:: Daily Herald | Residents’ ideas become classes for park district ::

Residents’ ideas become classes for park district

By Harry Hitzeman
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Friday, April 06, 2007

It started a little more than a year ago as a formal way for Geneva Park District leaders to collect information from instructors and users.

And it has resulted in new classes running the gamut from skateboarding to knitting.

This summer, residents will have their first crack at signing up for a sign language program and a class on batch cooking — cooking up large amounts of food and storing it for up to a week.

These are products of the Geneva Park District’s “Create A Class” program.

“It was a more formal way to separate people who say, ‘Hey, I’d love to see you offer this class,’ ” said Sheavon Lambillotte, superintendent of leisure services. “What has been happening more is teachers who submit ideas for new classes.”

The sign language and cooking programs were the result of suggestions from local instructors and will be listed in the district’s summer brochure, which is sent out in mid-April.

If a park district patron suggests a class — and the district accepts it and enough people sign up for it — tuition is free for that patron.

In general, a successful suggestion for “Create A Class” should be a need that is not being met and a program that is sustainable going forward.

Lambillotte said district officials are willing to try a class at least once if they can find an instructor. She said she was skeptical of a knitting-crocheting class, but it took off and now has beginner and advanced levels.

She said every park district has a way to collect information from patrons, and Geneva’s is just a bit more formal.

For more information, call (630) 232-4542 or go online to http://www.genevaparks.com.

By summer 2008, district officials could have more room and daytime gym space for new programs as well.

District Director Stephen Persinger said the $9.5 million, 51,000-square-foot recreation center near the northwest corner of Kaneville and Peck roads should be complete then.

The district has hired firms to extend electricity, water and sewer infrastructure to the north side of Peck Farm Park and could hire a contractor for general construction in the next few months, he said.

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