Staff at Merrymeeting Adult Education devoted much of the last 10 weeks creating a platform for online enrichment classes. The community can learn about everything from farming with native plants to drawing flowers and leaves from the comfort and safety of home this summer. 

Online classes launched in May. The learning curve was steep as both teachers and students adapted to video conferencing platforms, like Zoom and Webex for class meetings.   

Gloria Brown is a longtime art student at Merrymeeting. She participated in a test class in watercolor painting taught by Linda Murray.

“I was very hesitant to join an online art class,” Brown said. “I knew nothing about Zoom or online classes. I wasn’t sure that an online class for art would work well for me. Linda emailed us the information for our first online class. I downloaded the Zoom app, and visited the links to the video demos. It was all so much easier than I expected.”
 
Enrichment programming will continue online through the summer. Merrymeeting will publish a list of offerings in The Cryer monthly community newspaper in June, July and August. Community members can also view upcoming classes by visiting merrymeeting.org .
 
Fall enrichment classes will also be held online. A catalog of courses will be directly mailed in July to residents of Arrowsic, Bath, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Brunswick, Harpswell, Phippsburg, Topsham, Woolwich and Wiscasset.
 
“Merrymeeting is committed to providing the best educational experience we can,” Director Allen Lampert said. “We are proud of what we have accomplished over the past few months meeting the needs of our students. We want to be sure we can keep doing that and online education allows us to continue offering the classes our community has come to enjoy.”
 
That includes high school completion, College Transitions, English Language Learning, and workforce training classes, as well. In fact, adult and community education programs throughout the Midcoast and Maine continue to offer these programs. Classes and individual tutoring are being held via video conferencing, telephone, and other online options. 

For more information about adult education opportunities throughout Maine, visit   maineadulted.org .
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