Learning Never Ends boasts new programs

April 16, 2014

From rain gardens to remodeling, members of the Wauwatosa Recreation Department are bringing back a one-evening program aimed at giving attendees a smorgasbord of activities to whet curious appetites.

The Recreation Department's Learning Never Ends program will be held Thursday, April 24, with several new and returning classes. Twenty-three mini-courses are included in the program, and attendees have the option of selecting two during the nearly three-hour session.

Steve Birney, program coordinator with the Recreation Department, said Learning Never Ends has been one of the organization's most popular offerings. It was first introduced in 1991 and has been a longtime staple.

"The main goal is to get people into our schools so they can experience them," Birney said. "The thought behind this program is to give adults an opportunity to try different activities."

While not all of the mini-courses offered within Learning Never Ends are offered through the Recreation Department on an extended, stand-alone basis, Birney said, feedback has been used to gauge what offerings are placed in the program bulletin each season.

"This might be a good opportunity for someone to try something they've thought about exploring," Birney said. "If they like it, they can take classes through us, or they might be available somewhere else."

Historically, Birney said, between 200 and 300 people attend the Learning Never Ends programs.

"It's become quite popular over the years," he said.

This year, Learning Never Ends will be divided into two sessions — one from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. and another from 8 to 9:15 p.m. Each of the 23 offerings will be available to participants during both sessions.

Some of the courses have more of a hands-on bent, as evidenced by classes aimed at giving a cursory overview of designing and installing rain gardens, an introduction to sailing and an overview of Windows 8 software.

But the majority of the offerings within Learning Never Ends are wrapped around the theme of personal enrichment. For example, Josh Saiia, an olive oil expert with the Oro di Oliva shop in the Wauwatosa Village, will provide what he is describing as a guided tour of oil and vinegar.

The Recreation Department is collaborating with a number of businesses and organizations in and near Wauwatosa for the Learning Never Ends program.

Another local expert — Don Bartley, general manager of the GNC store inside Mayfair mall — will give a talk, "5 Foundational Supplements: Keys to a Healthier Life." The mini-course is aimed at distilling information on multivitamins, fish oils, proteins, probiotics and fiber.

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin also is part of this year's program. Pediatrician Jennifer Crouse will give what is described as an interactive talk, "Growing Healthy Kids," that will touch on healthy behaviors, fitness and nutrition for youth.

A complete listing of all 23 courses can be accessed on the department's website, TosaRec.com.


WHAT: Wauwatosa Recreation Department's Learning Never Ends program

WHEN: 6:30 to 9:15 p.m. Thursday, April 24

WHERE: Wauwatosa West High School, 11400 W. Center St.

COST: $10 per person

CONTACT: (414) 773-2920, TosaRec.com


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