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Lifelong learning opportunities abound

By: Kerry Miller, Folsom City Manager
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We all know that Folsom’s outstanding schools provide a high caliber education for our youth. A lesser-known fact is that Folsom also offers countless low cost, life-long learning opportunities for inquisitive minds of all ages and interests. Explore the arts Check out the Gallery at 48 Natoma. View the current international travel art exhibit. Enroll in a drawing, cartooning, printmaking, and Chinese brush painting or pottery class. Love books? Explore Folsom’s state-of-the-art libraries, the George Murray building at 411 Stafford St., or the Norman R. Siefkin Library at Vista del Lago High School. In addition to an extensive collection of books, there are computers for public use, book discussion groups, and informative speakers sharing their expertise on wide-ranging topics. Learning for seniors Visit the Senior & Arts Center at 48 Natoma St. for classes and social opportunities. Observe a gardening demonstration, try your hand at Wii bowling, join an advanced bridge game, or register for a class on nutrition or driving safety. Interested in public safety? Sign up to participate in the Citizens Assisting Public Safety (CAPS) Program. Participants in the 10-week training program learn how the police and fire departments operate, ride-along with a police officer and observe a 911 dispatcher in action. Looking for academic programs? Folsom Lake College, one of the fastest growing community colleges in the nation, offers endless close-to-home learning options. Highly qualified professors teach a spectrum of classes from accounting to chemistry, engineering, French and horticulture. Online classes are also available. Folsom Lake College’s impressive Visual and Performing Arts Center will open next year, bringing educational opportunities for talented students, as well as diverse cultural entertainment options for all. Check out the school’s Web site at flc.losrios.edu for more information. Embrace learning As a strong advocate for lifelong learning, I continually challenge my senior management team to embrace the concept. We are currently reading and discussing Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, “Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality.” Team members lead stimulating group discussions about how the content applies to our responsibilities. Other books we have tackled include “Crucial Conversations,” “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” and “Reinventing Government.” Employees across our organization also have a unique opportunity to broaden their knowledge base through our Employee Leadership program. Some share their expertise as teachers. Others attend free classes on topics ranging from Understanding the Legislative Process, to Character and Success, Ethics and Using Personal Strengths to Lead Others. Many employees have participated since the program’s inception last year, and feedback has been very positive. My philosophy about lifelong learning is reflected in a quote from Rosalyn S. Yalow, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, “The excitement of learning separates youth from old age. As long as you’re learning you’re not old.” I may have my AARP card, but I am still a fervent student at heart and always will be. Folsom City Manager Kerry Miller can be reached at kmiller@folsom.ca.us.