Community news: French lessons, English history, an Appalachian trip

Continuing ed offers English Civil War history seminar

The English Civil War through the Glorious Revolution, a Ridgefield Continuing Education history seminar, led by veteran history teacher Nancy Maxwell. The historian will talk about the English monarchs’ frequent clashes with their parliaments over power and money and especially the reign of Charles I who managed to antagonize his parliament to the point of rebellion. The ensuing civil war saw the division of families, destruction of property, and ultimately his execution and the resulting Puritan Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell, who resorted to measures even more autocratic than those of the king. Visit ridgefieldschools.org/writhist.html for a more detailed description. This class starts on Tuesday, Feb. 16 and continues Feb. 23 and March 2 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Zoom. Cost is $55. Ridgefield seniors age 62 and over pay $44. Advance registration required. Visit ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Gardening Advice Series set for four Wednesdays

Gardening Advice Series: Prepare for the Spring Planting Season is a new course in Ridgefield Continuing Education. Instructor and gardening expert, Eileen Burton will teach a series of four 1-hour interactive Zoom sessions — one each month — from February, March, April and May.

Burton is a former horticultural manager for a large non-profit organization. She also had a garden design business, Butterfly Gardens. This four-session class meets on Wednesdays, Feb. 10; March 10, Apr. 7 and May 12 from 7 to 8 p.m. on Zoom. Tuition is $49. Ridgefield Seniors age 62 and over pay $39. Advance registration is required. More course info is at ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Drawing and Painting course open to all levels

Drawing and Painting with Frana Baruch is a new course available on Zoom through Ridgefield Continuing Education. This class is open to all levels of expertise, covers drawing techniques and basic color theory as well as artistic styles with a goal for each student to have time to discover their artistic selves in a supportive and relaxed environment. Baruch is a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and had a successful career as a graphic designer and illustrator. She is active in the Mid-Hudson Valley artistic community.

This class starts Tuesday, Feb. 9, and meets weekly through March 16 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Zoom. Tuition is $119. Ridgefield seniors age 62 and over pay $95. Advanced registration required. Visit ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for supply list.

Western Music History course explores historic, context of music

Western Music History I is a new course in Ridgefield Continuing Education. With instructor Sarah Fox, the course will explore the historic and artistic context of music from Antiquity to 1850 and will consider factors such as geographic region, religion, socio-economic position, and to seek a deeper comprehension of the cultural worlds, which fostered the music we cherish today. Every piece of music has a lineage and we often think of musicians such as Bach and Mozart as cornerstones of Western Music history, yet both composers were reacting to and influenced by the hundreds of years of music that came before them, Fox says. Fox is a musician with a graduate degree in conducting from the University of Birmingham, U. K. and a Master of Arts in Religion with a Music concentration from Yale University.

This six-session class meets on Tuesdays, Feb. 9, 16, 23; March 2, 9 and 16 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Zoom. Tuition is $119. Ridgefield Seniors age 62 and over pay $95. Advance registration is required. Visit ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for information or to register.

Video Conferencing Do’s and Don’t’s explained

On Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m., the Ridgefield Library is going to present an online webinar, via the Zoom application, with virtual communications expert Peggy Bud titled “The Do’s and Don’ts of Video Conferencing.” Bud will ask key questions such as: Are you ready for your Zoom interview? and, do you have the skills, knowledge, and confidence to effectively communicate via video conferencing? In this interactive and informative session, she will teach participants the skills needed to make a great first impression online. Bud will also coach participants on how to: Look and sound professional on a video call; benefit from easy-to-use tips and strategies for nailing an interview; ensure a connection is made when networking; and learn more by answering additional questions related to the do’s and don’ts of video conferencing. This program is part of the library’s Find a Job: Career and Job Search series.

Register at ridgefieldlibrary.org or 203-438-2282 to receive the Zoom link for the webinar.

Atria Ridgefield COVID-19 completing vaccine clinics

The Atria Ridgefield, located at 55 Old Quarry Road in Ridgefield, has its next, and final COVID-19 vaccine clinic Feb. 15 from 10 to 11 a.m., as part of the assisted senior living facility’s “Sleeve Up Atria” campaign to vaccinate the company’s 18,000 total residents, and 14,000 total employees in the company’s 185 locations across 26 U.S. states, and seven Canadian provinces. Masks should be worn upon arrival. Visit: www.atriaseniorliving.com/media-resources/ for information about Atria’s response to the new virus.

Registration for volunteers for Appalachia Service Project underway

Although the COVID-19 pandemic may alter or prohibit this summer’s mission trip, the Jesse Lee Appalachia Service Project, is asking high-school teens and adults to register now as volunteers for ASP 2021.

At least for now, there’s no cost to express interest in volunteering. Register with no obligation at www.jesseleeasp.org.

Jesse Lee ASP, which has a home base of the Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, 207 Main St, in Ridgefield, hopes to take volunteers down to Appalachia, located in the Southern tier of New York state to Northern Alabama, and Georgia, June 26 to July 4 for a week of home repair. Despite uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and over what will happen this summer, the organization wants to begin registering, and training volunteers for the trip now.

“If we are able to make the trip happen this summer, it’s important to begin to prepare our crews for where we’ll be going, what to expect there, what work we’ll be doing there, and how to safely do it,” Steve Coppock of the Jesse Lee ASP council said.

Online monthly training will begin soon. If a decision is made this spring that the COVID risk is too great for traveling to Appalachia, Coppock said, Jesse Lee ASP may pivot to doing work locally.

Last year, 2020, in what would have been Jesse Lee ASP’s 37th year — the entire program was canceled because of COVID-19.

This summer, the national ASP organization has added a number of COVID safety protocols, including: limiting the number of volunteers who can stay at its centers; requiring that masks be worn unless volunteers are eating, sleeping or showering; and prioritizing exterior home repairs, like roof and siding replacements.

The program is open to anyone who will have completed their freshman year of high school. Adults are encouraged to volunteer, both those who have teens participating and those who don’t. Participants don’t have to be a member of Jesse Lee or any church, nor have to live in Ridgefield or be an expert with a hammer to volunteer. Basic construction skills and safety rules are taught in training sessions prior to going on ASP. Learn more at: www.jesseleeasp.org.

Ridgefield Library events galore

Murder by the Book Mystery Discussion, online, Thursday, Feb. 4, 10:30 a.m., Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

ARTalk, African American Artists: Self-Determination and Resistance from the Roaring ’20s to 2020, online with Dr. Stephanie Sparling Williams, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Books and Breakfast, online, Monday, Feb. 8, 10:30 a.m., Ridgefield Library, 203-438- 2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Infinite Worlds Book Group, online, Thursday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Mindfulness and Meditation, online, Friday, Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26, 12 p.m., Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

The Dos and Don’ts of Video Conferencing, online with Peggy Bud, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 6 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Get to Know Your Town, online with Rudy Marconi, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

World Lit Now! Book Discussion Group, online, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 10:30 a.m., Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Job Search Resources, online, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 12 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Critics' Circle Book Discussion, online, Tuesday, Feb 16, 7 p.m., Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Lunchtime Language: French Conversation for Beginners, online with Anette Roth, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 11 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438- 2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Chronic: The Hidden Cause of the Autoimmune Pandemic, an online Author Talk with Dr. Steven Phillips and Dana Parish, Thursday, Feb. 18, 7 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

CT Paid Leave: What You Need to Know, webinar with Andrea Barton Reeves, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 9 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

A.M. Book Group, Feb. 24, 10 a.m., online, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Lunchtime Language: French Conversation for Intermediate/Advanced, online with Anette Roth, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 11 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438- 2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Two Athletic Women and Their Achievements, online with Toni McKeen, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 4 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

CT Poetry Society Workshop, online with Barb Jennes, Saturday, Feb. 27, 10 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org