"Join a study circle? What's it all about?"
This will be a common phrase in Alta during the next month or so. Since Alta has been accepted as part of a project called "Horizons," community members will have opportunities to work together to make Alta even stronger. Study Circles are the first step.
"Thriving Communities: Moving from poverty to prosperity for all" will be the topic when volunteers join in the dialogue! Through a series of five small-group discussions, sharing ideas about community strengths, what poverty is like, why it exists, and what can be done to help everyone thrive.
"When people with varied backgrounds and ideas put their heads together, amazing things can happen," comments Tom Huseman, a member of the Horizons steering committee. "Study circles are carefully designed to promote creative and cooperative thinking."
The circles will be eight to 12 people from all walks of life, and will meet for five two-hour sessions, setting their own ground rules. An impartial local facilitator will lead groups to look at thriving communities and poverty from many views
Materials, leader training, and other costs are being covered by the "Horizons" project, delivered by Iowa State University Extension with funding from the Northwest Area Foundation. A group of Alta residents attended an introduction to Horizons in September; they liked what they heard, and garnered enough interest from the community to submit an application. Alta is one of 25 town accepted into Horizons for 2007.
In Alta, Study Circles will begin Monday, January 22, 6:30 p.m. with a complimentary meal followed by the first of five discussions.
At least three small groups will be formed, in order to include at least 37 people. During the 'kick'-off' meeting on January 22, groups will coordinate when the study circle group can gather. To register to take part in a study circle, contact Tom Huseman at City Hall (200-2195).