By Holly Desrosier
Craven Community College’s (Craven CC) Adult Enrichment Program (AEP) is kicking off the spring 2020 semester with a mixture of engaging new classes and many fan favorites. The eclectic range of classes allows students of all ages and interests to experience the joy of taking up a new hobby or two this year.
Topics offered are based on community input and range in skill levels from beginner to advanced. As part of the college’s Workforce Development department, the AEP provides a diverse array of non-credit, short-term and affordable courses. Classes are held on Craven CC’s New Bern and Havelock campuses and in community locations.
“The Adult Enrichment Program is a great fit for our community,” said Megan Johnson, AEP coordinator. “It provides so many opportunities for folks of all ages to explore their interests or take up new hobbies at their leisure.”
The five-week Intro to Belly Dance class begins today, Jan. 22 at 6 p.m., followed immediately by the Beginner/Intermediate Belly Dance class at 7:15 p.m. A workshop on Intro to Veil Technique will introduce dancing with a veil and will explore the veil’s history and cultural connotations in belly dancing. This workshop will be held Jan. 25 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. with a second workshop, Beyond the Veil Belly Dance, scheduled the same day from 3 to 5 p.m. This class will demonstrate how to incorporate basic veil moves into belly-dance routines.
A new class in AEP’s lineup this year is Beginner Paper Quilling, scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 23 and 30 at 6:30 p.m., or Paper Quilling Heart class just in time for Valentine’s Day, scheduled for Friday, Jan. 24 and 31 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
For individuals who have undertaken the strenuous task of caregiver, instructor Deidre Edwards will offer a Caregiver Workshop that will walk participants through ways to approach responsibilities of home health or hospice care of a loved one. With nearly 20 years of experience as a registered nurse and National Board Certified teacher, Edwards will share what she learned working in the field of healthcare, as well as her personal journey of being a caregiver for her husband. The registration fee includes a copy of Edwards’ book, “Toolkit for Caregivers.” The workshop is this Friday, Jan. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to noon, with subsequent workshops scheduled for Feb. 15 and March 26.
Looking to get into the painting scene? Beginner Oil Painting will be offered every Tuesday, Jan. 28-March 3 from 10 a.m. to noon, and Beginner Watercolor Painting will be each Friday, Feb. 7-28 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Another new venture this year is Guided Open Studio, each Tuesday, Feb. 18-March 24 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Artists can use studio space at their discretion, with professional artists on hand to assist when needed.
“Painting and drawing are on the list of fan favorites,” said Johnson. “It’s just a fun pastime. Plus, our instructors are so knowledgeable and really make it easy to learn and develop new skills.”
With spring just around the corner, Tuesday Talk in the Garden: Lecture & Discussions on Seasonal Garden Topics will be offered Tuesday, Jan. 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. This class will be led by Jennifer Knight, Extension Master Gardener and owner of a local landscaping company. It will also be held Feb. 25 and March 24.
A six-week Intro to Home Landscaping class will be led by Tom Glasgow, director of Craven Extension Service, and a team of Craven Extension Service Master Gardeners, all educated according to the NC State University guidelines for sustainable horticulture practices. The class will cover topics such as landscape design, drainage, soil testing, pruning and plant diseases. There will also be a field trip to the Craven County Extension Demonstration Garden and the Tryon Palace Gardens. The class will meet each Wednesday, Feb. 26-April 1 from 2 to 4:15 p.m.
For people interested in taking professional photos on personal cell phones or basic digital cameras, Digital Photography Made Easy will be held each Thursday, Jan. 30-March 5 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Topics include individual and group portraiture, landscape and candid photos, as well as emphasis on color, composition and visualization. No experience is required, but be sure to bring a smartphone or basic digital camera.
Last March, the AEP hosted the “Stop the Cravin’!” substance use symposium, which focused on education, prevention and intervention for the growing opioid epidemic. A reprise event is scheduled for Friday, March 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will be sponsored by the Craven County ABC Board. The event is free and the public is welcome.
“We are so thrilled to offer this wonderful program again this year,” said Johnson. “Substance use is a struggle that has touched so many people, even within our community, and our goal is to help everyone gain the knowledge and learn the steps to overcome it.”
The AEP recently introduced a miniseries that will include free classes, also sponsored by the ABC Board, that encompass a broader range of issues. The next class is “A Healthy Brain, A Healthy Body,” scheduled for Thursday, March 12 from 10 a.m. to noon. It will examine the occurrence of “brain fog,” its causes and the lifestyle changes that can greatly reduce the risk of diseases and improve health.
Several classes mentioned above will also be offered at later dates throughout the year, as well as various other topics including favorites such as Intro to Crocheting and Knitting, Drawing for Newbies, International Travel and Shag Basics.
This article was also published in the New Bern Sun Journal.