Classes

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Thanksgiving and Christmas wreaths. These one-night classes, which are two-and-a-half hours, are offered on several Monday nights and cost $12.50.

Instructor Beverly O’Brian will teach students of all skill levels, from those who’ve never made wreaths before to those who have some experience. “Deco mesh wreaths are very popular at this time,” remarked Robin. “We’ve had a lot of people sign up for those classes.”

Robin stressed that some classes, such as the genealogy and wreath classes, are still open for registration as they do not begin until October. The Thanksgiving and Christmas wreath classes run in November.

Deciding which CACE classes to offer each year happens in different ways, Robin explained. Some courses are created when an instructor contacts her and expresses interest in teaching a certain topic. Others, like the wreath classes, are found when Robin or others go to craft shows and find new trends that are worth learning.

One staple of CACE, which holds sessions in the spring and fall, are computer classes. Three are offered this fall –“Getting to Know Your iPhone and iPad,” “Excel for Beginners,” and “Word 2013 for Beginners.” These classes, taught by computer specialists, help those with very basic computer knowledge expand their abilities.

Another class that’s been taught at CACE for many years is photographer Claudia Strycharz’s “Photography Workshop for the Beginner”, an informal workshop for those getting into the hobby of photography.

Other courses that have long been popular include “Time to Write,” a workshop students can take more than once to improve their writing and receive feedback, and “Painting with Watercolors,” where both beginners and experienced artists can learn about color, composition and technique.

Chef Christa Razvillas is teaching two classes the fall, one for learning baking basics and another which will teach the basics of decorating with buttercream. Former Crestwood art instructor Bernie Perch will teach novices pottery. This class can be repeated next year, as the students become more proficient and develop their technique.

Two recreational basketball courses are offered, by coaches Rich Bases and Larry Barnes, and run for 26 weeks. Here, pick-up full-court basketball is played with different teams chosen each time.

Beth Mattei-Miller, dog trainer, often teaches animal courses. This fall, she will teach “Speaking Canine: Learning Dog Body Language” and “Dogs and Storks,” a class on how to prepare the family pet for the addition of a newborn to the household.

CACE began 18 years ago, following a model of other area community education programs, Robin recalled. She previously owned a gardening business and started with CACE as an instructor, teaching about gardening and herbs.

Robin has also consistently been a student at CACE, from yoga to the “Fabulous Fifty Exercise Program,” a class for women over 50, taught by David Sparks, a local martial arts grandmaster. In addition to Fabulous Fifty this fall, Sparks will also teach “Basic Personal Self Defense” for both men and women.

Robin spoke of how students in CACE’s classes often become friends and then take classes together. This fall, Robin is taking “Understanding Chinese Medicine,” taught by registered nurse Kitty Panzitta. The class, which runs over three Wednesdays starting Sept. 23, teaches the Chinese concept of Qi, which is energy through thought and emotion.

“That’ll be interesting,” Robin remarked. “It’s a whole different approach to nutrition and herbs and how weather affects how you feel.”

This year, 205 students have so far signed up for fall classes. The goal is to have 250 pupils each session, Robin said, adding that some classes are still available for registration. For more information on the CACE fall classes or to register online, visit csdcomets.org,click on “links and info,” and then “CACE.”