One of my favorite television programs is KQED’s “Spark.” Locally produced, it features Bay Area innovators in many fields, ranging from the arts to science. Here in Solano County, the University of California at Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science has branched out to spark the minds of young people in the how and why of science.
The Inventor’s Lab, in Vallejo, features fun, hands-on workshops for young people. Solano County Library is hosting a series of programs after school in the next year. In December, the Fairfield Civic Center Library hosted a workshop on circuitry. Kids had the opportunity to build their own circuits or robotic toys. We hope the library or the Inventor’s Lab can be a place to spark your child’s imagination. Visit them at www.lawrencehallofscience.org/science_out_of_school/invent.
New year, new you? Yes! Take yourself seriously – and playfully – by trying something new this year. Perhaps enhance your job skills or explore a new career. Always wanted to try a recreational sport or artistic medium? There are many opportunities in Solano County.
The adult schools in each town offer continuing education classes for a modest fee. From computers to CPR, to health care training programs, you will find many classes to enhance your skills.
The Solano Employment Connection offers free workshops on basic to advanced computer use, as well as certified typing exams and trade-oriented certification training and exams. They even have a math tutor on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help you with math portions of career exams. Visit www.solanoemployment.org for more information.
Solano Community College’s Vistas program offers online and on-the-ground continuing education classes, ranging from music instruction to legal, business and health care training.
Here at Solano County Library, we have several databases to help you improve job and world language skills. Mango Languages is a free database accessed with your library card. You can take self-paced lessons on more than 30 languages. Learning Express offers many standard practice exams for the GED, government, health profession, U.S. citizenship, military and trade exams. They understand that you might not have had algebra since high school. Try their language and math training practice or their test-taking skill modules.
Love nature? Become a docent with the Solano Land Trust. Training begins in January. You can become an expert in a particular Solano Land Trust property and give guided tours to visitors. Visit www.solanolandtrust.org to learn about their program. They also schedule hikes and workshops about our local habitat.
Looking for art classes? Arts Benicia has an exciting array of classes in many kinds of media. Visit www.artsbenicia.org/events.
Solano County Library regularly offers craft-making classes for young people. Check www.solanolibrary.com for upcoming events. During the month of February, several branches will feature the beautiful quilts of a Fairfield quilt-makers group, The Quilting Sisters, as part of our celebration of African-American Heritage Month. Patricia Turner will also present a lecture on African-American quilt-making based on her book, “Crafted Lives: Stories and Studies of African-American Quilters.” The Fairfield Civic Center Library will host the event from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 24.
The Quilting Sisters will share their passion for quilting with children from noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Suisun City branch. Elementary school-age children will have the opportunity to make their own quilt square.
Develop a passion in 2013!
Serena Enger is the supervising librarian at the Fairfield Civic Center Library. She is currently reading books about watercolor technique, after taking her first class in December.