Personal recovery – No-cost workshops encourage thriving, boosting, wellness

January 2022 Posted in Community, Other, Your Health

By Melissa Wagoner

If you’ve ever been interested in planting your own vegetable garden, curating an art collection, improving your job interview skills, understanding your children, reducing stress, eating better or just becoming a happier person then now is your chance to take the leap – for free.

“[The courses are] intended to focus on topics that will support all of our community through the pandemic,” Natalie Beach, Dean of Library and Learning Resources for Chemeketa Community College, said of the new Community Wellness and Recovery Workshop Series.  The Zoom courses will run now through the end of the 2021-2022 school year.

“They are a part of the CARES Act funding specifically for libraries and museums,” Beach said of the $166,000 grant that allowed the Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Services (CCRLS) arm of the college to both provide 180 circulating hotspots to various locations as well as this series of ongoing workshops staffed by numerous Chemeketa Community College professors.

“We thought, we have the expertise here, readily available, so we should package it and utilize it,” Beach explained.  “I think a lot of instructors are really excited.”

Divided into three categories – thriving at home, boosting your career, and family wellness – the workshops will each be held in the late afternoon or early evening and last only an hour. 

“It’s been running smoothly,” Beach said of the initial round of courses, which began Jan. 19. 

“The first big success we had was the vegetable garden one. There were over 120 people so we had to split it because we were afraid the session would be too big for the contributor.”

Also consistently popular is a course entitled, “The Science of Happiness” – taught by Marty Limbird, a Silverton resident who has worked in the Health and Human Performance Department of Chemeketa for 18 years.

“The course I teach has been quite popular,” Limbird said. “It is relevant to people’s lives and meets anyone where they are in their journey, so there is something for everyone.”

Although normally taught over the course of 11 weeks, Limbird is confident that the one-hour workshop is still fun and engaging.

“If attendees walk away pondering something new, looking at their lives through a new lens, or maybe really looking at where they invest their time and energy – then that curiosity might lead them to more self-discovery,” Limbird said.  

He described the course  as a deep dive into human history as it relates to the topics of belonging, connection and love. 

Similarly, Beach, who has found herself happily sitting in on each and every course said, “I didn’t think I would sit in on all of them but I do because learning, that’s in my blood. I’m a librarian by trade. 

“Our instructors are great. This is what they do and I think most of them really appreciate the opportunity to engage with the public in this way.”

Community Wellness and Recovery Workshop Series

A partnership between CCRLS and Chemeketa Community College.

Free, virtual, one-hour classes taught by Chemeketa Community College professors on topics under the categories of Thriving at Home, Boosting Career and Family Wellness. Class descriptions and registration open now at For more information, to make class suggestions or to find out about the workshop series just for educators, email [email protected] 

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