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Classes of distinction Andy Bianco is an expert when it comes to the North End.

He knows where to buy specialty cooking oils and cheeses and which red wines to order with dinner in Boston's Italian American enclave. Where did he acquire his gastronomical savvy? From an adult education program in the suburbs. I'd been eating in the North End for 30 years, and I found out more in one morning than I ever knew," said Bianco, a Dover retiree who attended a Dover Sherborn Community Education class titled A Culinary Tour of the North End." Adult education programs around Boston's western suburbs are going strong and getting hipper, adapting to the times and to the changing population of the area. A lot of people sign up with friends for a sort of girls night out,' " said Michelle Sullivan, director of the Dover Sherborn program. We have people who take every class we offer." While old school adult ed classes in the arts of flower arranging and upholstering still exist, programs in the Globe West area now offer wine tasting, gourmet cooking, ballroom dancing, and trendy exercises such as yoga and Pilates. For those seeking intellectual stimulation, there are classes on social mobility and renewable energy. Classes on foreign languages such as Chinese draw professionals who travel for business. The classes typically run from one night to several weeks and cost from $20 to $200. Stanford University professor David Tyack, a specialist in education history, said today's adult education programs probably go back to around 1930, when programs were created to help new immigrants assimilate. A lot of cities had what you might call assimilation classes for adults," he said. As many as 50 percent of adults nationally engage in adult education enrichment classes, the National Center on Education Statistics says. In most cases, the area's programs are breaking even. In some towns, they're so successful they're generating profits that can buy cheap pandora charms online be turned over to local schools. In Franklin, interest in the programs offered by the Franklin Lifelong Learning Institute has grown sharply over the past decade. Now, about 600 registrations are logged each semester. Nineteen classes were offered for the spring/summer semester; in winter, there are dozens more. The institute, which, like a number of other community education programs offers both adult education classes and after school activities for children, has been doing so well it turns over about $10,000 every year in excess funds to the high school for sports equipment, said executive director Pandora Carlucci. Popular adult classes include private music lessons, community theater, and American Sign Language, and Carlucci is looking forward to offering conversational Chinese in time for the 2008 summer Olympics. Katherine Botelho, a Franklin lawyer, is one satisfied customer. Winter was getting on my nerves," said Botelho, who enrolled in a Pilates class. She said she was looking forward to learning Italian through the program in the fall. I just like the whole experience, to be able to do something that gets me out of the office. " Loiri Keays, second in command at the institute, said she's found a secret to giving classes a little extra zing. People have come in droves to classes modeled on TV shows on how to decorate your home, the art of grilling, and hip hairstyles. As if that weren't enough, Keays has hired a former contestant on the Biggest Loser" weight loss reality show to teach classes on preparing healthy meals in 30 minutes. She said hard working residents want classes that will enhance their lifestyles. Everything is about doing something good for yourself," she said. I think if you can learn to do it yourself instead of paying someone else to do it, the class will be popular." In Dover Sherborn, about 500 adult pandora jewelry shop registrations are received a semester, 40 percent of them from out of towners. Seventy eight classes were offered this spring. Cooking classes have been a mainstay for more than 20 years. The 17 food and wine classes this spring, some of which included trips to trendy pandora charms for sale restaurants where chefs treat the students to discussions of ingredients, were booked solid. Westborough's program was an exception, offering only a smattering of sparsely attended classes. The program is playing catch up, said community education director Kim Scholler. We're having a difficult time finding a market niche," said Scholler, who is forming a committee to try to divine what residents want and invigorate the program, which was recently transferred pandora rings price from the Recreation Department to the School Department. In Needham, some 600 adult registrations were received this spring for the more than 50 classes offered, a 20 percent enrollment increase over two years ago, said Mary Grace Summergrad, director of the adult ed program. At Ashland's three year old community education program, some 700 adult registrations are received each year.

Nineteen classes were offered in the spring semester. Popularity is booming as residents show interest in classes that include spa nights, ballroom dancing, and how to make cheese hors d'oeuvres, said co director Stephanie Greenblatt. In Medway, about 40 adult classes were offered last semester along with trips and special events, said Margery Monahan, director of Medway Community Education's growing program.


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