New Sierra Vista Saturday classes getting high marks

By: Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Editor
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Somewhat skeptical that such a program was actually available, Dale Shuttleworth decided to check out the Sierra Vista Saturdays free classes she had read about in the Colfax Record. “It sounded too good to be true,” Shuttleworth said. “It was wonderful,” she said. “In our town many of us go to classes far away. When we have something in town, it’s wonderful to take advantage of it.” Sierra Vista Saturdays is a program launched last month by the Sierra Vista Community Center. Through a grant received from the Placer Community Foundation to explore novel ways to address community wellness, Sierra Vista is offering the variety of free classes every Saturday through Nov. 12. The classes are on cooking and nutrition, digital photography, primitive ceramics, beginning drawing, and meditation and movement, among others. A free continental breakfast is served at 9 a.m., followed by classes from 10 a.m. to noon, when a lunch featuring fresh-from-the-garden produce is served. Some of the produce is grown in the Outfielder’s Community Garden, where an afternoon course on organic gardening is held. Project leaders DeBora Miller and Otis Wollan also lead a forum to discuss with participants community needs and options related to health and wellness. On Oct. 8, Eileen Valdez-Woods spoke about the Lions Club hearing and eyeglasses program for low-income individuals. “It was great. People from the community dropped in to hear her presentation and to receive information and get applications,” Miller said. Shuttleworth said she has attended two weekends, taking an exercise class and as well as classes on collage and digital photography, and enjoying the lunch. “I learned how to use my digital camera, which I never really knew how to use,” she said. Jewell DeLapp has also taken the digital photography classes. DeLapp said she was very impressed with the instructor, Gay Wiseman. “She gave everyone individual help … Each person had different areas that they didn’t know how to work on their camera,” DeLapp said. DeLapp also stayed for lunch and participated in the forum discussion. “They were brainstorming about things needed in the community … I think they’re on the right track,” DeLapp said. DeLapp said she is busy with her many activities and is not a good example of a senior who needs services, but she is aware of the programs and activities offered at the senior center in Auburn. “They can look at that as a model,” she said. Shuttleworth would like to see more people attend the Sierra Vista Saturdays classes. The classes are very low pressure, she said, which she found comforting. She also enjoyed seeing many people there whom she knows from the community. “I love the garden, watching them prepare lunch. It was wonderful food. These are all women and men I really admire,” Shuttleworth said. Miller encourages visits to Sierra Vista Saturdays, where community members can take part in whatever interests them. “They don’t have to take any classes if they don’t want to. We want to hear from everyone, to hear what they need,” Miller said. “On Oct. 15, we’re going to continue the discussion we started on Sept. 24 about specific programs and offerings that could be made available to community residents at Sierra Vista Center. We’ve been canvassing over the last few weeks what programs are available in Colfax so that we don’t duplicate.” A complete class schedule is available online at, or visit the Sierra Vista Center, located at 55 School St. The phone number is 346-8726.