CER brochure goes digital

FAIRMONT– Fairmont Community Education and Recreation (CER) has a long history of putting out brochures with information about its programming. In recent years, the brochure has been available in both a printed and digital format. This summer’s brochure, which just came out at the start of the month, is the first available in digital format only.

CER Director, Stephanie Busiahn, shared that switching the brochures over to a digital format was something she had in mind as soon as she took over in July of 2021.

“Having conversations with colleagues throughout the state, there were a lot of other community eds that were in the process of transitioning to digital or scaling back on he number of printed brochures they were putting out,” Busiahn said.

Traditionally, CER has put out two brochures a year– a fall and winter and a spring and summer. Busiahn said that in her first years, they added a digital brochure and in the next year, they switched to digital except they still printed the summer brochure.

“It has the most offerings and we wanted to test the waters to see how the digital piece went,” Busiahn said.

She said that it went over well because the CER office posted many of its offerings on its webstore before the brochure was even printed and saw a good number of people register for programs.

“It told us people were finding offerings on our web tore without the brochure,” Busiahn said.

However, she believes it’s important to continue to offer a condensed version of programs in a catalog form, whether it’s printed or in a digital format.

Speaking as to why she wanted to go digital, Busiahn shared that the office was printing about 11,000 copies which were sent to households in Fairmont and Ceylon. Laying out the content took time and the printer needed the final copy well before it would hit households.

“We would have to ask instructors in mid February to plan for July or August programs and give us their rates and schedules,” Busiahn said.

She noted that society nowadays is very much last minute so the digital brochure allows much more flexibility and the office has the ability to add or change information online pertaining to classes whenever.

“The people that have already looked at it won’t see it… but there is so much more flexibility and any new eyeballs will see it,” Busiahn said.

The CER office is still analyzing how the new process will go and Busiahn understands that some people simply prefer a printed copy over digital.

“We will attempt to accommodate however we can,” she said.

The brochure is chock-full of offerings– 40-some pages worth to be exact– and includes many of the tried and true programs like youth sports and health and wellness classes for adults.

While the flag football program is still being offered, Busiahn noted that they did change the dates and location of the program. Rather than being held in the early fall at the soccer fields, This year it will be held in July and August at Fairmont Elementary School.

“It was posing some difficulty to us, with staffing and location,” she said of the reason for the change.

With a partnership between the office and Fairmont Police Department, some parenting classes will be offered.

“Some things for parents to think about, like teen driving, how parents can keep kids safe and substances commonly abused,” Busiahn explained.

One thing CER is looking to bring back is a summer sand volleyball league at Gomsrud Park.

“We’re going to see if there’s interest. We’ve had a couple people reach out, indicating that they’re interested but don’t have a team,” Busiahn said. “We have started a list and are looking for people who have a team and want to participate, and don’t have a team but want to participate.”

She encouraging interested people to go on the webstore and share what night they prefer so that they can schedule what works best for the majority.

“We’re very open and flexible. We’d love to see it go– we just want to hear from people on what’s a good night,” Busiahn said.

She said that they have some fun, new art classes scheduled that will be taught by Fairmont Elementary School’s art teacher, Ashley Haake.

For the second year, the elementary level cross county program, led by Crystal and Neil Hanson, will be held beginning in late summer.

As always, CER is open to ideas on programs or classes to offer and is always looking for new instructors.

“If someone has a passion or a talent and wants to teach, we can certainly walk through all the details with them,” Busiahn said.

The summer Boucher can found on the CER website under digital publications. A QR code to it can also be found on CER’s Facebook page.


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