Weather Forecast


Tiger Talk: Winter was great for Community Education

Wow – what a great winter season. Despite the extreme temperatures we have had a fun and exciting session of Community Education classes.

We are fortunate in the Pine River-Backus area to have so many remarkable community oriented citizens, willing to brave the cold to share their talents and interests with each other. It has certainly made this long winter richer for me and my family!

Here are just a few recent highlights, changes and new opportunities.

The Youth Dance program that started in January has grown to 55 participants from pre-K to sixth grade. Pine River local Emily Davidson is coaching the girls in balance, lines, flexibility and a variety of dance style such as jazz, ballet, hip-hop and dance line routines.

This program is currently full but accepting applicants for a waiting list.

Another successful ongoing class is Karate. Master Rob Nelson and local Ben Sabas teach this martial arts class through Ultimate Martial Arts.

Martial Arts give a positive way to burn calories, learn loyalty and honor, and build self-confidence. We now have a variety of belt/experience levels working together in the multipurpose gym in the high school.

A new Kick-Boxing class started recently and is intended for women ages 15 and up. Both sessions are accepting new students to continue through the end of the year and begin again in the fall.

After two successful snowshoeing classes offered by PR-B nurse Renata Remington, snowshoes will now be available for checkout through Community Ed. Call for more information.

Partnering with the elementary physical education department, we were able to purchase youth snowshoes. Now the schools and community have access to 30 fifth grade to adult and 30 kindergarten to sixth grade snowshoes.

In our previous class, 36 students participated and explored how to use snowshoes, run and climb hills. We plan to hold another adult session March 15 in the school forest.

We also have a variety of indoor fitness opportunities through our free Fit Club afterschool, a weight loss challenge and nutrition course by Kyle Wood and others throughout the year.

We all know reading can be an adventure. Loretta Stephen brings our youth to a new level of excitement and fun. Her Book to Movie Adventure class entertains and educates 20 students in grades two and three twice a week after school.

Stephen is doing a great job getting kids engaged and excited about reading. On Tuesdays they read through the book and participate in various learning activities, and then Thursday they get to watch the movie and have popcorn followed by in-depth discussions comparing the book to the film.

Youth Sports always offers a great outlet for youth and many opportunities to bond with your children as a volunteer coach or parent helping the teams in various ways. Archery is starting with its largest numbers yet. We have 15 students in grades 4-8 participating. We are finishing up a great elementary basketball season and starting to think about skill camps and summer ball. Let the fun and games begin!

Every month we also offer a large variety of afterschool youth enrichment classes at a low cost of $5/session. This creates an inexpensive opportunity for our students to engage in learning through fun creative activities and projects.

The PR-B Adult Basic Education (ABE) program is merging with Brainerd ABE. We will continue to provide services through April 30, at which time we will become part of Brainerd ABE.

This means we will no longer host a physical site in Pine River but operate as a distance learner providing students access to online help through places such as the local library or other locations. Students will also be able to attend ABE classes in Brainerd offered Monday-Friday.

Community Education works with a variety of individuals, organizations and businesses to bring new and unique learning opportunities to our community, but we are always looking for new instructors and class ideas. Please let me know if you are interested in sharing your talents and time with the community.

A big thank you to all of the people who were involved in community education. If you took a class or taught one, if you made that extra trip into town so your child could be involved in an extracurricular activity or stayed and helped coach it, thank you.

Community Education is only possible because of you and your willingness to share, teach, and explore your interests and new ideas with others. I would like to invite you to call PR-B Community Education at 218-587-2080 and explore the opportunities in our community.