Greene County residents are encouraged to participate in a new Iowa State University Extension and Outreach initiative – Mid Life & Beyond: The Whole Picture.

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Greene County residents are encouraged to participate in a new Iowa State University Extension and Outreach initiative – Mid Life & Beyond: The Whole Picture.

 

The average retirement age nationally is now 62 with a life expectancy of 78 years (Minino, Heron & Smith, 2006).  The 2010 census showed 51% of Greene County residents were over the age of 45, so this is very timely initiative for our county.

 

The Mid Life & Beyond initiative helps communities talk together and find ways to make their community a place where people want to live during mid-life and beyond.

 

The Study Circle process was created by Everyday Democracy who is a “national leader in the field of civic participation and community change, Everyday Democracy helps people of different backgrounds and views talk and work together to solve problems and create communities that work for everyone” according to their website found at http://www.everyday-democracy.org/en/Page.AboutUs.aspx 

 

 “Greene County is setting up study circles to consider action for our future,” said Michael Cooley, county Extension coordinator for Greene County Extension.  Local study circles will happen between April 8th and May 5th.

 

A study circle

•     is a small, diverse group of eight to twelve people from the whole community

•     includes people from all walks of life

•     meets together for four 90-minute sessions

•     sets its own ground rules to share responsibility for quality discussion

•     is led by an impartial local facilitator who helps manage the discussion, not teach the group

•     starts with personal stories, then helps the group look at thriving communities

 

“This is a great opportunity for communities ready to commit to gathering citizens together to work for positive change,” Cooley said.

 

Study circles in Greene County will be held during the following tentative times:

  • Mondays; April 9, 16, 23, 30; 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.; Facilitated by Lois Brant and Mary Gilley in Jefferson
  • Tuesdays; April 10, 17, 24, May 1; 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; Facilitated by Lynn and Ellie Menz in Jefferson
  • Wednesdays; April 11, 18, 25, May 2; 10 a.m.-noon; Facilitated by Jean Finch and Jan Christian in Scranton
  • Wednesdays; April 11, 18, 25, May 2; 5 p.m.-7 p.m.; Facilitated by Craig Marquardt and Sarah Jo Fevold in Paton
  • Thursdays; April 12, 19, 26, May 3; 5 p.m.-7 p.m.; Facilitated by LuAnn Walsh and Michael Cooley in Grand Junction
  • Thursdays; April 12, 19, 26, May 3; 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Facilitated by Hollie Roberts and Judy Sommerfelt-Brinker in Jefferson
  • Thursdays; April 12, 19, 26, May 3; 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; Facilitated by Pam Olerich and Sharon Whitaker in Jefferson
  • Saturdays; April 14, 21, 28, May 5; 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.; Facilitated by Jim and Mary Jo Schleisman in Jefferson

 

Register for the Greene County Study Circles by calling ISU Extension in Greene County at 515-386-2138 by April 5. You’ll be asked for your first two preferences of study circles. More information about the new statewide initiative is available at /midlifeandbeyond/

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