Fall Programming Courses at the Community Center

Hello all,

As we kick off the start of the new school year this week, and all of our little ones hopped back on the bus and headed off to class Tuesday, I thought it would be a good time to announce that we’re going to be offering two programming courses this fall, in coordination with Thinkful and CodeSchool, two of the leading online programming providers.

The courses are going to be held every Saturday beginning October 3, for 8 weeks, bringing us up to the Thanksgiving holiday.

There are going to be two options for taking these courses.

Anna Peters, from Richmond, VA will be in town to help moderate and engage the two classes.

The Code School Course

code school logoThe first course, designed for complete beginners who have a moderate interest in programming, will follow the Code School curriculum.

This course is the “easier” (by which we mean less-intensive) track, and also less expensive. After a two week free trial, you’ll be asked to purchase a monthly subscription to the course, which has different tracks you can choose to work down. With the structure of our course, we’ll be working through several tracks together as a group, and then give you a few options for learning more if you’re interested.

In addition to the weekly class, 2-3 hours of individual work per week is expected of every student.

You can read a full Code School review from CodingRookie.org for more information on this exciting and affordable program!

The Thinkful Course

thinkful_logoFor those of you who have expressed interest in a more intensive course, we’ve also arranged to work through one of the Thinkful programs.

Thinkful is another online programming course, albeit one structured very differently than CodeSchool. The point of Thinkful is to provide a structured learning environment that gives you weekly access to a personal mentor, so you can ask individualized questions and get direct feedback on your work from a professional programmer.

This is a great opportunity to supplement the Thinkful material, because our Saturday classes will then provide a second, group opportunity to work collaboratively on projects and expand our knowledge base!

The Thinkful course is a bit pricier than CodeSchool, at $300 per month, but provides a more professional atmosphere and guided training that the other course does not.

You can read a Thinkful course review for more information on what to expect.

Space in each of these classes is limited to only 10 students, and participation in the Saturday sessions is free to all! The only costs are those associated with working through the online curriculums through the sites mentioned.

Contact Jeff in the center for more information and registration.


Free ESL Instruction and Online English Class

free english classesThis fall, we’re pleased to announce that we’re launching our first ever ESL, or English as a Second Language, instructional program for the community, coupled with a free online English class for participants.

This program is sponsored by an Oregon state educational grant. Many people that live in the Oregon coastal region don’t realize just how many residents there are who are first generation immigrants that have only a basic understanding of English. This can often restrict their ability to find work or learn new skills, even if they are residing legally in the US.

This program is designed to help bridge that gap in the community, and provide more opportunities for individuals and families to improve their position through education.

In our region, the majority of the non-English speaking population are first generation immigrants from Russia, Korea, China, Mexico, and Central America.

teflThe diversity of this immigrant population is both exciting and provides some interesting challenges. We will be following a standard TEFL curriculum with our English program, which is designed to accomodate students from all cultures, with a teacher who does not necessarily speak the language of the students.

In addition to the bi-weekly class meetings on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, we will be offering additional resources for free online English courses through Boardspace.org.

This is a great opportunity for many members of our community who have not previously had access to affordable resources for improving their own education, since many of the other state programs are not targeted towards non-English speaking residents.

We hope that you’ll help us to spread the word about these courses. They are 100% free and open to any member of the community (we will NOT be asking for any official documentation).

To participate, simply call Jeff at the Center to register: 548-523-6761.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about this course, the schedule, material covered, or eligibility. Our goal is to make it available to as many people as possible, and are interested in hearing your feedback, questions, and concerns in order to make it possible!

Library Literature Book Club This Weekend!

Hi all,

I just wanted to give a friendly reminder that our summer Library Literature Book Club starts this weekend!

We have two groups signed up, for both classic literature and contemporary fiction.

The classic literature group will be meeting from 10:00-11:30 in the main conference room, and the contemporary fiction will follow immediately afterwards from 11:30-1:00.

If you’ve signed up for the club, you know that the first books will already be assigned and you should have started reading the first several chapters.

Classic Literature Group

catcher in the rye bookFor the Classic Literature book club, your first book is going to be J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.

This is a great American classic. If you haven’t already obtained your copy, please contact Sue Minston at the main library branch to reserve your spot.

We also are please to announce that you can get a free The Catcher in the Rye audiobook via http://freeaudiobookguide.com

We’ll be asked to read through the first 3 chapters of the novel this week, which covered Holden’s initial presentation, through his journey to Manhattan.

Please bring any questions and comments you may have, and you can discuss them in the group.

Contemporary Fiction Group

game of thrones bookThe contemporary fiction group will be discussing George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones.

This is the first book in the Song of Fire and Ice series, and has since been made into the popular television series by HBO.

It’s important to note that the club will meet to discuss the original version of the book, not adaptations made for the tv series. There are copies of the book available at the front desk, and you can also get a free Game of Thrones audiobook if you’d like. Ask Sue Minson for details.

Please read through chapter 6 by this Saturday’s meeting.

Other Book Ideas

Please note that since this is the first meeting of the summer, we’ll also be discussing options for what each group will read over the course of the summer. Check out goodreads.com for ideas!

Though the first books have already been set, we welcome ideas for other books. Please bring ideas and favorites, and a reason you want to cover that book in a group.

Each group will then set its own schedule and vote on future books for the rest of the summer!

Hope this turns out to be a great first meeting, and I look forward to seeing you on Saturday!



Thanks for a Great Memorial Day Boating Safety Presentation!

Hi All,

I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for making Bandon’s Memorial Day weekend a success!

Though we certainly couldn’t compete with the legendary DC parade, we had a record turnout this year, with over 200 residents coming down to the waterfront for a special presentation on boating safety issues, sponsored by http://www.boatersafety.org.

Memorial Day Recap: Boating Safety

boating safety talkThe day started out with a mid-morning talk by Ron Robertson, of North Bandon, who addressed the constant need to wear life vests whenever you’re out on the water.

“Life jackets should be worn no matter how experienced you are,” he said, “You never know what’s going to happen.” Even particularly calm weather is no excuse to go without a PFD at hand, he pointed out, because it only takes a single wave to knock you off balance, and into the water.

“The reality is that most accidents happen on the water because people are lackadaisacal about their own safety. When you’re out there and not paying attention, especially if you’ve had a beer or two, it’s easy to get yourself into trouble. And we don’t want that!”

He also reminded us that the US Coast Guard has a strong “Wear It!” campaign that they’ve been running for the last few years. Though it’s not mandated by law, everyone should always wear their life jacket.

Read more about life jackets.

Afternoon Sail and BBQ

dockside bbqAfter the talk, everyone gathered around the marina docks for an afternoon cookout and pot luck. With over 200 people, logistics were certainly a challenge!

Many thanks to the dozen or so boaters who volunteered their time taking individuals out on the water. All in all we had nearly 80 sailors go out for about an hour and enjoy the day, using the on the water safety techniques talked about in the morning!

Many of the captains also performed a few safety drills, like man overboard drills using figure 8 maneuvering, and how to properly throw a PFD, and lift a person out of the water when they’re in need of help.

Many thanks to Bob Wilkins for being the “test dummy” floating in the cold May water!

This Saturday: Info Session On Preventing Home Invasion

Hi all,

imagesI just wanted to take a moment to announce that we are going to be offering a free workshop and information session on how to prevent home invasion, this Saturday, May 23, at the Bandon Community Center.

Here in Bandon we’re very blessed to have a low crime rate, but nevertheless this will be an interesting workshop for all of us.

The meeting will take place in two parts. The first part will provide information on preventing home invasion, and steps you can do if your home is broken into, and the second part will be about creating Neighborhood Watch groups, and other community-centric activities that have been proven to reduce crime.

Even though Bandon is known for its low crime rate, we still hope you come out to support this meeting!

Preventing Home Invasion

Firstly, we’re going to be presenting some important information about how to prevent home invasion for you, as an individual.

Some of the core ways to reduce your risk of having your home broken into are actually quite simple for your to incorporate.

For example, locking your doors whenever you leave the house and at night is a huge deterrent to thieves, as many “casual” thieves will simply move house to house looking for an easy entry, but aren’t prepared to physically break in.

Another important component is to have a home security system in place. Home alarms are known to reduce your risk of home invasion by up to 50%, and on average in the US homes with professional alarms installed have a less than 1% risk of invasion.

And, in Bandon that should be even less!!!

Nevertheless, we’ll be going over things you need to know if you’re thinking about buying an alarm system, and how to find the best alarm systems for your house and budget.

Neighborhood Watch

The second half of the event will turn to neighborhood watch programs. We’ll look at some recent studies of how citizen action groups can prevent crime, and then talk about initiating a neighborhood watch program here in Bandon.

This program is by no means definite. One of the purposes of this meeting is to see if there’s any interest in establishing such a program.

If there is, we’ll be looking for volunteers to help lead the effort, with an aim of keeping crime to an absolute minimum here in our lovely town!

Hope to see you Saturday for this important home security information session and workshop.

What To Do During Your Time In Bandon

Bandon is a quiet, peaceful town with a population of just 3,000 people. However, we’re a great destination either as a weekend getaway, or a home base for longer vacations in the Southern Oregon region.

During your time in Bandon, we invite you to take advantage of all the town has to offer, from summer films and concert series, to an evening out along the boardwalk or dining in one of our many fabulous restaurants.

The Bandon Boardwalk

boardwalkThe Bandon Boardwalk is one of the highlights of our town, and many Bandoners are proud of this lovely oceanside stroll.

The boardwalk winds its way along the sea front, giving you a fresh open air breeze on one side, and access to some of Bandon’s best shops and cafes on the other.

On a typical day, you’re likely to see a variety of marine wildlife in the area, from pelicans and gulls to sea lions and otters, making each visit out to the boardwalk a unique experience in and of itself.

The Coquille River

coquille lighthouseAnother attraction of the Bandon area is to visit the Coquille River. The mouth of the Coquille empties into the Pacific just outside the northern edge of town, and it makes for a great walk or bike ride to stroll up to the mouth and enjoy this breathtaking natural scenery, or ride alongside the river as it makes its way inland.

No trip to the Coquille River is complete without a look at the Coquille River lighthouse, a small red and white building at the mouth of the river.

Much of Bandon’s history is owed to the construction of this lighthouse in 1895, cementing Bandon’s place as a regional harbor and port, and it continues to be a cherished icon of our town to this day.

The Broader  South Oregon Region

Fun in Bandon doesn’t have to stop in Bandon itself. Due to its close proximity to other attractions, Bandon makes for a great home base for anyone vacationing the Souther Oregon region.

Some of the highlights of this region include the impressive Pacific coast, with wonderful drives along the ocean front, or a trip inland to some of the finest wineries in the country.

Oregon is particularly known for Willamette Valley and their fabled pinot noirs, but the mild climate, which alternates fresh, brisk ocean air with hot summer days in the valleys, makes for a large range of vineyards and small niche appellations throughout the region.

You might want to visit Oregon Wines for more information about planning a trip to the Oregon wine country.