Welcome to Ridgefield Public Schools Continuing Education Program
Writing, Genealogy, History, Art History, Archaeology, Voice-Overs, Speaking, Acting, Travel
Back to Course Index Sign Me Up!
Ridgefield Schools Senior Citizens FAQ's Home


History, Writing, Genealogy, Archaeology of Meso America, Voice Overs, Travel - Keep Scrolling Down!


Voice-Overs


Voice-Overs . . . NOW is YOUR Time!
In what could be the most enlightening ONLINE class you have ever taken, our instructor and professional voice coach will show you how you can actually begin using your speaking voice for commercials, films, videos, and more. Most people go about it the wrong way. In this introductory class, you will learn about a unique, outside the box way to break into this creative, fulfilling, and potentially lucrative industry. Voice-overs can be managed on your own terms, on your own turf, in your own time, and with minimal overhead! Whether you choose to pursue voice-overs part-time or full-time, this could be the game changer you have been looking for. In addition to online instruction, you will be given the opportunity to book a 1-on-1 script read and voice evaluation via telephone with your instructor for the following day. This class will be presented via Zoom, you will receive a link the 24 hours prior to the class. Instructor Nicole Porche built her career as a professional film, television, theater and voice-over actor by demystifying the casting process and illuminating the business side of pursuing a creative career. This native New Orleanian has starred in series on the major networks Lifetime, The Food Network and Spike TV. Her years of experience in the film industry has afforded her the opportunity to teach others. She has earned her credits as an Acting Coach, Casting Director, Producer and Film Director. She has been featured in Rolling Out and Celebrity Net Worth "The Richest". Nicole Porche is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Nicole built her career as a professional film, television, theatre, and voice-over actor by demystifying the casting process and illuminating the business side of pursuing a creative career.

1 Session $ 31 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 25)
Sat., 10/2 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon; Annex


1 Session $ 31 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 25)
Wed., 10/27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.; Zoom



Archaeology


The Rise of Civilization in Meso America ~ the Olmecs and the Zapotecs
Before pyramids appeared in Egypt, they were being built in Mexico, by people who had no written language, and used only stone tools. One by one, civilizations in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize rose and fell. In this course, we will look at hunter gatherers, the beginning of agriculture and small farming communities, and how they morphed into the first cities of the Olmecs, and the empire of the Zapotecs. Instructor Lynn-Marie Wieland is a lithic (stone tools) archaeologist specializing in southern New England prehistory focusing on the Indians of the Ridgefield area. She minored in Meso American Archaeology and hasa traveled extensively in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.

3 Sessions $ 76 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 62)
Wed., 10/6, 13, and 20 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Annex (Zoom backup)


American History

The Amazing World of Nicola Tesla
From a humble beginning in eastern Europe. Learn how this would be monk would become one of the last century's most prolific inventors and men of science. We will discuss some of his major contributions to science, as well as his competition with Thomas Edison onthe invention of electricity. A tale that is one to be told for the ages of two remarkably interesting and competitive personalities. This is a must. Instructor Leon DiMartino is an Adjunct Professor at Westchester Community College who loves teaching topics in American History, Folktales and Authors.

1 Session $ 31 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 25)
Wed., 10/6 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Annex (Zoom backup)


Haunted History and Fold Tales of Connecticut
Learn about Connecticut's Folktales and Haunted legends as we explore a colorful tale about Benedict Arnold, the story of Gillette Castle, Connecticut's Witch Trials in the 1600's and other interesting and colorful tales of Connecticut's past. Instructor Leon DiMartino is an Adjunct Professor at Westchester Community College who loves teaching topics in American History, Folktales and Authors.

2 Sessions $ 49 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 40)
Wed., 10/20 and 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Annex (Zoom backup)


The Roosevelt's of the Hudson Valley: a Tale of Two Presidents and a First Lady
They descend from the early Dutch settlers of the 1600's. Learn how Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt had an impact on the history of our nation. Instructor Leon DiMartino is an Adjunct Professor at Westchester Community College who loves teaching topics in American History, Folktales and Authors.

3 Sessions $ 76 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 62)
Wed., 11/3, 10 and 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Annex (Zoom backup)


European History


The Creation of Italy
A visitor to Italy today travels freely about to explore the prized cities of Florence, Naples, Rome, and Venice. But it was not always so easy: Italy is a relatively new country, and the fabled cities may indeed be regarded as prizes, because they did not all join Italy willingly! It took a combination of the wily statesman Camillo Cavour, the political activism of the secret revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini, and the romantic nationalism of Giuseppe Garibaldi – none of whom wanted to work together - to draw disparate “Italians” together. And even that wasn’t quite enough. Napoleon III and Bismarck had something to add. This presentation will look at the remarkable personalities and events that led to the emergence of a unified Italy in 1871. Instructor Nancy Maxwell's bio is below.

3 Sessions $ 56 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 46)
Tue., 9/28; 10/5, 12 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Zoom.


The Six Wives of Henry VIII
The king had six wives! - a piece of history we all seem to remember from our school days. Henry’s marriages were about politics, not romance, mostly, and it could be a dangerous game. He needed an heir, but what else was the king hoping to achieve? And who were his wives? Were they hapless victims or ambitious schemers or perhaps a combination of the two? Each one’s story was unique. Let’s meet these six very memorable 16th century ladies of the English court. Instructor Nancy Maxwell's bio is below.

2 Sessions $ 39 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 32)
Tue., 10/19 and 26 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Zoom.


The Perils of Power - 150 Years of the French Monarchy
After the tumultuous violence of civil war that destroyed the Valois dynasty, the French looked forward to peace under the popular and gifted new king, Henry IV. But it was not to be. Henry’s reign was cut short. His son, Louis XIII, was content to leave most of the work to his minister, the wily Cardinal Richelieu, amid swirling intrigue and conspiracies. Louis XIV, survived rebellion to establish a dazzling court and image of absolute power, but at great cost to himself and the state. The Sun King defined monarchy and left his mark on all aspects of French and European life. And then Louis XV squandered it all through lethargy and extravagance! It is perhaps his relationship with the glittering Madame de Pompadour that left the greatest mark. Power comes at a cost and is maintained at a cost! This class will explore the reigns of four very different kings and their legacies for France. Instructor Nancy Maxwell's bio is below.

4 Sessions $ 76 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 62)
Mon., 11/8, 15, 22 and 29 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Zoom.


Nancy Maxwell - Instructor Bio:

As a student at Cornell, Ms. Maxwell was encouraged to major in Psychology, but her interest in the humanities was always paramount, and her reading of History has taken pride of place.

As a teacher and counselor in an international school in Switzerland for more than twenty years, she had the opportunity to familiarize herself with the palaces and cathedrals of European cities, to savor the extraordinary wealth of artistic treasure that they contain, and to walk in the very footsteps of historical figures.

Her understanding of European history has been enriched as much by exhausting days walking the corridors and grounds of the Palace of Versailles as by descending to the dismal, tragic halls of the Conciergerie. It has similarly been her privilege to tramp the Parisian streets from the site of the Bastille by way of the Louvre and the Tuileries gardens to the Place de la Concorde and thence along the Champs Elyses to Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe. These experiences have provided both a mental and physical context in which people who lived centuries ago regain their humanity and tell their stories. It is her delight to share those stories with students.


Writing


Writing a Novel or Short Story

Participants will learn how to successfully create, develop, or complete your novel or short story by FIRST focusing on the basics, such as character development, scene creation, and a fully developed plot, which will enable you to construct a coherent, satisfying story scene-by-scene, and chapter-by-chapter. Just as importantly, you'll learn how to avoid the biggest mistakes, such as jumping in at page one with no real idea how your story will develop or even how it will end. Getting to know all your major and minor characters first, as well as all the main conflicts and actions of your story, will make your writing a far more manageable and rewarding experience.

We'll look at:
• Developing character backgrounds
• Formulating a plot
• Building scenes that move your story ahead
• First, second, and final drafts

Instructor Michael Canavan is the author of 2 novels, a collection of short stories, and nearly a dozen nonfiction books.

6 Sessions $144 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 118)
Wed., 9/29; 10/6, 13, 20, 27 and 11/3 from 7 to 9 p.m.; East Ridge Middle School (Zoom backup)



Genealogy


Genealogy for Beginners
This two part class will get you started on finding out about your family history and organizing and documenting the data you collected using mostly free sites on the internet. We will cover essential sources of information including the United States Census and vital records, as well as immigration and naturalization records. A brief introduction to finding records outside the USA and about how DNA is used in genealogy will be included. Instructor Eileen Burton has been involved in genealogy as a serious hobby for over 15 years. Her research led her to visit ancestral villages in Germany. Class Limit 7.

2 Sessions $ 49 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 40)

Mon., 9/27 and 10/4 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Annex (Zoom backup)

2 Sessions $ 49 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 40)

Wed., 12/1 and 8 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Annex (Zoom backup)


French and French Canadian Genealogy
If you are a descendant of French or French Canadian ancestors, your ancestors are among the best documented people in the world. This workshop focuses on resources available on-line to help you trace your family history in France and in the French Canadian Province of Quebec and highlights the commonality between French and French Canadian church records. The French genealogy section details what vital, census and military records are available from the French archives and how these data bases can be accessed. The French Canadian genealogy section lays out on-line resources available for the region of Quebec covering the work of earlier genealogists such as Joseph Drouin and Rev. Cyprien Tanguay, the Canadian archives census records and the Quebec notarial records. Specific techniques and challenges of French Canadian genealogy such as dit-names are also discussed. Instructor Francoise Lampe has extensive experience doing genealogical research in the US, France and Germany.

1 Session $ 31 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 25)

Mon., 10/18 from 1 to 3 p.m.; Zoom.


German Genealogy
This workshop focuses on US and German on-line resources available to locate German ancestors and on how to overcome the challenges unique to German genealogy. The course includes a discussion of German history and geography, immigration and emigration of ethnic Germans, church and civil records, given and family names, gothic script and how to use use maps and gazetteers to locate the German village of origin. Besides vital and census records, other sources of information such as passenger lists, city directories and newspapers are also discussed. Instructor Francoise Lampe has extensive experience doing genealogical research in the U.S., France and Germany.

1 Session $ 31 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 25)

Mon., 10/25 from 1 to 3 p.m.; Zoom.


TRAVEL IN ITALY - New Course


How to Travel Better
Elaine Esposito will discuss travel issues such as packing tips; obtaining and renewing passports; TSA and Global Entry; trip insurance, and staying safe. Italy will be featured as a destination. Instructor Elaine Esposito began her travel career with Alitalia Airlines and discovered a love for international travel. She is now a leisure travel advisor for a large NYC travel agency.

1 Session $ 29 (Ridgefield Sr./Disab. $ 24)
Thur., 10/21 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Annex (Zoom backup)