If you are like me, time is simply flying. While I never have enough time to fully immerse myself in my many interests, there is always a new class I want to take or skill that I want and sometimes even need to improve. The question then becomes, where to start?

One place to start is to reach out to Franklin County Adult Education (FCAE). Yes, you can do an internet search and find tons of valuable and free information, but isn’t it nice to be able to speak to someone from your neck of the woods? I myself still prefer an old-fashioned phone call with a live person if I am unable to have a face-to-face meeting.

If you live in the Phillips/Avon area, you either know or know someone who knows Avon native Greta Espeaignette. After retiring as a Major after 20 years of service as Chief of Communications and Information’s Systems from the Air Force’s Expeditionary Force Deployments Unit at Langley Air Force Base Virginia, Espeaignette returned to Maine where she was the librarian at Maine School Administrative District (MSAD#58) for 6 years, first Selectman for Avon for almost 9 years, and is currently the MSAD #58 Adult Ed Coordinator for Franklin County Adult Ed. Although the pandemic has created some obstacles, among other things, she is still offering weekly sessions at the Phillips Library.

Greta Espeaignette during a virtual Literacy Volunteer session at Phillips Library. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

From 10-12pm on Wednesdays she is working in conjunction with Literacy Volunteers of Franklin & Somerset Counties to assist in facilitating a program that covers alternating topics that include writing and math but also community oriented topics and book discussions.

Afterwards, from 12-2pm Greta offers tutoring help on topics that can range anywhere from assistance with a resume to navigating technology. Feel free to contact her at 207 678-2701 or email her at [email protected] if you would like to set up an appointment.

FCAE College and Career Coordinator Sandra Brown. I would take advice from this friendly mug wouldn’t you?

Working out of Farmington, Sandra Brown who served for seven years as an E4 in the Air Force’s Dental Squadron, Oklahoma, Germany, and Montana also continues to serve her community as Franklin County Adult Ed. College and Career Coordinator. Brown works one on one with individuals advising anyone who is curious about what training might be available for a certain career, or how to navigate what some consider to be an overly complicated college application process. She will even help assist you in finding what resources might be applicable to help you pay to earn your degree. Feel free to reach out to Brown by emailing her at [email protected] or calling her at 207 778-3460.

Over in Rangeley there is another friend of mine, Jon Morton, also ex-military who is also helping adult education by offering ongoing classes in mindfulness through the Rangeley Adult Education program and in partnership with Rangeley Health & Wellness.

Morton served in the United States Marine Corps and is excited to share what he has learned from his experiences with the community. “I had my fair share of difficulties to face for quite some time. Everyone faces difficulties, but not everyone always has the tools to work with them. Mindfulness changed my life. After having learned meditation and mindful living, I was able to put my life back together piece by piece, moment by moment. Today, as a new man, I am happier than I have ever been and have gained an incredible amount of control over many aspects of my character.”

Jon Morton of Rangeley will be offering a new mindfulness class at RHW starting on March 29th.

As a certified mindfulness meditation instructor, Jon wants to share what he considers a gift with as many people as he can. During his courses you will learn how to turn life into a meditation through various techniques, such as sitting meditation, mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful eating, and many other methods he has used over the years.

Rangeley Health & Wellness has graciously offered their space for this class that will be held on Sundays starting at 9am and Tuesdays starting at 6pm. The first class will be held on Sunday, March 29th.

Another class that will interest many of my neighbors is a Survival Skills presentation held by Vic Medina. Vic Medina is a retired Marine Special Operations Master Sergeant and current survival instructor for the U.S. Navy and will be sharing his survival skills training in a two-hour presentation that will take place towards the end of this June or early July.

In collaboration with Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust who offered their facilities, Medina already not only donated his time to Rangeley Adult Education (RAE) this past November but in addition, donated the entire class fee to RAE.

Vic Medina at the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust after the Survival Skills presentation. As you can see from his expression, it went really well. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

While a portion of each personal development class or workshop offered by FCAE always goes to the adult education program that helps to pay for all the academic and nuts and bolts services FCAE provides, Medina chose to donate it all.

If you are interested in taking either of the above courses you may call yours truly, Rangeley Adult Ed. Coordinator for Franklin County Adult Ed. at 207 670-5240, or email me at [email protected]

I believe the one trait the four individuals in this article have in common besides serving their country is their positivity and their strong belief in the power and importance of a happy, healthy, and educated community. With deep sincerity, thank you for your service and thank you again!

2021 Literacy Volunteer Community Connects Winter/Spring Schedule

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