Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities

Carol Duncan


December, 2018

All classes offered at the Punta Gorda Civic Isles Association are open to the general public.

In order to participate in any class (unless otherwise stated) you must preregister and pay the fee at least three days before the date of the class. You may call (941-637-1655) and charge the fee by credit card or stop in the office and pay by cash, check or credit card. Most classes have a minimum enrollment requirement and the class will be canceled if that number is not met. All classes offered at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association are open to the general public. 

Carol Duncan, 941-815-0999,


Monday, December 10, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.,
(second class December 17, if needed).

Jan Britland teaches a fun and easy day long class using the “Bob Ross Technique.” Beginners are encouraged to attend. Students take their finished painting home with them the same day. $60 fee, payable at registration, includes all materials. Class size is limited and fills fast so call PGICA to register. Wear old clothes, bring your lunch, and enjoy a full day of painting.

Thursdays, January 3 to 30, 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Free your inner writer with a series of classes that deconstruct the writing process. James Abraham, editor and publisher, offers a series of five ninety-minute classes on writing. The courses are stand-alone or can be taken as a group. Sessions include plot and pacing, character development, grammar and dialogue, writing about conflict and romance and marketing your book. Cost is $20 per session or $90 for the series of five classes. Call PGICA to register.   

Footed Till Basket

Tuesday, January 15, 22, 29, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m
Pre-requisite: Two previous basket weaving classes or permission from the instructor.

The $70 class fee includes all weaving materials necessary to complete the basket. Class size is limited to six students. Any questions contact the instructor, Teresa Comeaux, 941-347-7640 or 


Mondays, January 7 thru February 25, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand! We are looking for members to have some musical fun and join the PGICA choir. This is a new pop, rock, gospel and country choir concept backed by top classical orchestral arrangements in a fun, relaxed social setting. Group singing has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. If you like to sing and can carry a tune, please join us. You don't have to read music, nor will there be auditions, just come along. There will be eight rehearsals at PGICA and two concerts March 3, 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Cost is $80 which includes practice CD’s and sheet music. Instructor is Cahal Dunne, composer, pianist, comedian, story teller and television personality. Check out the website Starting November 8, you may pick up your sheet music and practice CD when you register at the PGICA.

Christmas Yule Log Class

Thursday, December 13, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The Yule Log, originally a huge block of wood that would burn the Twelve Days of Christmas, is a common Christmas tradition throughout Europe which probably comes from the pagan times of the Vikings to honor Thor, the god of war. Sue Preece, long time floral designer, created her first Yule Log for a Christmas Party with 200 tables at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Join this fun class and Sue will help you create your own yule log using both fresh and “faux” Christmas greens, ribbons, nuts, berries and pine cones. Bring an apron and a glue gun (and glue sticks) if you have one. Class price is $15.

Digital Photography Advanced DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY ADVANCED:
9:00 a.m. second Wednesday every month.

This group of dedicated digital photographers study both picture taking techniques and processing pictures with Adobe Photo Shop or similar software. The group occasionally takes photographic field trips. If you are interested in improving your skills, are familiar with Adobe Photo Shop or other similar programs, please come and join them. Free, no registration.

Origami Box Making

December 7, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Please join Joanne Stratos for fun in crafting a unique gift box with tag for your Christmas gifts. Perfect for that small gift, a gift in itself. Everything included for $15.00. For more information call Joanne at 941-875-3643. Call PGICA to register. 

Julieta de Palacios

Thursdays, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Award winning instructor, muralist and decorative artist, Julieta de Palacios, presents weekly classes to instruct aspiring artists in the elements and principles of the artistic language of visual communication with the intention of facilitating progress at their own pace and from whatever level of skill and knowledge they bring. $60 per session. Call PGICA to register. 


The Power of the Purse: Women & Wealth:
Thursday, December 13,  2:00 p.m. 

Women today are running households and acting as financial decision-makers, not just influencers. But statistics show that women still lack confidence in their finances. Learn more about the challenges facing women today and steps you can take to lighten the load.

ESTATE PLANNING & ASSET MANAGEMENT: Learning best practices by a corporate trust officer. A series of seminars presented by Christine A. Hause, Vice President, Charlotte State Bank & Trust, Trust and Investment Management Services. These seminars are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Please call PGICA to register for each session.

  1. Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes Friday, December 7, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    This seminar will explore planning mistakes made by a variety of celebrities such as James Gandolfini, Chief Justice Warren Burger and Jerry Garcia, that we can learn from and apply to our personal plans.
  2. The value of Florida Residency Friday, December 14, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    If you ae considering establishing domicile in Florida, learn how to benefit fully from no state income tax, homestead exemption and favorable estate planning laws. We’ll help you develop a checklist of what you need to accomplish to become and receive the benefits that come with it.
  3. Estate Planning 101 Friday, January 11, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    This seminar will review the basic elements of an estate plan, including last will and testament, power of attorney, and health care directives, focusing on the specifics and benefits of each and the pitfalls to avoid. The seminar will also include planning tools for non-married couples and couples who have remarried, plus ways to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your assets.
  4. Exchange Traded Funds vs. Mutual Funds Friday, January 25, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Explore the details of how each investment tool works, including costs, performance measurements, and taxability. Learn the pros and cons of each. Gain insight into target funds, sector funds, and specialty funds and the risks of each.


Ballroom Dance Classes

Weekly, Thursdays, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Lynn Pitz, former New York Athletic Club ballroom dance instructor, teaches classes suitable for the beginner and intermediate dancer in a variety of Latin International and American styles. Leather soled shoes should be worn for class. The cost of each class is $10 per person. Don’t sit on the sidelines at the next party or event, learn to dance! For class information contact Lynn at 941-505-1506 or 


This technique is seen on the PBS show “Classical Stretch.” These workouts will tone and shape your body, create long lean muscles and increase mobility, energy, flexibility and balance. Perfect for men and women of all fitness levels. Certified instructor, Elissa Rioux is offering 3 different Essentrics® workouts this season. If you have any questions, please contact Elissa at 207-967-5393 or email: No need to pre-register for any of the classes.

  • Mondays 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Essentrics® BARRE: focusing on shoulder mobility, strengthening the core and liberating the hips and legs. We will use the chair as a barre to work our hips and legs gently but deeply while continuing our standing full body workout. 
  • Wednesdays 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Essentrics® TONING AND STRENGTHENING: This workout rapidly changes the shape of your body through a combination of strengthening, stretching and toning exercises standing and on the floor. The technique develops lean, strong and flexible muscles with immediate changes to your posture.
  • Thursdays 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Essentrics® GENTLE STRETCH: This is a slow-paced and gentle workout that will help to release tight muscles, rebalance joints and restore the entire body. Regain your flexibility and mobility while slowly building strength. This class is for people who are new to the technique or would like a relaxed pace exercise routine. If you haven’t exercised in a while this is a great place to begin again.

Line Dancing Classes

Tuesdays 9:45 to 10:45 a.m.

Love to dance but don’t always have a partner? Try line dancing. No partner needed. It’s a fun way to get your exercise, and a great way to meet people. Written step instructions will be included as the classes progress to include more dances. Cost is $10 per class. Contact Joanne for more information at 941-875-3643 or

Balance Thru Qigong

Weekly, Wednesdays, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

This class will improve mind and body balance as well as muscle and Qi strength with key QiGong moves, meditation and fun balance steps. It is an open class, no need to register, just come and enjoy. No experience needed. Wear comfortable clothes and bring water. Cost is $10. Contact Richard Curtis at for more information.


YOGA: Starting January 3,
Thursdays, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

The yoga workout is designed to accommodate a beginner as well as an intermediate student. If you have difficulty getting down and up on the mat, you can workout while sitting in a chair. Sessions are $10, registration not required. You will need a mat and comfortable clothes. Please do not have a heavy breakfast. For further information or if you have questions, please call Linda Anderson at 941-575-3500 or

Zumba Fiesta

Every Tuesday and Friday, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Cost is $10 a session, registration not required. Experience an absolute blast in one exhilarating hour of caloric-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements meant to engage and captivate for life. Zumba routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat. Add some Latin flavor and international zest into the mix and you've got ZUMBA. Contact Carla with questions at 941-276-1887 or email at  


Tuesday, December 18, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For details, see the enclosed flyer. Open to the public and sponsored by Bayfront Healthcare Punta Gorda which provides lunch at no cost to attendees. Pre-register by calling PGICA.


Welcome to Africa

Tuesday, December 4, 7:00 p.m.

Don & Teresa Sabatini worked and lived in Lagos, Nigeria, Africa. While on the African Continent for 7 years, they ventured out and explored many African countries and will be sharing their experiences (both good and bad). Come and hear about the many diverse cultures plus exciting and unique stories from Don & Teresa. Don’t miss this one! Registration not required.

Beyond PGI: Myanmar

Wednesday, January 23, 7:00 p.m. (rescheduled from October)

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a country very rich in natural resources - jade, precious gems, oil and natural gas. And yet, remains one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 145 out of 188 countries in human development. The presenter, Holly Serokos, a seasoned traveler as well as travel agent, says, “It was one of the most interesting and eye-opening trips I’ve taken, and I am very much looking forward to sharing it with everyone.” Put the date and time on your calendar for this enjoyable travelogue. No charge.

Tuesday, December 18, 2:00 p.m.

See the Master Gardener article on page 45 for information on this month’s meeting. Questions, contact Nancy Palmer at 941-286-6111. Registration not required.

Mah Jongg 101

Tuesday and Thursday mornings, February 5 to February 21, 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Learn Mah Jongg from experienced instructor, Gloria Walker, in 6 easy lessons, first two classes are mandatory attendance. Class size is limited so sign up early as this popular class fills up fast. $35 (couples $60). Sign up at the PGICA desk. You will receive a flyer with all the information on this class. If you have questions, contact Gloria at 941-769-4764.

Let's Go Fishing

Wednesday, January 9 to February 13, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

An introductory course in Florida Fishing. Topics to be covered include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and fishing regulations for fishing in fresh and salt waters of Southwest Florida. Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated and there will be useful handouts. The class is geared towards beginning anglers, but more experienced fishermen will pick up helpful tips as well. The instructor is long time local fishing guide Capt. Ralph Allen who might even reveal the locations of a few local hot spots! The course is open to all members of the public. The cost for the series of six classes is $45. Call PGICA to register.