Since it tis the season for giving, and being optimistic I believe that everyone has provided some kind of community outreach and community education in one form or another. Furthermore, as many of you may or may not know, I have created a group on Govloop titled Community Education, it has grown in a relatively short amount of time to 21 members, and thus I would like to see the membership base flourish in numbers as well as hope to see conversations start to bloom as more members start to join. With that being said I thought I would provide a definition which was found on the Iowa Community Education Association website in order for potential members to get an idea of what exactly community education is, as I have found that many individuals don’t have a strong grasp on what community education is.
Community Education is a simple idea, bringing to mind the days when the little red schoolhouse functioned, not just as a place to teach children, but as a center for community activities. Community Education takes a similar approach to education and community improvement in that it seeks to coordinate education, recreation, and social service providers in the community in order to better serve community residents and improve the quality of life for all.
Community Education extends the concept of public education beyond the traditional K-12 program known as schooling. Community Education is an important support program for the regular instruction program and recent school improvement reform strategies designed to increase meaningful parent and community involvement in the classroom and learning support systems for children.
Although communities vary greatly, every community has resources that can be used to meet community needs and improve the quality of life. In a community climate of communication, openness, and cooperation, traditional schools are transformed into community schools. Members of the community have the opportunity to be both teachers and learners. And many of today’s school buildings do not become isolated, underused little islands within their communities. The benefits of Community Education include increased community involvement, opportunities for lifelong learning and the efficient use of resources on a year round basis in a community.
Talk to you soon,
Michael O. Johnston, MPA 09′