Making a way for more education


By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Officials with the Prairie Township Community Center want to bring more educational classes to the region.

To accomplish this, the township trustees approved expanding the pay scale for teachers of classes making it possible to hire more educators.

“We lowered and raised the scale, so it is a more broader pay scale,” said James Gant, director of the community center. “This will allow a high school student to teach a class, as well as a person with 20 years of experience.”

Gant said the new scale would allow a lot more flexibility when the center reaches out to instructors. Previously, the only people who could teach classes were those with a wide variety of experience in a particular subject matter, making it difficult to sometimes find educators for classes.

“Now if someone has more experience, they will be paid more; if they are just starting out they will be paid less,” Gant said. “The new pay will be based on experience, what subject matter is being taught and how difficult it is to teach the subject matter.”

According to Gant, for a basic class an instructor may be paid less versus a more complex class where a specific instructor with unique experience is required. Previously, the pay scale was $9.20 to $10.66 per hour, now the pay scale will be $8.30 to $19.85 per hour.

Township leadership said one of the reasons this change occurred was because current part-time employees of the community center expressed an interest in teaching classes at the center.

“This gives us a better opportunity to have conversations with them and determine what these classes could look like,” Gant said.

Besides opening up the opportunity to introduce new teachers to the center, the center has begun to launch a variety of new and returning programming this spring. Among the new programming is a tea party and the community garden.

The Princess Tea Party event is for children between the ages of 4 and 12 and will feature iced tea, pink lemonade, cookies and tea sandwiches. Taking place April 14, the cost to attend is $15 for residents and $17 for nonresidents.

“Little princesses can dress up like a princess and make their own crowns,” Gant said. “There also will be games and other activities.”

The community center also will offer a Lego Maniacs class. This class will take place from April 14 to May 15 and cost $30 for residents and $33 for nonresidents.

The class is for kids between the ages of 6 and 12 and will allow participants to use Lego building blocks to construct different themed creations each week. Photos of each creation will be documented and posted on the community center’s Facebook page.

Finally, the community center is in the process of creating a community garden in South Lincoln Village. The center hopes to create the garden this spring and have a gardening class where residents can learn how to care for the garden. The center anticipates more details to be available on this later this spring.

For more details on programming at the community center, visit

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