Springville-GI community education offers a variety of courses for the community
BY: Dave DeLuca | December 14, 2012
SPRINGVILLE — With the new year right around the corner, the Springville Griffith Institute Community Education Program is up and running.
This program will offer a variety of courses or classes for area residents to utilize. It offers adult education programs in various sports, hobbies and other areas and is coordinated by Springville High School technology and pre-engineering teacher Dave Hawkes, who also coaches the S-GI golf team.
“It’s an extension of the regular education process,” Hawkes said. “You can start to now bring in some adults, to the high school facilities. You got a pool, you have gyms and you have classrooms. You want to have these being used, you know, more than just during the school day, with the kids. It’s education that goes beyond the high school realm.”
During the winter and spring program, courses will be offered in creative arts, finance, health and safety education, driver safety and fitness. The programs are not all set in stone, according to Hawkes. The course offerings are dependent on local residents’ interests.
“It’s kind of an evolution, over time,” Hawkes said. “We kind of have found things that have worked and people continue to come back. Like our physical education or athletics, if you will. That program is kind of ongoing and brought up, by demand. People want to use the pool, people want to do aerobics and yoga and those kinds of things,” he continued.
“Some of it is brought up on interest. I get phone calls, ‘Would you maybe offer a course in computers?’ or, right now, we’re offering a course in financing that was brought on, by need,” he said. “Sometimes, it’s a person stepping up and saying, ‘Hey, I’d like to teach a course.’ Mr. [John] Sopko is an excellent example of that. He wanted to offer a course in psychology for adults. So, he brought the course to the program, and we liked his proposal and we offered it.”
The most popular course in the program, according to Hawkes, is the driving course. While some of the other classes are offered in a single semester or season, driving courses are offered, throughout the calendar year. These courses include driver education, defensive driving and pre-licensing courses.
“Certain programs are fully enrolled,” Hawkes said. “Our driving program is fully enrolled. We could handle a few more, but we don’t need more. There have been some programs where we throw them out there and, if we don’t get the attendance by the registration due date, then we have to cancel the class and try to bring it up again, the next semester.”
While he said that Springville is a smaller market, compared to districts like Orchard Park and Hamburg, the interest of the residents drives the program.
“There’s a lot of community ed programs around here. Of course, you can look at some of the bigger districts, where they can offer more, because there have more people to draw from,” Hawkes explained. “We look at other programs, as well, for courses. The biggest thing is the need factor. If you can identify a need, meaning if people come to us with something, then we try to offer it.”
The variety of courses will be held at various buildings, throughout the district, including Springville Elementary, Springville Middle School and the high school, during the evening hours.
“We have to cover the cost of the instructors,” Hawkes said, about the course fees. “If there are materials, [those have to be covered]. For instance, we’re offering a leather working and wood-turning course; there’s going to be materials for that. So, there will have small fees, for that. By education law, our program can’t make money. We’re not a profit-driven organization, but what we try to do is break even, if you will.”
Most classes will start in early February and have minimum and maximum enrollment numbers. Interested parties can access the schedule of class offerings and registration forms on the S-GI District website, www.springvillegi.org. Hard copies are available at the district office, during regular business hours, and will be including in the upcoming school bulletin.
“I encourage people to look at our course offerings and let interest be their guide,” Hawkes said. “I’m trying to encourage participation.”
Hawkes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 592-3200 ext. 1141.