(Jan. 11, 2019) Since the middle ages, a red door has signified sanctuary and openness. With this in mind, the Red Doors Community Center, now located at 10959 Worcester Highway in Berlin, welcomes all to participate in its activities, programs and learning opportunities.
The Red Doors Community Center, which opened in 2013, was founded in partnership with St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church on Third Street in Ocean City to reestablish connections with the community through various workshops and programs.
“For so many years, even when I was a kid, whatever church you belonged to was the center of your community and everything kind of revolved around that,” Director Joy Connor said. “Churches are now more like destination places. They’re not that part of the community anymore.
“So, by creating this community center here, we’re hoping to bring the community as a whole back together and fill that gap that was left when people started spreading out,” she continued.
The community center provides a variety of activities and programs for visitors of all ages, ranging from 6 months old to adults. These classes are now offered year-round.
Activities include dance classes; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) lectures; and programs for children who are homeschooled.
“One of our biggest programs that seems to be expanding are home school classes that we’ve started having during the day,” Connor said. “We have a lot of open time because there’s only so many classes that we can offer for 2- and 3-year-olds but it seems as though the home-schooling trend is getting larger and larger.”
Instructors are paid for their time and teach an assortment of activities such as music, dance, cooking, robotics, computer science, history, math, languages, sewing, photography, surfing and even fencing.
“There’s quite a few public school teachers that do this on the side that used to be dancers and wanted to get back into teaching a class or two,” Connor said. “They come from a wide variety of different places and we pay them as independent contractors so they get a percentage of the class fees that we charge for the classes to pay for the instructors.”
Homeschooling and participating in the many classes and programs offered by the community center have been a huge asset for many students and parents, Connor said.
“When mothers are stay-at-home moms and they have children from 6 months to 4 years old and they don’t necessarily know a lot of other people in the community, they sign up for our music and movement class for ages 6 months to 4 years,” Connor said. “The moms are looking for activities for their kids and then, lo and behold, there’s other moms that are looking for the same thing, and then they’re able to form this community and we’ve watched it grow from these kids starting ballet at 2 years old and now they’re 8 or 9 years old.”
Due to parking difficulties, the organization relocated from St. Paul’s to its current location last year.
“I think that just providing the opportunity to have that kind of interaction for everyone and a place where the kids feel comfortable and the parents feel comfortable is just priceless,” Connor said.
Classes and activities range in cost from $30-54 and are available to everyone. Classes are offered Monday through Friday.
For more information or to view a class schedule, visit www.reddoors.org or the Red Doors Community Center Facebook page.