NEED TO KNOW — Free adult education offerings begin next week in Orange

Published 12:20 am Thursday, January 19, 2023

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These days the word “adult” has been used as a verb, commonly as “adulting.”

When you cook a meal from scratch rather than ordering out, you’re adulting. When you go get your oil changed, you’re adulting.

Applying for a loan? Paying your bills? Adulting.

While we all learn science, history, math and other important subjects in school, many young people do not learn important life skills like managing money or basic car care.

In fact a 2021 survey conducted by OnePoll found 81 percent of college graduates wish they had been taught more life skills before graduating.

The Orange Public Library is hosting a new “Adulting 101” program to help bridge that gap. Each third Tuesday of the month the library sponsors a free program designed to introduce an “adult” skill or knowledge.

“We hope attendees of all ages learn something they didn’t already know in an enjoyable environment,” says Brenna Manasco, library director. “[We] will be hosting programs on subjects like finance, civic responsibility, basic first aid, basic sewing, renting vs. buying and realty, and basic automotive care.”

Manasco says the idea for the program was borrowed from another public library but they have done similar programs in the past through a summer young adult effort.

“This past summer we did a very limited version of the program and had many comments from adults who said they could use that type of information,” Manasco says.

Adulting 101 is designed for anyone 16 years old and up.

Mayor Larry Spears Jr. says he’s quite thankful for all that the library does to help the community.

“I think it’s phenomenal the staff at the Orange Public Library are raising the bar and setting the standard for the community to be a part of transitioning, learning and growing,” Spears says. “It just makes my heart smile they came up with an idea to help our young people, and from what I’ve been told, adults saying it might be for younger people but I’m coming. So it’s for everyone.”

Manasco says the topics are typically things learned from other adults or by experience (and sometimes not a good experience) and aren’t necessarily taught in school.

“In our YA program, we did some basic stitching and button sewing during a craft and found most of the participants had never threaded a needle … the discussion began there, and we’ve been getting suggestions ever since,” Manasco says.

Adulting 101 kicks off Jan. 24th with Neches Federal Credit Union presenting “Improving your financial health.”

February’s program is “Civic engagement,” presented by Mayor Larry Spears Jr.

Programs will be held the third Tuesday of each month from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the Library’s Ira Williamson Meeting Room, located at 220 5th Street.

Programs are free and no registration is required.

— Written by Chrissie Mouton