In Brewster, our schools are the center of community life operating not only to educate young people by preparing them for life, work and future learning, they are also places for the community to participate in afternoon, evening and summer programs for children and adults. The Brewster Board of Education acknowledged this through the creation of the Brewster Community Learning Center (BCLC), which opened this week with four courses. Here are a few important facts that influenced our decision to develop the program:
- Community education programs have been around since the 1960s to serve the evolving needs of residents. Our district didn’t have one.
- The average age of a resident in Brewster is approximately 41.1. This group is active and interested in ongoing learning. Rather than going to another location, they need a place close to home.
- According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the life expectancy for females is 83.6 and for males 78.8. Over the last decade, this number has steadily increased. This group of adults is looking for interesting ways to spend their time.
- As people live longer, they want to pursue personal and professional interests well after retirement. The BCLC can fill this vacuum.
- According to the most recent census data, about 60% of our homeowners either no longer have children who attend our schools or their children attend private schools. We want these community members to come to the schools and be a part of the program.
The purpose of the Brewster Community Learning Center is to provide twelve month learning and exploration opportunities for adults and children in the school district. Our goal is to eventually become self-sufficient thus minimally impacting the general budget. Courses will be offered in one or several of the school buildings. Residents will be able to register for courses in a number of areas of interest ranging from fitness and wellness classes to digital learning. Course takers may register in person at the District administrative building, online and by using a paper form that can be mailed or dropped off at the district office.
Adults 60 or over will receive a 30% discount. Please visit Ms. Susan Gavin who is the Assistant to the Superintendent and District Clerk at the District administrative building for a Silver Bears discount card. This card is needed to receive the discount. In addition, employees of the district will receive a 10% discount for courses. There is no discount on courses and programs for children.
Please look for information about the next collection of courses that will start the first week in July. We expect to publish this pamphlet in a few weeks.