SUU and Cedar City Collaborate to Stay Connected and Active

Published: April 21, 2020 | Author: Haven Scott | Read Time: 3 minutes

Stay Connected, Active While at Home

To keep its community connected, Southern Utah University and dozens of local residents are joining together in a creative approach to making the most of staying at home while staying in touch. Local leaders and subject experts are stepping up to offer free, interactive online classes in a series titled “Community Connect–Learn from Home.”

The university’s popular Community Education program began posting live-stream classes on social media channels in early April. Now, 35 courses have emerged and the list is growing. From hobby and skills classes like cooking, green-thumb gardening, country line dancing and even virtual hiking with a geologist, to practical parenting tips for “Navigating Close Quarters,” community volunteers are sharing in home-to-home virtual classrooms via Facebook Live, Zoom and YouTube platforms.

Additionally, local leaders and published authors are selecting favorite books to share in an online book group that meets weekly on Tuesday afternoons. With offerings now running several days a week, residents of all ages are seeing participation as a way to stay connected with their neighbors and friends, and to keep learning and stay active.

“We are thrilled to see the community coming together in this way,” said Stephen Lisonbee, Executive Director of SUU’s Office of Regional Services. “Literally anyone with internet access can participate, and we’re excited to see many tuning in from other communities as well for the chance to learn something new.”

Like many programs in the state, SUU Community Education suspended in-person classes when Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert issued a “Stay Safe, Stay at Home” directive last month. “SUU and the Cedar City community have a long and well documented history of overcoming adversity,” said Mindy Benson, Vice President of Alumni and Community Relations at SUU. “Local residents did not even hesitate. When our Community Education team began reaching out, they started brainstorming ways to come together by providing free classes for all ages using modern technology – the results have been fun for all of us.”

All “Community Connect–Learn from Home” classes are available to watch through Zoom, Facebook Live and YouTube platforms allowing participants to interact with presenters. On Tuesdays at 2 p.m., viewers can tune in for the “Community Reads” book group in a fun, engaging chat forum. On Wednesdays at 8 p.m., “Navigating Close Quarters,” for parents and those in relationships, discusses ways to handle the stresses of newfound close confinement. And, Thursdays at noon features “Keep Learning Series” classes for those always interested in learning a new hobby or skill.

“This kind of learning helps keep our minds and bodies active, with opportunities to read with authors, draw with artists, and hear from business experts on how to adapt to changing work environments,” Lisonbee said. “Thanks to the volunteers sharing their expertise, and with use of technology, we are able to do all of this while abiding the governor’s stay-at-home directive.”

A complete list of course offerings and links for both Zoom and Facebook Live events are available at, or on the Facebook page SUU Community Education. Classes are also recorded and archived on the school website, and on Youtube for non-live participation anytime, from anywhere with internet access. For more information, or to volunteer to teach a course or lead a book discussion, email , or call (435) 865-8259.

Since 2017, SUU Community Education classes have been held year-round for the purpose of generating fun, cultural, educational opportunities and experiences for those who love to learn. Subjects including culinary, outdoor recreation, art, music, language and more are taught by local experts for the purpose of increasing participant knowledge and developing new skills.

Tags: Community and Professional Development

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