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Learning Glows in Winter, Grows in Spring at Access CVU High School

Posted by  Friday, 03 Feb 2017 05:49 PM
BY DUNCAN WARDWELL, ACCESS CVU

Don’t be afraid of the dark. There are many ways to enlighten your evenings this Winter and Spring at Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg. Access CVU offers community education courses for everyone to learn new skills, meet new people, and utilize the school resources. For over 16 years, local community members have attended classes at Access CVU that range in many categories like Awesome Arts, All Things Edible, Language and Music, Dance and Fitness, and One Night U. The Access CVU courses spark our community interests every season with many learning opportunities.

Access promotes a community of learners at our local high school in Hinesburg. Duncan Wardwell organizes instructors and learners for offerings on Monday thru Thursday afternoons and evenings. “We have a long history of providing real-time learning with real-time people,“ Wardwell says. “Our offerings include fitness classes, maintaining a personal passion in pottery or painting, or attending a one night gathering with a local celebrity.” The most recent Winter/Spring brochure was mailed to local towns the last week of December. The online course listings provide full class descriptions and other useful links for attending Access offerings. Wardwell reminds everyone that Access is about the personal connection between the learner, the instructor and CVU high school.

The Access instructor provides the learning experience while Wardwell coordinates enrollment and room assignments. “Every class and every person invests in the learning experience so I strive to simplify the process.” A person enrolls for a course online, by email, or phone. A personal confirmation provides instructions for arriving at CVU and meeting the instructor in the proper classroom. Most people bring their payment to class as Wardwell wants to remove obstacles for learners to arrive at CVU. “I provide flexible options for people to learn and find out if a course works for them.”

Many instructors offer different offerings from January to June. Wardwell cites a recent example of Alganesh Michael who started teaching an Ethiopian cuisine course this Fall. Her first class was a very small group. By the fourth class she had a waitlist and people clamoring for expanded offerings. Positive comments included “I think it was great that Alganesh brought in extra food for us to taste and take home. I can't wait for the next class and to learn to make the bread to go with these dishes!” Her upcoming Injera course is full but the three other Ethiopian options will begin in March, May, and June.

Access offerings also provide a glimpse into what makes CVU culture resonate for our high school students. Tamie-Jo Dickinson offers Jazzercise after-school throughout the year. Tamie-Jo offers a great workout and as a dynamite CVU teacher she knows how to make it fun. Other CVU faculty like Chris O’Donnell provide “One Night U” options where she states “Access learners bring genuine curiosity, perspective, and life experience into the room. I condense my CVU information, add lots of visuals and get rid of the homework and grades.” Eleanor Marsh shares her sewing and kitchen space at CVU. She says “I love to sew and I want to help others learn how to sew.” Other Access instructors like Carol Fox, Diane Burgess and Dick Francis promote flexible learning with CVU savvy experience. Dick runs woodworking options, Diane facilitates many rug hooking groups and Carol offers cake and cookie workshops. Diane says “I enjoy keeping the history of Rug Hooking alive.”

Access CVU builds a community that reflects the learning process. Courses begin throughout the year and provide a personal connection to our high school resources. The instructors provide a wonderful personal experience as Wardwell says “a lot of our instructors are like popular musicians who develop a loyal following.” Maintaining a comfortable educational experience is important to every member of the CVU culture. Chris says “I learn as much from teaching Access as anyone learns from me.” Tamie Jo says “People walk in and are impressed with our building!” Cooking instructors enjoy leaving leftover samples for the custodial staff later that night. The interactions between instructor, learner, and CVU resources impel the program’s learning model of a flexible and personable experience.

There are many ways to connect to our local high school and Access provides a plethora of options every season. Courses begin every month, January to June with flexible enrollment options online, via email, or phone. Confirmation provides information on showing up the first night along with payment options. Visit online at cvuweb.cvuhs.org/access or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 482-7194 for more info. Access CVU courses provide a wonderful way to connect to our community: it provides impetus during the Winter and celebrates opportunities of the Spring. The CVU high school community ensures everyone feels welcome.

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