There will be something for all interests this spring, from aquatic exercise to stargazing, with several new offerings from Rend Lake College’s Community Education Department.

Combine the flowing, graceful movements of Tai Chi with the resistive yet relaxing properties of moving in the water with “Ai Chi: Aquatic Exercise,” set for six Monday sessions, from Jan. 23 through Feb. 27, at the RLC Aquatics Center. Each session will meet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. With practice, students can connect the mind and body in an aquatic environment while increasing vitality and energy. Benefits include improved balance, strength, agility, flexibility, coordination, posture and mental focus. Many of the movements are appropriate for land practice. The course costs $36.

“Taxidermy Water Scenes” will introduce enthusiasts to the latest techniques in this art. Students will master this unique way of constructing splash scenes using resin to create a breathtaking habitat. The class is restricted to waterfowl and fish specimens only. Enrollment is limited and early registration is encouraged. The class will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Feb. 7 to Feb. 14 and from March 14 to March 21. Each session will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. in Vocational Building 105 on the Ina campus. Course cost is $55 plus supplies.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has many faces and is one of the most talked-about subjects in both child-rearing and education. Learn more with “Managing ADHD in the Home and Community,” set for 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 16, in Science Building 122. The session costs $5. Hanging in the balance of heated debates over medication, diagnostic methods and treatment options are children, adolescents and adults who must manage the condition and lead productive lives on a daily basis. Dr. Joyce Griffin will lead the evening and guide the group through the research, diagnosis, treatments and medications used in managing this behavior at home and in the community.

Real families looking for real fun should not miss “Stargazing: RLC is Looking Up!” scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 31, on the RLC campus. The sky is full of stories waiting to be told. All one needs is a clear night, a little patience and some imagination. Join the group for a story or two about the major constellations, a star map and some fun. The evening will be spent outdoors, and the group will end the evening with S’mores (participants are asked to bring beverages). Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. In the event of inclement weather, the group will enjoy a PowerPoint / Internet presentation in Science Building 110. Class cost is $5.

For lovers of the outdoors, join the Community Education Department for its first Family Bike Ride, set for noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 2. The group will meet at the One-Room Independence Schoolhouse on the Ina campus. The fee is $3 and a rain date has been set for April 9.

There is a 9.4 mile bicycle trail open on the east side of Rend Lake. The north trail runs 5.9 miles and begins at Rend Lake College, ending at the south end of Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park. The trail is paved and is open for bicycles, skates, non-motorized scooters and hiking. Activity stations will be set up at the RLC Aquatics Center, Rend Lake Resort and State Park Office. Bring a picnic lunch and join the fun. Preregistration is highly recommended.

Join Rend Lake College in partnership with Presley Tours on a professional development trip to the nation’s capital with “Tours4Teachers: Washington, DC,” set for June 19 through June 23. This tour has been designed specifically for educators who would like to use travel as a means of obtaining CPDU credit for recertification. Contact hours will generate 39 CPDU credits as approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.

This interactive tour, appropriate for all teachers, will refresh teachers’ existing knowledge of American history, motivate and assist teachers in enhancing classroom presentations and explore strategies to improve student learning. A $25 deposit is required at the time of registration; the deadline to register is May 15. For additional travel and cost information, contact the RLC Community Education Department.

Take a three-night stay at the Big Apple with RLC and Presley Tours’ “New York City Theater Weekend,” scheduled for July 28 through July 31. Highlights will include Phantom of the Opera, All Shook Up, a tour of the city, shopping at Macy’s, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, a harbor cruise, the Empire State Building and dining at Broadway Joe’s and the Tavern on the Green. Registration deadline is June 1 and there is a $50 deposit due at the time of booking. Contact Community Education for travel and cost information.

In the fall of 2006, take a wonderful trip to “Beautiful, Exotic Costa Rica,” set for Nov. 8 through Nov. 15. No other country offers the immense variety of landscapes, ecosystems, climates and experiences all within traveling distance. Visit a cloud forest and rain forest sheltering brilliantly colored birds, exotic butterflies and prolific plant life. Cruise tropical rivers, enjoy cascading waterfalls and thermal mineral springs, and experience sparks from an active volcano. Registration deadline is Oct. 1 and there is a $50 deposit due at the time of registration. For additional travel and cost information, contact Community Education.

For more information or to register for any of these courses, contact Community Education Director Dawn Gibson at (618) 437-5321, Ext. 1267, or call Assistant Director Lori Ragland at Ext. 1367. Both can be reached toll-free (in-district only) at 1-800-369-5321, Ext. 1267 / 1367, or via e-mail at or .

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