructor will not only demonstrate, but assist in corrections of form to prevent injury and insure you’re working the right muscle groups.
  3. Push it. It’s easier to keep going when you’re winded and worn out if there are others challenging and cheering you.  Instructors can offer modifications to some routines so you’ll keep moving and build strength and endurance.
  4. Fun! You are more likely to stick with a routine if you’re having fun—and how could you not with great instructors and a variety of classes from dance to toning to meditation?  We offer several classes throughout the day and week.  Won’t you join one? Boot Camp, Turbokick, Interval Conditioning, Functional Training, Fit for Life, Group Cycling, Zumba, 2D Cycling, Cored Conditioning, Zumba Gold, Pilates, Flow Yoga, Water Aerobics, Tai Chi, Nia, Keys to Better Balance…it’s all here for you.

Classes begin in September.  See our complete schedule, the 505.

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7 Fun Facts about Bridge

Bridge is stiil one of the most popular card games in the world, so there must be some FUN to it! Speaking of fun, here are seven fun facts you may not know:

  • The card game of bridge evolved from previous trick-taking games dating back to the 16th century. The worldwide game had a surge in popularity in the United States in the 1930s.
  • Strategic game play keeps memory active, the brain alert, and the body healthier: A study in 2000 at the University of California-Berkeley found strong evidence that an area in the brain used in playing bridge stimulates the immune system.
  • Bridge enhances social life and nurtures partnerships – keys to healthy aging.
  • Bridge. Beats. Boredom. You can play it online, with a few friends at home, or via a club or tournament.
  • The average age of today’s competitive U.S. bridge player is 71.
  • Business magnate, investor, and philanthropist Warren Buffett plays it: “Bridge is such a sensational game that I wouldn’t mind being in jail if I had three cellmates who were decent players and who were willing to keep the game going 24 hours a day.”
  • And… at 96 years old, it’s never too late to be Athlete of the Week.

Learn the game of bridge from scratch or enhance your skills, with FUN classes from Community Education.

Coloring? For adults?

Ready to relax, use your imagination, and revisit your inner child? Then spend a few hours coloring! Parkland College Community Education is offering a unique and creative outlet over three evenings this September.

You’ll have fun and explore the basics of visual art when you register for “Coloring for Adults.” When you do, you’ll join a current trend happening across the country–check out this article about adult coloring released just this past week.

During your first class, on Tuesday, September 1, visual artist Ella van Wyk will help you explore the materials, mark-making techniques, and basic color theory behind this experience. By week two, you will find your coloring abilities have reached a whole new level after a guided work session with the instructor.

At the end of your last class, you get to choose from a selection of original coloring pages by van Wyk to use as your final project and celebrate everyone’s finished pieces, with an informal critique of pictures and process.

Give yourself permission to enjoy this age-old method of stress relief. The fee for “Coloring for Adults” is $59, which includes all supplies for the class. To register, please contact Parkland College Community Education at 217/353-2055 or visit us at 1315 N. Mattis Ave. in Champaign.

Fresh herbs are better, right? 

 

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“Yes, but I’m drowning in basil – HELP!”

Here are some quick tips to get the most flavor out of your culinary herbs in order to enjoy them all year round:

Inside, outside, upside down.  Some herbs are just easier to grow than others.  It’s important to create the most hospitable environment for those finicky herbs on your list.

Timing is everything.  When it’s time to harvest, you want to capture the most optimal flavors.  Some need to be picked early in the morning before the dew dries, while others need to bloom first.

Proceed with caution!  Some herbs have toxic portions.  Make sure you know which ones those are and how to enjoy them safely.

Persevere as you preserve.  You can dry, freeze, or make oils with fresh herbs in order to use later.  The secret is knowing which process to use for each herb.

Does this container make me look flat? Choosing the correct container to store your herbs is essential in preserving the vibrant color and delectable tastes.  Don’t zap the flavor.

Want to learn more about maximizing your herb expertise? Jean Hovde has just the class for you! Sign up now, through Parkland College Community Education.

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A Bee’s Life for Me

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I am a beekeeper, but the truth is that beekeeping did not come naturally. When someone gifted me with a hive about seven years ago, I spent the first year being terrified every time I opened it.  Honey bees pick up very quickly on a beekeeper’s fear, so I knew I had to get over it.

When I started talking to my bees, I started to relax.  Then I started to listen. They were talking back through their buzzing.  Over the course of many conversations, my bees wrapped their tiny legs around my heart.  Today I talk to them every chance I get.

Being a beekeeper brings you into direct contact with nature.  You start looking at the world like a bee, seeing flowering plants and insects like you’ve never seen them before.  The weather becomes super important.  You know just by looking at the sky if it’s a good day to fly.

Beekeeping has also brought me closer to the land.  I maintain about 50 hives, so I need good agricultural landscapes for my bees.  The five farms around Champaign-Urbana where most of my bees reside are organic or natural farms far from conventional corn fields and deadly pesticides.  Like me, the farmers on these farms take pleasure in observing their bustling little charges at work among the flowers.

My company is called Second Nature Honey, and gourmet-infused honey has been my main product.  Chocolate honey is my most popular flavor, followed by honey infused with chamomile or hibiscus flowers.

This year I am partnering with Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch to implement a USDA grant to capture varietal honeys. I work closely with the Curtis beekeeper, Rachel Coventry, to improve pollination.  We use a microscope to examine pollen in honey to determine which plants they prefer to pollinate.

I love to teach beekeeping.  I teach at Parkland and at Common Ground Food Co-op.  Parkland is a great place to connect with beginning beekeepers and help them get started.  My students’ enthusiasm for the bees keeps me going!

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Maggie Wachter is a master beekeeper and a certified honey judge. Her goal is happy, healthy hives all year long. Maggie’s expertise has led her into “Second Nature Honey”, an award-winning local business that specializes in gourmet honeys and mead making. Her beekeeping is based entirely on  sustainable and natural principles.

Check out Maggie Wachter’s bee classes in the 505, Community Education’s summer class listing.

The bees are hungry!

Our pursuit of manicured weed-free lawns and ever expanding agricultural development has created a hostile environment for bees and other pollinators like the monarch butterfly, the Illinois state insect. Beautiful green lawns and cornfields with no violets, clover, or dandelions are virtual food deserts for insect pollinators.

The good news is, we’ve realized our bees and butterflies are in trouble, and we’re doing something about it! It’s in our best interest to do sowe need our pollinators to thrive if we want to continue to eat the food we enjoy today. No pollinators—no food—no exaggeration!

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The White House recently released a blog post  announcing the publication of a Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. The strategy has three main goals:

  1. Reduce honey bee colony losses to economically sustainable levels;
  2. Increase monarch butterfly numbers to protect the annual migration; and
  3. Restore or enhance millions of acres of land for pollinators through combined public and private action.

Here’s more good newsyou don’t have to be a scientist or an expert gardener to get involved: this plan calls for all citizens to step up and help save our bees and butterflies. If you’re interested in protecting pollinators, here are two resources you can explore:

  1. Download a plan for a small garden called a “pollinator pocket” at the University of Illinois Extension website here, along with other tips for making your yard into a healthy pollinator habitat.
  2. Learn about bees and beekeeping through Parkland College Community Education from expert beekeeper and owner of Second Nature Honey, Maggie Wachter.

And don’t fear bees—you’re more likely to get hit by lightning than stung by a bee!

“I wanna rock and roll all night…”

First Gig Rock N’ Roll Camp for Kids is a six-day camp for ages 10–18 years who love music and are ready for the full Rock n’ Roll band experience, including the thrill of performing live in front of an audience.

This summer’s camp at Parkland College will take place July 20–25, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.  Registration information available here.

First Gig was built in Danville in 2012, incorporating talent from central Illinois. While the notion is not original, the formula most definitely is. The resources and connections used here were developed over 20 years in the industry. The camp brings together local and regional artists in the field of music, overseen by members of the Chicago Blackhawks Band (the official band of the the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team). They not only teach students valuable knowledge but also guarantee a fun time for all.

More than 25 area musicians will serve as camp instructors, sharing years of stage experience and teaching children the difference between playing music and performing live in front of an audience. It’s a luxury for us not only to have talented people at our fingertips but to have these people share an appreciation for working with the next generation of musicians.

How it Works
First Gig staff members place all incoming students in a band, then assign each band a professional leader. The band then works as a team to choose a name and pick songs to learn.

Participants spend their time rehearsing as a band and studying individually with guest musicians from some of the area’s most popular bands, who excel in their field. Students develop their skills and talent in guitar, bass, drums, or vocals. They also participate in other hands-on activities, including photo shoots, studio recording, sound production, and merchandising.

Guest speakers from across the music industry will cover various topics of relevance, like management, talent buying, marketing, etc.

The week culminates with a live public performance by the bands.

For more information, visit www.parkland.edu/communityed/firstgig.aspx

13 Reasons You Should Take Yoga at Parkland College

I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years.  I have loved it since my first practice.  About five years ago, I decided to become a yoga instructor.  Having a regular yoga practice has many benefits. Instead of telling you why I think you should take my yoga class, I recruited my Tuesday evening class to share why they practice yoga at Parkland:

  1. I take yoga for balance, strength, and relaxation… something I can do just for me. 🙂
  2. After sitting at a desk all day, it is so beneficial to my body and mind to come to yoga class and stretch, de-stress, and gain strength.
  3. Good for strengthening and stretching.
  4. No matter how sore or still you may be, after a yoga session, you will feel incredible—mentally and physically!
  5. It’s relaxing.
  6. The poses I have learned in this class have helped me improve my balance, strength, and flexibility. The class itself is a nice escape from the stresses of a long day at work. I love it!
  7. Yoga is an awesome class—after class, I feel so relaxed and energized.
  8. Relaxing, fun, and good energy! Great way to calm, de-stress, and build strength. Knowledgeable and fun instructor.
  9. It’s fun, relaxing, helps you stretch muscles you haven’t used in a long time.
  10. Yoga helps with improvement of balance and flexibility.
  11. It seems that Tuesdays are very hectic at work. Some days, I feel like skipping, but am soooo thankful when I come! I feel better physically and mentally. Love yoga!
  12. For balance. As you age, that’s the first thing that goes.
  13. Lisa creates a great environment. I look forward to coming and de-stressing.

****A NEW Flow Yoga session starts Tuesday, May 26! Register NOW with Community Education: 217/353-2055.

Tuesday evening Flow Yoga class doing favorite poses.
Tuesday evening Flow Yoga class doing favorite poses.

Sign Up for Summer Fitness— Fun & a Brain Boost!

One of the best ways to get mentally sharp for summer and fall classes is to  exercise! According to Scientific American, AARP, and other sources, regular exercise boosts your mind by keeping your brain, heart, lungs, and muscles at high performance. Exercise also improves your mood and helps you handle mental tasks with greater ease.

So why not come back to Parkland this summer for low-cost exercise classes that keep your brain and body fit? Here are a few you’ll enjoy:

Five reasons to sign up for Core & More this summer:
1. Tone your tummy for swimsuit season!
2. Strengthen and stretch your back for gardening and yard work!
3. Improve your balance for safer walking, hiking, and outdoor activities!
4. Learn to stabilize your torso for better performance at your softball games (or be more comfortable sitting on those hard bleachers)!
5. Practice good posture for selfies and vacation photos!
Mondays @ 5:30pm

 

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It’s more than an exercise class…it’s practice for daily living! Strengthen your muscles for lifting and playing with grandchildren, improve flexibility for housework or yard work, improve balance for fall prevention. And do it to fun, familiar music with friendly classmates!
Tuesdays @ 5:30pm

 

Zumba GolFitness1d
“I don’t have any rhythm!”
“I don’t know how to dance!”
“I can’t keep up with the instructor!”
Not a problem with Zumba Gold! As long as you like to move (even if you think you’re not any good at it) and enjoy fun international music, you can do this low-impact version of the popular dance exercise program! There’s no right or wrong, no complicated steps to memorize, no judgment! Join the party!
Mondays @ 9:30am or Wednesdays @ 5:30pm

For more information, http://www.parkland.edu/communityed
Call Community Education at 217/353-2055 to register today!

My College for Kids Experience

College for Kids participant Amelia Case, 11, looks forward to returning to CFK at Parkland College this year for more fun summer activities! Here’s why. 

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My name is Amelia and I will be going into sixth grade next year. I’ve been going to College for Kids since third grade and have enjoyed every class I took. Two of my favorites were Ceramics and Construction Junction.

In Ceramics, we learned how to make bowls, plates, and pencil holders out of clay. We shaped them and then put them in the kiln. After that, we got to paint them and take them home. It was really fun! In Construction Junction, we learned about Rube Goldberg machines and watched videos of them. Then we were split into groups of six to make one ourselves. We decorated ours to have a sea theme. On the last day, parents could come and watch it work. I liked this class a lot.

Another class I took was Create Your Own Webpage. We learned HTML and made our own webpages. It was really cool! The last class I took was Create Your Own Comics. I loved this class because it taught me a lot about cartooning and making comics. We made a book out of all the comics we made at the end and then took it home.

All the classes were great. College for Kids is so fun!

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Images by Amelia

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CFK Summer 2015 Sessions: June 15-25 and/or July 6-16
Monday-Thursday, 12:15-2:15pm and/or 2:30-4:30pm
Enjoy fun, interactive classes in arts, science, theatre, writing, computers, and much more, for students entering grades 3 through 8. Email collegeforkids@parkland.edu to be added to the mailing list.

***Remember, sign up starts May 4!

Hear, View History with Community Education

Parkland Community Education classes are challenging, dynamic, often fun, and, of course, always educational.  We engage students and the community in learning more about topics with which you’re familiar and in gaining new knowledge and experiences about topics you’re encountering for the first time.

We present our classes during times we hope are convenient for you, and we hold them in various, easily accessible locations.  Our listing is always available online at www.parkland.edu/communityed, or you can receive a printed listing by calling 217/353-2055.

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We have quite the treat for you this spring: an exciting tour of American Civil War history, led by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable historian! PLUS, we’ll take you on a trip to visit places well-known to then President Abraham Lincoln, and let you experience contemporary interpretations of the man in Springfield, Illinois.

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Since 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination, Community Education is offering four occasions for you to listen, discuss, and debate the Civil War and the culture surrounding that time, with historian Christina Smith.

A master’s candidate at Illinois State University, Smith’s areas of interest, research, and writing include 19th-century culture, the American Civil War, and the post-war Reconstruction era.  Her passion for the subject takes her on yearly pilgrimages to Gettysburg, as well as most of the major Civil War battlefields.

Also, don’t forget to reserve your spot soon for our spring bus trip to visit the Lincoln Presidential Museum, the Old State Capitol, and Lincoln’s final resting place.

The Civil War history sessions and the trip information are posted below. Course dates, times, and registration fees vary.  Please contact Parkland Community Education for more information: 217/353-2055.

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North & South: Really so Different?  (1:30 PM — Tuedsay, February 24 — BTCE room J127)  Analyze the similarities and differences between the North and the South. How peculiar was the American South? What were many of the self-proclaimed Southern distinctions? Was slavery the only divisive factor?   fee = $9

Battle of Shiloh: Dividing the Nation  (1:30 PM — Tuesday, March 3 — BTCE room J127)  The Battle of Shiloh shocked the nation. April 6 – 7, 1862, were the  most devastating early days of the Civil War. Discuss and debate personal, cultural, and political perspectives and aspects of the War.    fee = $9

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Cultural Divisions: A Woman Not of Her Time  (1:30 PM — Monday, April 3 — BTCE room J125)  Elizabeth Packard was imprisioned and declared insane because she refused to conform to gender roles and traditional cultural and religious norms. Hear how she helped reshape the idea of womanhood in the mid-19th century.   fee = $9

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Going Home: Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train  (1:30 PM — Monday, April 13 — BTCE room J127)  Possibly the longest train ride in American history began in Washington, DC, on April 21 and ended in Springfield, Illinois on May 3, 1865. Hear how the North/South political climate was changed, and the 1654-mile journey that brought the slain president back to the Prairie Capital.  fee = $5

Lincoln’s Life and the Presidential Museum  (8:00 AM — Friday, May 1 — departure from BTCE parking lot)  Travel to Springield and visit the Lincoln Presidential Museum, honoring America’s 16th president. Special exhibits, memorabilia, and unique performances make this museum a truly unforgettable experience. Continue the history lesson with a visit to the Old State Capitol and Lincoln’s Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery.    fee = $39 (lunch additional)  registration deadline = April 17.

 

 

 

 

Boot Camp with Parkland College Community Education

Boot Camp with Community Education
Boot Camp with Community Education

I love to work out early in the morning. The best thing about it is that anything can happen during the day, and it is not going to get in the way of you getting your daily dose of exercise because you have already done it.

Parkland College offers a Boot Camp class through Community Education. It meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 6 to 7 a.m. with instructor Peg Olson. I have had the opportunity to fill in for Peg on occasion, and it is a great group of people who are very welcoming to newcomers.

Student Lynda Ramirez has taken many exercise classes with Parkland College, and she loves Boot Camp. Here’s what Lynda had to say about the Boot Camp class:

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Boot Camp had always intrigued me, but I didn’t think I was good enough to try it out. I met someone who was taking the class and found the courage to try it. That was more than a year ago! I regret that it took so long to find the courage, and wish that I had started a long time ago.

Boot Camp has something to offer everyone, no matter what the age, gender, fitness level or lack of fitness. Each person can work at their own ability level and put as much or as little into as they want; however, Peg Olson is able to bring out the best in everyone. The class is challenging for everyone, from the P90X guy to the person working out for the first time. Peg teaches modifications for every activity so that everyone can participate.

Boot Camp covers all types of fitness activities, both strength and cardio. Peg focuses on activities that incorporate as many muscle groups as possible. We don’t just do squats and lunges; we do them with a body bar held out in front of us. We don’t just run around the gym; we do it holding a weight over our heads. We don’t just do sit-ups; we do them with our feet up in the air holding a ball between our ankles. Peg never fails to find a way to make an activity more challenging!

I know that Boot Camp has made me a better person in many ways. I have made many friends and worked harder than I ever dreamed I could. At the age of almost 62, I can truly say that I am fitter and healthier than ever before. I have achieved goals that I didn’t think were possible. I will keep coming back every semester as long as I can. Fitness is important to every person, but I can attest that the older you get the more important it is. Exercise in the “second half” of life is no longer an option — it is a job. I want to be in the same wonderful shape as my mother who is 88 years old and walked eight miles with me last week.

Boot Camp is more than an exercise class. It is a family. The camaraderie is a major reason to keep coming back. New people are welcomed every semester and quickly made to feel part of the group. Everyone is encouraging and motivating. We celebrate each other’s successes. No one is more motivating and encouraging than Peg.

Boot Camp is a wonderful way to start the day. I feel like I accomplish more before 7 a.m. than a lot of people do in a day or even a week! I sometimes dread getting out of bed, but nothing beats the great feeling of making it through another class and the pride that I feel.

The next session of Boot Camp starts February 3, 2015. Registration is open now; call 217/353-2055.

7 Reasons to Take Zumba at Parkland

Zumba  ParklandJoin the Zumba dance party at Parkland! Here’s a fun way to get a great workout and meet new people. Think it’s not for you? Think again! Here are seven good reasons to join us!

  1. Each Zumba workout contains a mix of different music styles: Salsa, merengue, hip-hop, cumbia, bachata, samba, cha cha, and more.
  2. You don’t have to worry about being a good dancer. Just do your best and have fun!
  3. I keep the songs in the class playlist for 6-8 weeks. As you attend more classes, you will get practice and feel more comfortable with the choreography.
  4. Zumba burns 310 – 465 calories in a 60-minute class. If you move less, you burn less. If you move more, you burn more.
  5. My Zumba class can be easily modified to have no jumping or fast turns. There are always people who enjoy low-impact Zumba in my Parkland class.
  6. I add a new song each week to keep it fresh. I always give tips or do a preview of new songs.
  7. We have space in Zumba at Parkland College for YOU!

Zumba is a noncredit class that meets on Mondays from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Our next session for fall starts October 27 and ends December 8.  Call Community Education to register: 217/353-2055.
If you want more information, you can visit my Zumba page. You can also visit the official Zumba website for information.  See you soon!

Lisa Hoppe, Instructor