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Rebranded Marketplace of Learning draws over 200

Kristi Nelson of Hastings put on a painting demonstration at the March 30 Marketplace of Learning at Cottage Grove Middle School. Nelson was among nearly 20 instructors who gave classes during the event, which is organized by District 833 Community Education. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
Community Education staffer Joshua Chilton talks with Poornima Dantala, Ummahauny Afthab and Poonguzhali Muralikumar during the Marketplace of Learning bazarr at Cottage Grove Middle School. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Iris Keria Igiraneza from Burundi spoke with William Bair, 4, and mom Becca at the Marketplace of Learning on March 30 at Cottage Grove Middle School. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

Saturday's Marketplace of Learning bazaar at Cottage Grove Middle School drew over 200 people who took classes in painting, yoga and cooking.

District 833 Community Education rebranded the semi-annual event last fall. It used to be called Gentle Saturday, but staff member Joshua Chilton said the name confused some people into thinking that the courses were only for senior citizens.

"It brings a lot of folks, some who haven't even heard about Community Ed, into the mix," he said. "Hopefully it inspires them something that they're passionate about that they would like to learn a little more about. That's kind of what the day's all about."

In the school cafetorium, English learning students in the Great Rivers Adult Education Consortium served dishes and drinks from their native country.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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