By David Markham
As part of adjusting to life in the era of COVID-19, JCPRD has elected to not print its usual full September through December catalog.
At 16 pages, the fall and early winter issue of the My JCPRD Activities catalog is much smaller than previous issues because only the class titles of programs JCPRD intends to offer this season are listed. Because of the uncertainty of these times, and the constant changes being experienced and which are expected to continue, the class title listings are meant to pique readers’ interest, and it is hoped that patrons will check the agency’s website at JCPRD.com for up-to-date details, changes, and additional programs.
The program guide was mailed earlier this week to about 44,000 households, including about 24,000 past participants, and is also available at all JCPRD facilities. Because of coronavirus restrictions and to discourage lingering, the catalog and other handouts will not be available at Johnson County Library branches until further notice.
In this season’s printed catalog, program titles are listed by topic with age-based subheads. At JCPRD’s website, patrons will find a landing page where fall programs are organized by age and then by topics. Unlike the printed piece, the online listings will include complete program descriptions, along with costs, locations, and dates.
The September through December catalog also lists opportunities for patrons to participate in some activities from the comfort of their home through virtual programs, which are being listed in the catalog for the first time. Some virtual programs are free, while others have a modest charge. There are also a few “hybrid” programs where participants have the choice of watching via the internet or experiencing the program live and in-person.
“Virtual programming has been a positive outcome of the challenging times we, as a community, have been facing,” explained 50 Plus Specialist Libby Scarborough. “We know these programs fill a need today but we also know that need exists beyond the pandemic. We’re excited to develop options that will stick around long-term. Growing the number of people in attendance and reaching new audiences with each program continues to be a goal. So does finding ways to adapt more of our traditional programs to fit this model and that will include some new fee-based virtual options.”
Virtual programs are offered in enrichment & special interests for youth, adult, and 50 plus; youth gymnastics; and adult heritage & history.
A number of in-person special events are also planned this fall and winter, including outdoor events like Cars in the Park at the Shawnee Mission Park Marina, Mildale Farm Fall Fest, Trick-or-Cache at Antioch Park, and the Winter Solstice Celebration at Ernie Miller Park, as well as some indoor events at large facilities where there’s plenty of space to practice physical distancing such as Customer Appreciation Day at the Mill Creek Activity Center, the new Senior Follies Holiday Edition at Matt Ross Community Center, and a 50 Plus Travel Show at the Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse.