In her first ten weeks as Program Director at the Ashland Kroc Center, Becky Schaaf has embraced working with a community that learns, grows, and plays together. From recreation to music to art, the Kroc Center’s programs spur on the people of Ashland to live their dreams in the here and now, and Becky is right there with them.
Kroc soccer continues to take Ashland by storm, with close to 200 registrants signed up for winter indoor soccer at the time of this writing. Another popular program, the Knitting & Crocheting Circle, meets Tuesday and Wednesday mornings for laid-back creativity and conversation as women make blankets, hats, and gloves for people in need in the community. The legendary brass programs run by Neil Ebert have been known to produce fine musicians, including a Kroc Center Big Band student who now plays for the National Guard. The best thing about these programs? “Everything we have we offer at a reasonable cost,” Becky explains, “or we cover with scholarships. Our goal is to make sure nobody is inhibited from participating.”
As a former Ashland University volleyball player, Becky is thrilled to bring an adult open volleyball league to the Kroc: “One court will be competitive, and one will be for open play,” she says. “Everyone will be happy!” A new arts offering—a Photoshop class—will give students the opportunity to build on skills they learned in photography. The strategy is in keeping with the Kroc’s overall programming philosophy: “The idea is to build. We are giving people a baseline and helping them grow, which is one of the goals of the Kroc Centers.” Becky is also looking forward to two three-hour tennis clinics in partnership with AU, in which college tennis players will teach young people basic tennis skills.
Becky identifies some “best kept secrets” of the Kroc Center as Acrylics with Linda Goodman and Photography with Paul Kreske. At $30 for six hours of instruction with a certified teacher, the painting class is a “gem” well worth exploring. Photography runs for a whopping ten weeks with a price tag of just $35. Other offerings, such as Ballroom Dancing and the Uniontown Players’ workshop on puppeteering help adults and children, respectively, tap into their expressive sides.
Becky’s favorite part of working at the Kroc is the variety. “In my interview, I asked them what a typical day looks like, and they laughed. This morning I was at Costco picking up concessions for middle school nights. Some days I might be cleaning out the rec closet, while another day I might be putting up Christmas trees or unloading twenty dozen eggs.” The daily possibilities are truly endless.
Lastly, Becky loves the Kroc’s spirit of caring, the “culture of having a servant’s heart toward people who come through the doors.” And having a servant's heart leads Becky to continuously research program ideas and to welcome new instructors. If you are interested in teaching at the Kroc, call Becky at 419-281-8001. Here’s to many new faces passing through those doors and exciting discoveries in the coming new year.« Back to Blog
THE SALVATION ARMY RAY & JOAN KROC CORPS COMMUNITY CENTER
527 East Liberty Street
Ashland, Ohio 44805
Facility Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:30AM-8PM
Sunday Worship: 10AM
Social Services: Monday-Friday, 9AM-3PM
Food Pantry: Monday, 11AM-2PM;