The Iowa Valley Community College District is offering a variety of recreational and leisure classes through the Iowa Valley Continuing Education program. These non-credit courses are open to everyone and include classes such as Bartending Basics, Beginning Sewing, How to Make Kombucha Tea and Weight Management.

The fall session for these courses runs from August to January, and people can register online, by phone, fax, mail and e-mail. Some classes are free, but most require a small fee for materials and instruction.

“The goal in general of the continuing education program is lifelong learning, so providing opportunities to people to become lifelong learners,” said Poweshiek County Continuing Education Coordinator Jordan Scheibel ’10.

As coordinator, Scheibel organizes the different courses by finding instructors and handling the logistical aspect.

“Sometimes, people suggest [class ideas] to me. We are really trying to get feedback from people about what kind of classes they want to see,” Scheibel said.

The program also offers opportunities for students to teach courses, along with taking them.

“I am always looking for instructors, and that could include Grinnell College students,” Scheibel said. “If people have things they think they can teach, it just involves being an expert or being really well-versed in a certain topic and being interested in teaching and get paid.”

The classes are taught by all kinds of different people. The Bartending Basics class is taught by Lonn Lease from Lonnski’s Pub and Deli, and the How to Make Kombucha Tea class is taught by Scheibel.

“I feel pretty confident at presenting material that I am familiar with [and] I just really like sharing skills that I think are relatively easy,” Scheibel said.

The wide spectrum of classes appeals to people of all levels and interests.

“In a lot of places in Iowa, especially in rural areas, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to [take] classes or to learn new things so I’d look at continuing education as a way of providing [these] opportunities that you can’t find anywhere else,” Scheibel said.

The courses are built for people to le arn new skills and engage in the community.

“What I really hope for is … that the students have a really good experience and make connections with each other and make connections with the instructor, and the best outcome is that the instructor can continue to teach and we can continue to have students who want to just keep taking classes,” Scheibel said.

Scheibel recommends the classes as a great resource for students.

“I know that there is definitely a barrier to students, first of all paying for a class and also coming off-campus,” Scheibel said. “But I would highly recommend that people try classes that they are interested in just because I think it’s a good experience to get off campus and to meet community members and to interact with the community.”

Learn more at www.IowaValley.com.