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Passion for Life-Long Learning = Community Education

posted Dec 22, 2015, 1:58 PM by Brenda Williams
“Inspiring a passion for learning to ensure success for every student” is the Pequot Lakes ISD #186 mission statement. Key aspects of reaching the mission focus on K-12 learning environments. Community Education offers learning that ‘wraps around’ the K-12 learning to offer pre-K for children from birth to the start of Kindergarten, out of school time youth enrichment experiences and adult enrichment. 

Inspiring a passion for learning

The natural curiosity of a preschool child is a wonder to behold. What makes it go? Why is it smelly? Oh, oh - it spilled! The cooperative self -regulatory skills that are developed through independent group play in preschool are foundational skills for continued school success.

Have you seen a preschool child’s excitement when they look forward to going to school? Community Education operates the Early Childhood Family Education program which is serving 54 children and 54+ adults in their parent and child classes. Learning Is Fun (LIF) is a preschool for 3 and 4 year olds. There are 25 children enrolled in LIF. School Readiness is reaching 57 children in the year before Kindergarten. Parents, grandparents and child care providers are important teachers on the preschool learning adventure, too.

A passion for learning does not begin and end with the K-12 school day. Youth enrichment opportunities such as after school programs are offered to students in Pequot Lakes. Kid Konnection (school age child care for students from K-grade 6), cross country skiing, swim lessons, reading help, arts/crafts classes, and Youth Sports support the informal learning experiences of school aged children. There were 142 children enrolled in Kid Konnection during the 2014-2015 school year and summer programming. Youth Sports had 869 student participants and 152 adult volunteer coaches for the seven sports offered.

A passion for learning extends beyond high school graduation to adult and senior learning opportunities. Parents learn in the ECFE and Learning Is Fun classes about child development, brain development, discipline and effective communication. Parents volunteer as coaches for Youth Sports and share the fundamental sport skills along with teamwork, good sportsmanship and coping skills. Parents may sign up their child for the learning experiences and wind up being a passionate learner, too.

Among the most passionate groups of learners at ISD #186 are the folks on a Pequot Lakes Community Theater (PLCT) production team. The community theater folks spend countless hours preparing for a community theater production. The recent Beauty and the Beast production was enjoyed by 2,340 patrons at one of seven performances. There was a production team of 20 who worked for over a year to share their passion “theater” with the community. The 35 cast members brought the characters to life. The production success can be attributed in part to the outpouring of community support; over 30 business and civic donors gave either in-kind or monetary support to create a learning experience for all of the community to enjoy.

Community Education is proud of our successes achieved by passionate learners of all ages found in the Home of the Patriots. To quote Lumiere, the candle stick from Beauty and the Beast, “Be Our Guest” … and join Pequot Lakes Community Education in expanding the mission to “Inspiring a passion for learning to ensure success for every community based learner.” Ignite your passion for learning on stage, on the sports field or in the gym, in the classroom or as a student in the after school child care program.

-- Julie Despot, Community Education Director
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