Friday, September 4, 2009

Washington Township Community Education

Since the recent demise of Lawrence Township Community Education, I've been looking more closely at Washington Township's adult-education program. The fall 2009/spring 2010 catalog is now available, and it contains a wide range of classes.

In the arts category, you can choose classes on precious metal clay, painting, drawing, photography, knitting and jewelry making. You'll also find a wide range of fitness and aquatics classes, and the usual offerings in the computers and business categories.

I'm sure that some of these classes are worthwhile, but none of them are unique. The beauty of Lawrence Township Community Education in its heyday was that it offered classes no one else in town offered (like that tarot-card reading class). In contrast, every class on Washington Township's list is also offered somewhere else in town, and in most cases I'd prefer the alternative. (If I want to learn to knit, for example, I'll head to the Knit Stop or Mass Ave Knit Shop.)

On the plus side, if you live in Washington Township, you're probably closer to the J. Everett Light Career Center than to alternative venues. At the moment, that's the only argument I can muster in favor of Washington Township's program.

It's true that I'm probably being too hard on the program. I'm in mourning for LCTE, and I expect the surviving school-district programs to fill the gap of vibrant, ever-changing, always-surprising programming. So far, Washington Township isn't doing it.

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