The mix of businesses at the Rend Lake College MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon lends itself to some unique opportunities in Community Education, and RLC officials have not missed the chance.
"We’ve been trying to broaden the spectrum of what Community Education has available. This will help raise awareness about these businesses and allows us to offer these classes at a reduced cost to the participants," said Community Education Director Dawn Gibson.
"Beading Basics" is a course offered through RLC’s Community Education program in conjunction with The Byrds and the Beads, a business at the MarketPlace. Participants will learn to create bracelets, necklaces, earrings or anklets during the course.
The workshop will allow students to fashion pieces of jewelry from beads they select. Students can then wear the piece home or give it as a gift. The course costs $3 plus a supply fee which is determined by the type of jewelry the student creates.
The one-night class will be held from 6-9 p.m. on four different Thursdays: January 22; February 26; March 25; and April 22. All will be held at Byrds and the Beads at the Rend Lake College MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon.
With the addition of the Rend Lake College Coffee Shop at the MarketPlace, the Community Education program has implemented "Coffee Tasting," a course aimed at mastering the art of coffee making. Students will learn to create espresso, cappuccino and latte as they discover coffee beans and blends.
Two separate classes will be held January 27 at the RLC Coffee Shop, one from 9-11 a.m. and the second from 6-8 p.m.
In the same vein, RLC’s Community Education program will offer "Tea Tasting" at the RLC Coffee Shop. Participants can choose from two chances to take the course on March 2: 9-10:30 a.m. or 6:30-8 p.m.
"Tea Tasting" features products from The Republic of Tea, a tea factory located in Nashville, Ill. During the course, the brewing process will be explained and students will receive advice on cup selection and brewing tricks and tips. Students will sample teas from around the world. Savor the pace of this beverage and discover a stress release for a hectic day.
"Coffee Tasting" and "Tea Tasting" each cost $3 with a $5 supply fee.
Gibson said her department is always on the lookout for new business partners. "If a business has a new service they would like the community to become aware of, I’d joyfully partner with that business and start up a class," she said.