Kicking Off the New Year with New Educational Offerings!

The Bethlehem Food Co-op Education Committee’s work on the co-op’s first education program is a reflection of its mission to serve the community.

We began this endeavor with a belief that the learning process, especially when dealing with issues regarding social, food, and economic justice, is a cooperative effort. There are a lot of knowledgeable people in the Valley whose cultural, political, and life skills are a valuable asset to our community. So, rather than simply copying what other education programs have done, we decided to use the unique strengths of our community as both the inspiration and instrument for our learning. 

We wanted to make it clear early on that what the Co-op offers will be defined by the needs of our neighbors. We surveyed members of the community to learn what they felt was important for their own enrichment. We then compared the results to what was already being offered by local groups and individuals and went with what would be uniquely ours. The last thing we wanted to do was reinvent the wheel and in doing so create unnecessary competition (That’s kind of what it means to be cooperative right?). After we identified our course offerings, we then sought members of our community qualified to teach them. The result is a program of rich educational opportunities for the people and by the people.
Through this first series of courses, we desire to have a shared conversation with our community. We don’t have all of the answers and I don’t believe we’re supposed to. We want to learn as much as we want to teach. In order for this relationship to happen we need to start talking—but we will also engage in a great deal of doing. We will build knowledge through community action. The upcoming topics we have planned include:
Through these offerings we aim to blend social justice with engaged learning that is fun, cooperative, and relevant to our community. You can register for each course online by clicking the links above. Co-Op members received discounted registration rates, and all proceeds will be used to fund a scholarship program for our neighbors who would like to become Co-Op members but need some assistance!
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