WELCOME! Marjorie Book Continuing Education brings teenagers and adults with and without disabilities together for continuing education classes, service learning projects and theatrical productions. Marjorie Book believe that teenagers and adults of various abilities can benefit from coming together for activities of common interest and sharing their gifts and strengths.

ABOUT MARJORIE BOOK. Marjorie Book was a Cincinnati-area poet who was an active participant in our organization from 1994 until her death in 2004. Marjorie is fondly remembered for her intelligence, humor and sense of adventure. Marjorie grew up in Missouri and Michigan with a visual impairment and received a bachelors degree from Central Missouri State University. Marjorie worked at Clovernook Center for the Blind in Cincinnati for more than 20 years. She published a book of poems, focused primarily on nature themes, called Marjorie’s Book. Marjorie enjoyed classical and new age music. She joined our group in her mid-sixties, and was extremely active participating in numerous workshops, service projects and plays. Her dedication to our organization, even when she felt ill, inspired many of us, and in 2008 the group was re-named in her honor.

Our Programs. CONTINUING EDUCATION: FOR PEOPLE WITH AND WITHOUT DISABILITIES
Noncredit Educational Classes – Marjorie Book Continuing Education sponsors several noncredit post secondary classes each year for students with and without disabilities. In the past, the group has held Introduction to German, Ceramics, Introduction to Tai Chi and Theories of Leadership classes. Classes are typically held on five consecutive Friday nights from 7:00 – 8:30 PM at various locations including Xavier University and University of Cincinnati. The instructor finds ways for all participants, regardless of ability level, to make meaningful contributions to the classes. Marjorie Book Continuing Education also sponsors a free two day educational trip to some area in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana or Michigan each summer.

Another Program. COMMUNITY SERVICE: BY PEOPLE WITH AND WITHOUT DISABILITIES. Service Learning Projects – Marjorie Book Continuing Education performs several service projects throughout the year for other Greater Cincinnati non-profits. Service learning projects are mostly held on Saturdays from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. The group finds ways for all participants, regardless of ability level, to make meaningful contributions to the service project. Past service sites have included Gorman Farm and the Over-the-Rhine Community Housing Network. Marjorie Book Continuing Education also sponsors a free two day service trip to Northern Ohio each summer.

Another Program. THEATER: DRAMA FOR PEOPLE WITH AND WITHOUT DISABILITIES
Theatrical Rehearsals and Productions – Marjorie Book Continuing Education produces three theatrical shows each year – the first performed in May, the second performed in July and the third in August. The third show each year is usually a musical. The group typically performs classic or contemporary theater productions by authors such as Shakespeare, Ibsen, Wilder, Shaw and a host of more contemporary authors. Past shows have included All in the Timing, Summer and Smoke, Rossum’s Universal Robots and Nothing but the Truth. Past musicals have included Godspell and Footloose. Presently, the group rehearses each show approximately a dozen times on selected evenings at Friendship Methodist Church in Wyoming and performs at the Cincinnati Museum Center in Queensgate. New actors, with and without disabilities and with and without acting experience are constantly needed.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED. Noncredit Educational Classes – Marjorie Book Continuing Education sponsors several noncredit post secondary classes each year for students with and without disabilities. In the past, the group has held Introduction to German, Ceramics, Introduction to Tai Chi and Theories of Leadership classes. Classes are typically held on five consecutive Friday nights from 7:00 – 8:30 PM at various locations including Xavier University and University of Cincinnati. The instructor finds ways for all participants, regardless of ability level, to make meaningful contributions to the classes. Marjorie Book Continuing Education also sponsors a free two day educational trip to some area in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana or Michigan each summer.

How to Get Involved Number One. Participate in a class, service project or theatrical play. We welcome participants with and without disabilities. To participate, please fill out a membership application and pay our yearly membership fee of $65 (or, if needed, the low income yearly fee of $15). Members can participate in any class, service project or theatrical production at no further charge. If you have special transportation needs, please contact Joe Link to discuss them further. Maybe we can help.

How to Get Involved Number Two. Visit a class or see a play. We welcome visitors to our classes, often held on Friday nights in the spring and fall, and our play performances, typically held on Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights in the summer. To be added to our email announcements list, please send an email to Joe Link.

How to Get Involved Number Three. Offer your volunteer skills to Marjorie Book Continuing Education and its Board of Directors. We need volunteers to help with clerical office work, publicity, and fundraising events. To discuss how your skills could best fit with Marjorie Book’s needs, please contact Joe Link.

How to Get Involved Number Four. Make a donation to Marjorie Book Continuing Education. About one half of our annual budget comes from donations from individuals like you.

HISTORY. The concept of Marjorie Book Continuing Education was originally born in a theater group. In 1993, two long-time friends from suburban Cincinnati, Mark Griffin and Joe Link, recruited several friends from St. Xavier High School and Wyoming High School to produce am amateur theater production. The Renegade Garage Players would be a theater group that was open to actors with a range of acting backgrounds. During the first play, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, an acquaintance of Joe’s who happened to be visually impaired agreed to join the cast as well. Most of the members of the group had little previous experience interacting with people with disabilities, but they committed to making the production work and to including everyone. Despite the variety of acting abilities of the participants, the production of A Doll’s House went smoothly. The collaborative and inclusive philosophy of the group had proven successful, and so a core group of volunteers carried on the group’s work from year to year.

More History. From 1993 to 1999, the Renegade Garage Players remained an unincorporated theater group producing one or two plays each summer. Significant efforts were made to recruit actors with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities from the Cincinnati community. The group formed partnerships with the Clovernook Center for the Blind, Stepping Stones Center, and LADD in recruiting actors. The group performed at various locations including the Northern Hills Fellowship Unitarian Church, the College Hill Town Hall, Winton Woods Middle School, and Joe’s parents’ garage.

More History. In 1999, with the help of Maria Werle, Renie Taylor and Jacque Horn, the organization moved towards incorporation and formed a Board of Directors. The Renegade Garage Players expanded their programming to include service and educational events which would bring people with and without disabilities together. During the year 2000, the Renegade Garage Players hosted a weekend theater camp, community service projects throughout Cincinnati, a sightseeing trip to Northern Ohio, and a variety show. In 2001, the group expanded its operations further by producing three summer-time plays. As of 2010, the group currently sponsors educational classes such as yoga and German at Friendship Methodist Church and Xavier University, six service projects around Cincinnati and through an out-of-town trip to Toledo and three theatrical productions a year at the Cincinnati Museum Center. The group has served hundreds of teenagers and adults with and without disabilities in the past two decades. In 2008, the organization changed it name to Marjorie Book Continuing Education to reflect its increasing emphasis on educational and service programs. In recent years, people with intellectual disabilities have increasingly pursued post secondary education opportunities, and Marjorie Book Continuing Education serves as a possible option for people with disabilities to pursue further education in an inclusive environment. Marjorie Book is a member of the Post secondary Education Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati and the Very Special Arts of Southwestern Ohio and stays active the Mayerson Foundation Service Learning Initiatives.

More History. Marjorie Book Continuing Education was the 2004 recipient of the Inclusion Network’s Kaplan Foundation/August A. Rendigs Foundation Inclusion Leadership Award.