Coolest Free Trainings You’ve Never Heard of in Cleveland, Ohio

WARNING: This is one of my last non-“book response” posts.  I read a lot, and I know my readers do, too, so I’ve decided that instead of trying to come up with random interesting topics to blog about, I’m just going to post responses to the best writing I encounter. Don’t worry, I’ll still be parked squarely on that  lovely marginal intersection of religion, technology, and education. Stay tuned to continue following my quest to break out of the pink ghetto, create an inclusive society through service, and increase literacy rates in Northeast Ohio.

As Training Coordinator of Northeast Ohio Literacy Corps, I get to interact with bright & energized AmeriCorps members of all ages who are giving a year of service to aid literacy programs in Cleveland nonprofits. It’s my challenge to create a training calendar that engages this full range of diverse professionals. I get a lot of awesome recommendations from our training committee, and wanted to share with you some of the best free training you will not find on any event calendar.  These trainings are available for groups by request, and I focused on the ones relevant to a diverse group of adult nonprofit professionals.

Tour of Chateau Hough with Mansfield Frazier: Email or call Mansfield Frazier and he’ll accommodate you. But beware! 20 minutes with Mr. Frazier may incite random acts of community revitalization.

Cleveland Clinic Community Outreach Health Education Program: Health topics tailored to the needs of your group for improved health & well being.

Cleveland Metroparks Historical Interpreters: This is history as it should be taught: using imagination, song, and real objects to bring the stories of the past to life.

Book Club with Cleveland Public Library: Who better to help you develop a book club than a librarian? Decide on your topic, then call the director of your local branch or explore the departments of the Main Library to find the right person for your area of interest. Amazon can never beat the price of borrowing a book from the library (FREE!). You can schedule a trip to the Bookmobile or tour a branch, too, to invite participants to check out more books. September is Library Card Amnesty Month (that’s my title for it) where patrons can sign up for a card and have their fines forgiven, so it’s a great time to renew interest!

Western Reserve Historical Society Speakers Bureau: Programs about WRHS are free of charge, and nonprofits get a reduced rate of $75 for other topics. Visit WRHS, have the speaker come to you, or schedule a videoconference.

Cleveland Museum of Art: Click “school tours” to fill out a request at least 3 weeks in advance of your visit. Then make sure to leave some time for your group to explore on their own!

Case Western Reserve University’s LGBT Center: With diversity training all the rage, it can be difficult to find quality training for free. CWRU LGBT Center to the rescue! The Center Director, Liz Roccoforte, is very willing to come to community groups to facilitate anywhere from a one hour introductory training to a full Safe Zone certification workshop.

Tours of Cleveland schools: It helps to have a personal connection to schedule a tour. Incorporating a question & answer session or classroom observation can be a great starting point to learn more in depth what is working (or not, depending on where you visit) in urban public education.

For individuals:

Foundation Center Cleveland: Looking for money for your own education, a nonprofit, or community project? Learn how to find funding with the Foundation Center’s robust schedule of classroom courses and on-demand online content. It’s hard to know where to start, so use their Course Advisor for an individualized plan.

PBS Learning Media: Through WVIZ ideastream, educators can create accounts for free access to interactive, digital PBS content. Search for “Cleveland” and see what you find!

Ohio Resource Center Ambassador Program: Individuals can apply to participate in three free days of professional development to become an ORC Ambassador.  You can also search for Ambassadors in your area (like me!) to request a presentation, but there may be fees associated.

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