Letter to the Editor: Submit ideas for Cambridge Center

(Editor’s Note; 1st Ward Commissioner Steve Rideout has been asked to be the “Enrichment Programs” representative of the Cambridge Center Strategic Planning Work Group. Over the next 3 months or so, the Work Group will meet to discuss possibilities for the Cambridge Center. The college provided the following as an explanation of what they are hoping to learn with regard to how the Cambridge Center might become more engaged in the life of Cambridge and Dorchester County residents.)

“Chesapeake College defines enrichment programs as those outside of credit and workforce training initiatives and provides opportunities for lifelong learning. These can include everything from Oil Painting, Introduction to Meditation, Computer Confidence to Cake Decorating. Currently we offer very few of these classes at the Cambridge Center. And, as the population is changing in Dorchester County we want to explore if there is a role for the College to provide these type of classes.

These offerings are considered educational and a part of the College’s mission. We have a very robust offering of enrichment classes on the Wye Mills campus. Bottom line, should we be doing more of these in Dorchester County.”

The Work Group would determine if there is a need and if so, what is it.

As I have this list of all of you who are interested in what is happening and could happen in Cambridge, I thought that I would reach out to you to hear your thoughts on the above and how we as residents of the city and county could be engaged or more engaged in the Cambridge Center and what that engagement might look like with regard to “Enrichment Programs.”

I certainly do not have all or, at this point, any of the answers but thought that you might. If you are silent, then the answer may well be that the Cambridge Center is not a place for Chesapeake College to spend its resources for “Enrichment Programs”. However, If you have ideas, please share them.

For those of you who are involved with other organizations including nonprofits, how do you see you or your organization being able to partner with the Cambridge Center to support or engage in enrichment programs that could use their and our community resources and impact our community with a dream that you have had for years or have been trying to get started for years.

There are no stupid or impossible ideas. They may not happen now or even down the road; but if you do not share them, we know that they may never happen. What kind of class would you like to lead or take? Who do you know that has talked about wanting to learn something but never having the opportunity?

Years ago, the Court Service Unit that supported our court with programs submitted a grant proposal for a program they wanted to do for 7 years in a row and were turned down every year. In the 8th year, the Arlington County Virginia Court Service Unit asked if they could submit the grant proposal. Our group had given up on it and so agreed. That next year, the Arlington Court Service Unit was funded for the exact program that we had failed to get 7 years in a row.

Now may be your chance to let me know your dream. Let’s see if it happens.

You can respond to me alone (swrideout@aol.com); or, if you think you have a great idea about an enrichment program, respond to “all.” You will be letting over 200 people know about your idea. Maybe there are others who have that same dream to learn about what interests you, and you just did not know about them.
Thanks for your help. I look forward to hearing from you.

If you do respond, I may not have time to respond to each of you, but know that your idea and level of interest that others might express will be brought to the attention of the folks at the Cambridge Center.

Please share this with anyone you think might be interested in offering an idea or participating in an enrichment program.

Steve Rideout

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