'Changes and Choices' symposium is Saturday

Concord-Carlisle Adult and Community Education supplies what the community demands.

They offer classes in bird carving, Powerpoint and the Argentine Tango. And they teach about fitness, first aid, the Constitution and geocaching.

This Saturday, Community Education can add to that list adapting to climate change — both economic and environmental.

Community Education is sponsoring “Changes and Choices: Our Economy and Our Environment,” a free community symposium featuring workshops, exhibits, films and guest speaker Tedd Saunders, who will deliver a keynote address titled “The Bottom Line of Green is Black.” The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Concord Carlisle High School.

If you go

What: ‘Changes & Choices: Our Economy & Our Environment’

When: Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Concord Carlisle High School, 500 Walden St., Concord

Details: Keynote address at 9 a.m. 10 adult workshops — five at 10:15 and five at 11:30; children’s workshops in the library at the same time. Free lunch provided by Debra’s Natural Gourmet to follow.

Questions: Call 978-318-1540 or e-mail ace@colonial.net for more information

“I think everybody is being struck with the sense that our resources are finite — both our financial resources and our economic resources,” said Jennifer Albanese, chairwoman of the Community Ed group spearheading the symposium. “We don’t have a bottomless well. This symposium is going to help show what’s good about that, what’s good about slowing down and living a more simple life.”

While the keynote will discuss issues on a corporate scale, the workshops are geared toward solutions on the community level and the exhibits focus on helping people to find resources within their community, like the Water Departments, Councils on Aging and Community Chest.

“There is something for everyone,” Albanese said. “The real goal of the workshops is for everyone to leave here with two or three real, practical changes they can make in their lives, and everybody’s two or three things will be probably be different.”

Designed to be a community gathering that is at once fun and informative, the symposium concentrates on three main areas: Personal finance, going green and localization — and they’re offering free lunch.

Adult workshops will provide tips on turning clutter into cash, greening the home, maintaining a business, stress reduction and backyard gardening. In the library, Jan Turnquist of Orchard House will dress as Louisa May Alcott to talk about how children lived during simpler times and a mother and son from Carlisle will bring a few chickens and tell kids about raising a flock.

Student groups exhibiting include the Earth Care Club from Willard Elementary School in Concord and a Girl Scout troop from Carlisle that has been collecting broken crayons for recycling and has created reusable canvas shopping bags.

Educating the community about climates

When they saw economic storm clouds gathering a year ago, Community Education took steps to address it as an institution that must recover 100 percent of its costs with fees and grants. By the fall, the Adult and Community Education Advisory Committee shifted focus to helping the community tread through tough economic times.

“In times of economic stress, when communities and families and individuals are having difficulty, the role of our common, public resources becomes increasingly important,” Community Education Director Court Booth wrote in an e-mail. “The Community Education program has a capacity to respond quickly and creatively and collaboratively to address current needs and concerns.”

Wrote Booth: “In this instance, we were determined to find a way for Concord and Carlisle citizens to deal with money pressures and green goals together — by learning and doing together. Where one person might choose a backyard garden as a next step in managing their economic-environment goals, another might choose home budgeting, and another carpooling or home insulation.”

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