GTPulse: NMC Hosts February Family Fun Classes for Parents and Kids
February is over halfway through, but somehow it feels like it’s lasting forever. Northwestern Michigan College Extension Program is trying to offset some of that midwinter dread with their Feb Family Fun calendar. NMC has packed the month full of one-day classes for adults and children to take for both fun and education.
NMCs Extended Education Services provides community enrichment classes that anyone can take. Cooking, language, arts, skilled work and so many more are offered through their extended education.
“One way to think of it is as the non-credit side of NMC. So, I took a class two weeks ago, it was a two night class on how to write children’s books. We’re also known in town for running College for Kids.”
Classes through EES aren’t taken for credit and are shorter than semester-long college courses. They’re also far more hands-on, interactive and way cheaper (nice). Program Coordinator John Plough said that starting the Feb Family Fun calendar is something new.
“We’re here for the community. We’re not here to make money, so this February idea came from not a lot going on. What is a way you can do something with your child, or with a child in your life to get out of the house on a Saturday?”
The classes are a great way for parents, aunts, uncles or grandparents to try a new activity with a kid in their family. The classes are 90 minutes each and cost $25 with a kid getting in for free with the purchase of a ticket.
The soonest upcoming class will be teaching the basics of American Sign Language with instructor Wendy Williams.
“She’s incredible. I took her adult class in the fall that we offered. She’s really wonderful, she’s a mom herself. She’s also deaf.”
Wendy teaches a beginning adult ASL class at NMC and just began teaching a continuing ASL class for the first time this semester.
Other upcoming classes in Feb. Family Fun series are Baby & Me Ballet, a class taught by Katie Clark who also just got cast as Roxie in Chicago at Old Town Playhouse. There’s also an upcoming Spanish class, and a class called Puppy Party.
“We had the name and we had to figure out a class to go with it,” John said with a laugh. “We talked about getting a bunch of dogs together and learned about some different breeds and simple obedience stuff. It was a way to get people around dogs who love dogs or don’t have their own dog.”
Last weekend at a Puppy Party class a father who had a childhood fear of dogs brought his daughter who loved dogs to a class and was able to interact with a dog in a safe and moderated space. It’s these kinds of moments that John and other EES program coordinators feel so good about work.
“Anybody can learn how to frost a cookie better or learn the alphabet in American Sign Language. It’s quality time with someone you love.”
Find the classes here.