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Circles offers class on economic self-sufficiency

Circles of Pagosa Springs will offer a new, 12-week class called Getting Ahead, starting Thursday, March 22, at 6 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church.

The class is available to anyone interested in better understanding the mental models of the poor, the middle class and the wealthy, and applying that knowledge to creating a new life.

Nationally, graduates of the Getting Ahead class report having a new future story filled with hopes about gaining control of their financial situations, as well as building new resources of all kinds — social, educational, emotional, mental and physical wellness.

The National Circles Campaign integrated Getting Ahead in a Just Getting by World curriculum into the Circles model as a pre-requisite to becoming a Circle Leader.

Dr. Payne’s language from “Bridges Out of Poverty,” describing the different hidden rules of each class — the poor, the middle class and the wealthy — is a large part of the Getting Ahead workbook.

This upcoming class, starting in just one week, will help train people how to enter into these powerful, fragile and awkward relationships with people who have very different income backgrounds and world views.

Scott Miller, CEO of Move the Mountain Leadership Center, who applied the principals from Ruby Payne’s book to the Circles model, believed insights about hidden rules provide people with a way in which to navigate these new powerful relationships across class lines.

Miller states, “Let’s make our communities what they need to be for a bright and sustainable future, reinventing our economics to serve us all, and push the envelope of human potential. Let’s build community in ways that allow us to aspire to the higher ideals of love, generosity and compassion and unleash a new and profound joy … All entities must come together in a spirit of mutual cooperation and mutual benefit. Government, businesses, social agencies, for-profits and not-for-profits, education and faith based institutions must forget power and petty politics and focus on doing the greatest amount of good.”

Circles of Pagosa Springs provides a free meal each Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church, with free child care while the adults focus on their self-sufficiency goals. Weekly, middle and upper income community volunteers show up to serve the meal. The meal supports the program’s focus of building intentional relationships across economic and social class lines and also models a nutritious meal.

Please contact Circles at 247-5541 if you would like to volunteer or sign up for the class starting on March 22.

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