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East Penn Community Ed Enrollment is Way Down

Paperless approach to publicizing program to residents may be to blame.

East Penn School District is starting to realize that that Kermit the Frog got it right – it ain’t easy being green. At least that’s the case where the district’s community education program is concerned.

For the first time ever, with the fall 2011 community education recruitment cycle, the district has decided to forego printing and mailing approximately 27,000 community education brochures to the households in East Penn, according to Nicole Bloise, the district’s community liaison.

And, with the Aug. 21 deadline to sign up for classes less than two weeks away, East Penn is getting below average community education registrations, Bloise says.

“I don’t have concrete numbers yet,” Bloise explains. “I can just tell by the number of checks that I am seeing that our numbers are way down.”

Instead of its traditional mass mailing, East Penn is notifying the community about the classes in a variety of other ways, says Bloise, including an email message to all participants in the district’s spring community education program. More than 1,000 emails were sent and the district will likely send a total of three emails to this group.

Beyond that, the district has posted information about the classes on its Web site and has sent information about to local media.

Plus, Bloise says, the district printed several hundred community education brochures and distributed them to local doctors’ offices, dentist offices, senior living facilities, libraries, community centers and borough halls, among other locations.

Brochures are also posted in all 10 East Penn schools and the Administrative Offices, Bloise says, and instructors were notified of this change in the registration process and encouraged to promote their classes.

“Right now, we’re doing everything in our power to get it out to the public,” Bloise says.

This decision to move to this relatively paper-free approach to marketing community education was sparked by budget constraints and East Penn’s “Going Green” initiative, Bloise says.

Overall, the change will save the district about $7000 a year by eliminating the printing/mailing of approximately 54,000 brochures -- half in the fall and half in the spring, Bloise says.

The concern about the lower-than-normal enrollment, she says, comes from the risk that classes will be cancelled. Residents can sign up for classes after the Aug. 21 deadline, if the class is still being offered.

Registration for community education classes can be done online, by calling 610-966-8335 or by going to the .

Tracey Frederick Hartley August 11, 2011 at 12:30 PM
I don't think enrollment is down just because they've gone paperless. I think many people can not afford these classes due to the economy.
Heather N. August 12, 2011 at 01:49 AM
Part of it is definitely the paperless aspect, though. As a relatively new resident, I had no idea about these classes until I saw this article.
L. Kuhns August 19, 2011 at 02:00 AM
Most of these classes are very inexpensive. I taught in this program for a number of years and when registration went paperless, attendance dropped.
Emmaus - I'll never leave November 02, 2011 at 07:12 PM
So Fall Community Ed is about to be scheduled. Are they going to go paperless again. they have to keep in mind that some people that like to attend these class may not even have a computer or no reminder in the mail will not trigger them to enroll....

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