Penfield Recreation
1985 Baird Road
Penfield, NY 14526

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Online Classes

Hello DEAR Friends! This is the online class schedule for Winter 2021. At this time, we will only be offering two live presentations each week at Penfield Community Center. One will be on Tuesdays from 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM and the other is on Thursdays from 10:00 AM – 11:30 PM. If you would like to attend either program in person you must call 340-8655 option 0 to register. These programs will also be available online. If you would like to attend one of our live programs you will need to adhere to the mandated safety policies that are now in place. Register for the Zoom classes using the links below.

A grab-and-go/curbside pickup lunch prepared in our kitchen will also be available to purchase for $4 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can order a lunch online or call and place a lunch order up to 24 hours in advance. Unfortunately, we are not ready for folks to stay and have lunch with us at the community center. 

Check back often for new classes and updates. 

Are you on our e-news mailing list?  We send updates, changes, and class information for all DEAR programs. 


The underlined colored link will lead you to the Zoom registration page. Fill out the registration and, if done successfully, Zoom will send you a confirmation email that you will use to join the class. You must register for each class you would like to attend, but only once for any of the recurring courses. 

Did you miss one of the Zoom orientation classes? No problem! E-mail Pam at to set up a tutorial.


 FREE Online DEAR Classes ~





No class 1/1, 1/18, and 2/15

Coffee Chat
January 4 - March 29

Philosophy of the Soul
Nels Carman
January 4 - March 1

We continue and finish the debate and discussion on dualism vs. physicalism. New participants are welcome at any time.

Music as a Mirror to History (Great Course)
Joan Albany
January 11 - March 29

In this Great Course, Professor Greenberg speaks to connections: the connections between composers and historical events-events that shaped the composers' lives and inspired the creation of their works. A repeat of these classes will be held on Tuesdays as a live presentation.

Landmark Society/This Old Castle
January 11

"Ten Lessons for a Post Pandemic World" by Fareed Zakaria
Matt Mansfield
January 25 - March 8

Participants will be asked to read two chapters each week and then join the discussion with DEAR friend Matt Mansfield. 

Epidemics in Western Society
Diane Robbins
March 8 - 29

Epidemics in Western Society Since 1600 - This is a Yale open lecture course and consists of an international analysis of the impact of epidemic diseases on western society and culture from the bubonic plague to HIV/AIDS and the recent experience of SARS and swine flu. Leading themes include: infectious disease and its impact on society; the development of public health measures; the role of medical ethics; the genre of plague literature; the social reactions of mass hysteria and violence; the rise of the germ theory of disease; the development of tropical medicine; a comparison of the social, cultural, and historical impact of major infectious diseases; and the issue of emerging and re-emerging diseases.



Zoom & live morning program at Penfield Community Center
10:30AM - 12:00PM (estimated time) 

REGISTER <-- Zoom link for ALL Tuesday morning programs

Jan. 5 - Jane Austin - Rosemary Irwin

Jan. 12 - History of Slang- Jack Kowiak

Jan. 19 - Music as a Mirror - Joan Albany (repeat of Monday class)

Jan. 26 - Music as a Mirror - Joan Albany (repeat of Monday class)

Feb. 2 - World Wonders - Rosemary Irwin

Feb. 9 - Religion in the News - Jack Kowiak

Feb. 16 - Music as a Mirror - Joan Albany (repeat of Monday class)

Feb. 23 - Music as a Mirror - Joan Albany (repeat of Monday class)

Mar. 2 - Music as a Mirror - Joan Albany (repeat of Monday class)

Mar. 9 - History of Numbers - Jack Kowiak

Mar. 16-30 - Music as a Mirror - Joan Albany (repeat of Monday classes)


Unusual American Biography
Nels Carman
January 12 - March 30

Each week Nels prepares a unique program about a forgotten or less known American who has had an exceptional lifetime story.

Donovan Shilling: Marvels & Myths of Rochester series (live & Zoom)
February 2

Donovan is back! Each month he will reach into his bag of history and share one of his favorite topics with us.

Abandoned: Video from the Collection of author Michael Keene
February 9

Join us to view Michael Keene's next video release book review based on one of his popular books. By the end of the Civil War, an estimated  30,000 homeless and orphaned children roamed the streets of New York City. In response to this crisis, the age of orphan asylums began, culminating in one of the most improbably and audacious episodes in American history. Called the Orphan Train Movement, it endeavored to save these children lost to the streets by heroes who fought for their liberation.  

Book Discussion - Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
Rosemary Irwin
February 9 - 23

Read along with the group and meet once a week to discuss this fascinating look at the intricate emotional and physical life of trees.

Exploring Life Changes Podcast 
France McCloskey
February 23 - March 23

A weekly podcast produced and hosted by our own France McCloskey. Exploring Life Changes will invite a guest for each segment with a topic themed to life changing experiences large and small. France will share her podcasts with our DEAR audience and use each show as a spring board for discussion with our DEAR friends. DEAR participants will not be recorded.




Great Inventions that Changed the World continued (Great Course)
Lisa Hibner
January 13 - March 31

These are stand alone classes so you can join at any time. Each week an interesting history of the world’s greatest inventions.

Science Forum
Nels Carman and guests
January 13 - March 31

Each week a new and interesting science related topic will be explored. Do you have a subject you would like to share? Let Nels know.

History of Vaccines
Diane Robbins
January 13 - 20

How they work. Why they work. Development. Fear.

Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science
Diane Robbins
January 27 - March 31

If you eat, you'll want to sign up for this class. Cooking not required. Top chefs and Harvard researchers explore how everyday cooking and haute cuisine can illuminate basic principles in chemistry, physics, and engineering. Learn about food molecules and how chemical reactions can affect food texture and flavor. During each week of this course, chefs reveal the secrets behind some of their most famous culinary creations — often right in their own restaurants.




Leonardo Da Vinci Live and on Zoom (Great Course)
Rick Gough
January 14 - April 1


Fascinating standalone lectures that explore the many facets of the life and art of Leonardo Da Vinci. You do not have had to have seen previous lectures to enjoy these new weekly takes. Join at any time.

Warriors, Intellectuals, and Queens (Great Course)
Diane Robbins
January 14 - March 18

Money Markets & Morals
John Schmeelk
January 14 - February 18



Art Forum

Jim VanMeter and guests
January 8 - April 2

Each session a new and interesting look at all forms of classical and contemporary art. Art in the news, art history, seeing art for the first time….

Special Art Forum - The Renaissance: Art in the Classical World of the Renaissance Part I & II
January 15 - 22 

Amazon Prime Viewing Party - The Goes Wrong Show (title based on availability)
January 15

Join us for our first Amazon Viewing Party!  The Goes Wrong Show is an hysterical comedy series based on the Broadway sensation which originated in London, “The Play that Goes Wrong”.   

This show is a masterpiece in comedy. It has you laughing right from the very beginning as the acting company make their way through ingenious scripts, while overcoming the bizarre challenges unsuspecting actors encounter while staging their half hour productions. It’s almost too crazy to explain. The scripts (and the jokes) are very well written and this program is fantastic half hour of fun. Once you have registered on Zoom we will send you the link for the viewing party. You must have a subscription to Amazon Prime in order to participate. 

Nels' Public Domain Film Series
January 15 - April 2

Amazon Prime Viewing Party - The Booksellers
January 29

Book lovers will love this intimate documentary about the rare used book industry in NYC. Antiquarian booksellers are part scholar, part detective and part businessperson, and their personalities and knowledge are as broad as the material the buy. You will love this quirky fun insight into the world of words. Once you have registered on Zoom we will send you the link for the viewing party. You must have a subscription to Amazon Prime in order to participate. 

Jim VanMeter
February 5 + 12 

Jim continues to offer a look at the YouTube art series with this two-hour presentation on post-impression painter Gauguin.

Wine Chat: Getting to Know...
February 12
REGISTER - A request has been made to have a special wine chat devoted to getting to know each other. Here is your chance to ask your DEAR friends about their well-lived lives. Occupations, travels, interests, hobbies, whimsies, and such.

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