Chatfield's community education program is planning a very special event this weekend to promote the fun that can be found within the surrounding community.

The "Celebrate Community" event is slated for this Sunday, April 14, from 1 to 4 p.m., at Chatfield Elementary School. It is planned as an intergenerational event meant to bring families of all ages together and assist the community education department in maintaining its viability.

LuAnn Klevan, the community education director, said, "There will be projects for kids of all ages. The games are great for families to play together. Of course, bingo works well for all generations!"

She added that there will be mini classes that adults can try, like Zumba, yoga and Tae Kwon Do, and kids and adults can enjoy the FFA petting farmyard.

"The afternoon is designed for families to enjoy together," Klevan said. "It will be a great way to get out of the house and have fun - Just for Kix students will perform a competition piece, Dean Tollefsrud will have students presenting the demonstration for Tae Kwon Do, and the high school dance line will perform as well. We hope they will lead us all in a dance together, too!"

"Celebrate Community" is an opportunity for Chatfield to support its community education program by taking in the family-oriented activities, a silent auction, an exhibition hall and a gathering of home-based businesses.

Klevan pointed out that "Celebrate Community" benefits Chatfield Community Education and its mission by garnering funds for its continued operation and improvement, encouraging people to explore hobbies and activities they might not otherwise have a chance to encounter.

"Community education focuses on lifelong learning. We have opportunities for families with infants and toddlers, for preschool and school-age kids, and of course, adult and senior classes," she stated.

Chatfield Community Education "isn't necessarily" undergoing changes, but its need for funding has.

"In the past 20 years, community education funding from the state has decreased," Klevan explained. "Expenses continue to increase. In recent years, community education has been forced to generate revenue, as breaking even no longer works. Our goal, when possible, is to generate revenue without raising participation fees."

"Celebrate Community's" demonstrations and mini classes are courtesy of organizations that are part of the community, the people who often teach Chatfield Community Education classes or are likely to do so.

The silent auction features items from many local individuals and businesses. "Those who contribute to the silent auction and a couple community organizations will have the opportunity to promote their products or services as an exhibit," Klevan added. "Mostly, the afternoon is about spending time together, as a community."

Activities throughout the afternoon include an introduction to yoga mini class, an art and craft project for kids of all ages - including spring projects, free art and a Play-doh table. Beginning at 1 p.m. and ending at 3:30, there will be table games, bingo, Family Feud and other games for families. There will be a "card-boardwalk" with cardboard boxes available to create a play area for young children.

The Chatfield FFA barnyard will run from 1 to 4 p.m.

There will be a Just for Kix demonstration at 1:15, a Just for Kix beginners' mini class, parent-child Zumba from 1:30 to 2, Story Theater presented by the Chatfield High School Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) from 2 to 2:30 p.m., Tae Kwon Do demonstrations from 2 to 2:15 and a mini class for beginners following, a Chatfield High School dance line performance at 2:15 to 2:30 with a chance for everybody to dance with the dance line team afterwards.

There will also be an opportunity to stroll down Storybook Lane and meet a storyteller at 2:45 to 3:30, rounded out by open gym time for kids and families from 3:30 to 4:00.

Popcorn and lemonade will be available in the cafeteria throughout the afternoon.

Klevan observed, "Volunteers have helped make this event possible. Thanks to Community Education Advisory Council, the Early Childhood Family Education staff, Tonya Tienter, SADD members, the FFA, and other high school volunteers."

Klevan concluded, "I encourage everyone to take the time to come and have fun, as a family - and as a community. The cost is $5 for a single admission or $10 for a family. Supporting this event will help keep youth programs at a reasonable fee - thus, open to all."

For more information on the event, e-mail LuAnn Klevan at lklevan@chatfield.k12.mn.us, and to donate an item for the silent auction, call Joni Amundson at (507) 867-3615.