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Longboat Key Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 5 years ago

Summer homework yields full fall schedule at Ed Center

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Longboat Key Education Center Executive Director Susan Goldfarb does her homework long after school lets out for the summer.

Her assignment is to plan programs for the Education Center’s programming for the next year that can be as good as or even better than the prior year’s. She actually begins planning in February and continues working throughout the summer.

Now, it’s back-to-school time at the Education Center.

The fall semester, which is typically the quietest of its three semesters, begins Oct. 22, and will include several new programs.

New courses include the three-session “Computer Boot Camp: Beyond the Basics,” beginning Nov. 27, which will be taught by Alert Protective Services President/CEO Jason Hamilton. He’ll lead students who already have basic computer skills through tasks, such as using Skype, scanning documents and organizing emails.

There’s also the three-session “Mah-jongg — The Complete Novice,” with mah-jongg guru Grace McGee; “The Joy of Movement — Nia Inspired!” with Longbeach Village resident Gail Condrick, who will lead students through the sensory-based movement practice of Nia; and “Overlooked Gems from Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Short List,” by self-described “film nut,” movie reviewer and longtime Education Center teacher Kathie Moon.

New one-day workshops are also scheduled throughout the year.

“For people who aren’t here the whole three or four months, it will be a lot easier than coming to a four- or six-week course,” Goldfarb said.

The fall semester will have three one-day workshops: “Writing in Retirement — How to Get Started,” by professor Gillian Kendall; “Introduction to Swingolf,” by 30-year British Professional Golfers Association member Les Bolland; and “Learn How to Paint With Acrylics,” by award-winning artist and instructor Joseph Palotas.

Another new offering for the fall is a day trip to the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art Chihuly Gallery & Glass Studio Saturday, Dec. 15.

The fall also includes perennial favorites, such as yoga, fishing and bridge classes, according to Goldfarb. But she has to keep the course offerings fresh to keep longtime students coming back.

“We try to keep things new, because we have a lot of people who come back year after year,” Goldfarb said.

Registration information
To register for Longboat Key Education Center programs, visit the Education Center at 5370 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Suite 212, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays; call 383-8811; or visit

Five fast facts about the LBK Education Center
1. The Education Center was founded in 1985 when retired teacher Laura Taubes and her husband, Frank, decided they didn’t want to retire from learning. So, they established the nonprofit Education Center to provide an opportunity for further enrichment.

2. The Education Center was originally located in the Longboat Observer building at 5570 Gulf of Mexico Drive but moved to the Centre Shops in 1990 because it was wheelchair accessible.

3. When the Education Center first opened in 1985, it offered 27 classes. Today, it offers more than 100 non-credit classes, along with workshops, concerts, lectures, field trips and more.

4. Its motto is “Like College, Only Better!”

5. Classes begin Oct. 22. The first class on the first day of the first semester: “Easy Yoga: Feel Your Best At Any Age,” taught by the Education Center’s Executive Director, Susan Goldfarb.

Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].

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